In what was originally billed as a Meet and Greet, including a group photo by a professional photographer, attendees of the July 3rd, 4th and 5th Monty Python Live (Mostly) Meet and Greet were left feeling like John Cleese in the Dead Parrot sketch, dissatisfied, to say the least.
Instead of actually meeting and greeting Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, John Cleese and Eric Idle, attendees who paid a premium price of 496 pounds sterling, approximately $700, got to take their photos from afar.
How not to do a Meet & Greet. £500 for a Q&A is not worth it, sorry.
5:59 AM – 5 Jul 2014
The original Meet and Greet Package promised a lot more than what was delivered. Just days before attending the event, participants received an email stating that the format had changed. The group photo promised at the end of the email never took place, attendees stood and listened to others ask questions whilst the Monty Python members sat on stage, far removed from the crowd and flanked by security men.
Many disappointed fans took to Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to connect with others who felt the change of format to the meet and greet was unfair. This resulted with a Facebook group page where disappointed fans shared their experiences and attempts at having the issue resolved.
In an email received a couple of days before the July 3, 4 and 5 Meet and Greet, participants were informed of the change but were not offered the opportunity to cancel and receive their money back.
This email details the VIP Meet & Greet arrangements we have put in place for you on the evening that you are attending the Monty Pythons show at the O2 Arena on 05-July.
After the show has ended please promptly make your way to the Building 6 which is located in The Avenue, opposite Brooklyn Bowl. Please take your event ticket/s with you as these are required to gain entry to the Meet & Greet area.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by an O2 representative and issued with drink tokens and a selection of merchandise items.
Please note we cannot guarantee that all the Pythons will be present at every Meet & Greet session.
Cameras are permitted in the Meet & Greet area however due to time constraints it will not be possible to have individual photos taken with the Pythons or for items to be signed by them. We will be arranging for official group photos to be taken by a top professional photographer which you will then be able to download from the internet.
We look forward to seeing you after the show.
The AXS Team
At the opening night’s Meet and Greet Getty Images took photos of fans shaking hands and posing in group photos with the Monty Python Group.
Fans shaking hands and actually meeting Monty Python members at the July 1st Meet and Greet (Image source Getty Images)
The following video was posted on Youtube showing the difference between the opening night’s meet and greet and those that followed.
and here is the Q&A experience.
Though disappointed fans made an attempt to resolve the issue with the promoter and the Customer Service Office at the London O2 arena no one was satisfied by the response they received:
Though the show was wonderful, the Meet and Greet rip-off has left fans like myself wondering if it was all worth it. To date O2 has not responded to my own email.
Original O2 Ticket for 495 =1 sterling promising a “Meet and Greet.”
I received an email response from O2′s customer service rep, Sarah, today.
The discrepancy lies in what the O2 AXS promised ticket buyers to the Meet and Greet package and what they are now telling customers in replies to complaint emails.
However, in an article on April 14, The Irish Mirror ran a competition to meet and greet the Pythons. Here’s what they promised would happen in the meet and greet,
““Meet & greets will take place after the show in a dedicated meet & greet room, includes live band, 2 drinks per person, at least 3 Pythons in attendance for photo opportunity and signing of winner’s show programme (winner to purchase), plus Python merchandise. There is no food or other hospitality included. Meet & greet places are non-transferable, no whole/part cash alternatives.”
Here is my email. I will repeat again and again, THE SHOW WAS GREAT AND WELL WORTH THE MONEY but the meet and greet was a costly Q&A and the email regarding changes was deliberately vague. Had I been informed accurately of precise changes I would have not attended and requested a refund. And dammit there are typos – too late!
Another fan who won the meet and greet tickets posted on twitter:
Imagine that, this person won the meet and greet package, paid nothing to attend it, and they are still disappointed? How should I feel after parting with 3 X 496 pounds sterling?
On July 3rd the Monty Python Facebook page advertised an Amazon.com.uk competition which assured winners of meeting the members of Monty Python in person backstage after the show.
“Would you like to see one of the greatest comedy acts of all time perform live in the O2 Arena, London? We are celebrating the glorious return of Monty Python by offering the chance for you and a friend to watch “Monty Python Live (mostly)” at the O2 next month, then head backstage to meet The Pythons in person after the show.”
So, even as late as July 3rd it was still being billed as a meet and greet and attendees were being promised meeting in person with the group. The Q&A sessions commenced in lieu of the Meet and Greet on July 2nd. No one met the group in person from July 2nd on.