In the pit, close to the stage, and I am hit with rain pelting down as I try to upgrade fans’ tickets with the iPhone entrusted to me. Lesson: Rain and bad Wi-Fi affects the ability to be nimble on apps. But it was fun to learn.
This is the Golden Circle at the Bon Jovi tour in Cardiff, Wales, 12 June. I applied for the opportunity for a day’s work experience on tour through GoThinkBig and I was SUPER excited when I was called up! I have loved Bon Jovi since FOREVER. I remember when I lived in Auckland, New Zealand, I was annoyed they only went to Christchurch in 2009. I remember first discovering Livin’ on a Prayer and Always as beautiful songs for my teenage ears and the rest of his music inspired a fierce loyalty I’ve never felt quite so much since.
And just when I had given up on the affordability of tickets and wondered if each tour was the last, life had a way of making it happen. I loved every minute of the gig and it was even sweet as payment for such an honourable work experience. And my coach trip from London and hostel nights out made me feel like I was on tour, too.
Why did I do it? Why does anyone take any lifetime opportunity, right… *corny answer alert*:
I learned how much event organisation, co-ordination and coolness under pressure it takes to carry off such a phenomenal concert on the road – and I have such desire to do it more now. The Bon Jovi management team, all of them, were so courteous and nice to fans who had to navigate the inevitable confusion of a breathtakingly big stadium, multiple entries, regimented security and long, long queues in the cold and rain in Wales. Some had travelled all over the world for this; I met a woman so dedicated she came from Australia. When I asked her if she wanted to upgrade her ticket, she didn’t quite have enough money and did I even know how much it cost to get here? I totally did.
The most expensive Diamond VIP seats (around £300) came with access to a party room with an open bar. By the time fans had taken advantage of it and Bon Jovi started playing, it reminded me of my karaoke days. I had decorated the party room with fellow work experience lackeys with the instruction to ‘make it look like Bon Jovi threw up everywhere’. I couldn’t help but feel excited at the sight of exclusive and new and stunning band photography on stands and posters.
Cardiff City Stadium has a CAPACITY but I wasn’t quite prepared for the armies of different colour neon jackets, from stage builders to security bouncers, marching in file and standing to attention everywhere. And how proud was I to show my ‘work here’ pass to them?!
The experience also involved carting around the steel-framed boxes of rock tours with stickers and painted artwork and ‘Bon Jovi’ written all over it. These were stacked up in multiple heavy-duty trucks, with everything from the building blocks of offices and office supplies, to merchandise, stands and tents. The sight of all these was a lesson in the sheer scale of being on tour with such a big band. I probably couldn’t have picked a bigger band; 30 years of tours, concerts and albums makes Bon Jovi particularly epic.
I packed merchandise bags and checked IDS and issued tickets in tents in the rain and at the end, I rocked out with you. But don’t worry, Bon Jovi, I did it because we’re good mates. <3
*I don’t think you realise we’re good mates.