In the run up to the event, many fans had contacted Geek Crusade for more information about the blue carpet. But we soon realised that one of them had actually purchased a $688 package, before the packages on offer mysteriously disappeared from the event page. (Reed Exhibitions later told The Straits Times that the packages had sold out)
Shukran Jafar and his wife flew in from Brunei just for the event. It was his first time attending such an event, and he told me that this was also his first opportunity to catch a red carpet and premiere.
“After how many years, I thought to myself that maybe I’ll catch Captain America for once. I don’t think I’ll be doing this again, [there] won’t be an opportunity for me anymore. It won’t come easy. [This is] the only opportunity for me.”
For $688, Shukran got the bundle of exclusives offered up by STGCC for the event, as well as a pair of tickets to the blue carpet and premiere of the movie. When asked if the package had been worth it, his answer was a resounding yes.
“It is worth it. You can’t take away that special moment…Singapore people are actually very lucky to have all these things going on here. Singapore is like a centre…so for us [who are originally] from Brunei, if something is happening in Singapore, if we have the chance to go there we definitely will go.”
Shukran’s ticket only gave him access to the fanzone, but he credited our own post on how to get a selfie with the stars for the valuable advice on securing a good spot. And in his words: “It was awesome. It’s unbelievable.”
Shukran not only managed to get autographs from Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and co-director Joe Russo – he also got selfies with Stan and Russo. He said that it was a little bit hectic, but getting all their autographs is a memory he will treasure.
While we’re happy for Shukran for having an amazing experience, he was also very surprised when GC told him about the local backlash to the exorbitant prices being charged for the packages. In fact, he only had good things to say about the event.
To be honest, the thought of buying the $688 package did cross my mind at first, until I took a closer look at the bundles they were offering. With the exclusives being offered up in their own $68 bundle, that essentially meant that fans would be paying more than $300 each to get access to the blue carpet and movie premiere.
As part of GC, I was invited into the fanzone itself. But when I asked the fans around me, all of them said that they got their blue carpet tickets via contests. Not a single person I talked to in the fanzone said that they knew of anyone who had bought the $688 package.
VIP bundles aren’t usually offered up for red carpet events like this, but they are common enough amongst musicians with large international fan bases when they hold concerts. Most of them cost around the $300-500 range, but I’ve seen some VIP packages go for more than $1000.
I’ve been to a few of them myself, but the key difference is that those VIP packages often included a picture taken with the celebrity by a professional photographer, as well as the chance for a quick meet-and-greet. So charging $688, with no guarantee of meeting the stars, just seemed like a complete rip-off.
If you come out of the experience with a couple of selfies and autographs from all the stars, it’d only be natural for you to think that it was worth it.
But I can’t help but wonder if fans would still think that paying more than $600 for a package like that would be worth it, if they had walked away with nothing to show except for a couple of bruises from trying to stop fans from taking over your spot.