‘Tomlin United Tour’ Scrap VIP Tickets after Online Criticisms

The VIP ticket option placed by Hillsong United and Chris Tomlin for their upcoming U.S concert tour have been scrapped following criticism from fans online.

Tickets for the concert started selling since October 22. The VIP option permits fans to get on stage and take pictures with the artists. Besides, they will also get gifts, premium seats, and have conversations with the artists. 

The pictures that would be taken on stage would involve a catwalk which some of their fans were not comfortable with. They stated that Hillsong United and Tomlin wants to be involved in “celebrity-style commercialized worship.”   

One of the followers of Hillsong United and Tomlin, Tom Read, who is also the founder of the United Kingdom’s Modern Hymnal, made a post on his Twitter page to express his displeasure concerning the VIP ticket option. 

“I'm not sure which is worse: that Hillsong and Chris Tomlin think that this is OK in the context of worship; or that there's actually a demand for it? Some people will think that I'm being unfair here, or unnecessarily ‘divisive,’ but at what point are we allowed to say something is not OK? Because this is not OK, and justifying it just contributes to the problem.

“Modern day worship has become so corrupt that I have no doubt Jesus would flip the tables on so much of it. In my opinion, worship needs its own reformation that rids itself of the celebrity culture that it's become so entrenched in … This will continue as long as we give a platform for it to continue. So please, do not buy a 'VIP EXPERIENCE' for worship events. It's the opposite of what worship should be about. We need to do better.

“[Hillsong United and Chris Tomlin] have both actively branded themselves as worship leaders for the last 20+ years so I don't think they get off on a technicality,” Read added.

However, a Rend Collective worship band member, Chris Llewellyn, made a contrary opinion in an article for Premier Christianity.

"One of the main mechanisms by which large Christian concerts actually break even is via upgraded ticketing — think 'VIP experience' — or through sponsorship. I can say confidently that without these things my own band would be unable to tour.

 “This is because we already reduce our ticket prices to staggeringly low rates compared to equivalent artists in the secular world to make the concerts as accessible as possible.

"Yes, there's a price tag for [VIP] service, but in a world of compromise, I'd rather offer this service at an extra charge to people who have expressed that they want it, than have to have a more expensive ticket for everyone," Llewellyn added.

The concert tickets for Hillsong United and Tomlin’s 33-day tour are still available. Instead of VIP tickets, it has been replaced with ‘’Experiences’’ tickets. 

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