Ticket tabs need to be trimmed
Letter to the editor
Andrew Nerlinger, sophomore
From a student who has lived his life right outside of Philadelphia and always was able to easily take advantage of all that a large (and culturally active) had to offer, I was a little dismayed coming out to South Bend to go to school. I don't even think about that any more, though, except in one case. The case of concerts.
I frequented the many large names that routinely stopped in Philadelphia and in the neighboring metropolitan areas of the east coast. Names like Billy Joel, the Dave Matthews Band and Lilith Fair were within 20 minutes of home. They were not only transportationally convenient, but also financially convenient. Tickets to such events usually ran $30-35 for shows in really great settings. Even smaller shows, like the Penn's Landing riverfront fest featuring bands such as Fastball and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, would be only $10 or so for an all day event.
Since I have been out in South Bend, though, the closest concerts are in Chicago. This, however, is a problem for a student who has no car, is not at all familiar to Chicago, and doesn't want to spend an arm and a leg for a concert. Imagine my excitement, then, when I heard that Elton John would be playing solo at the JACC!
Determined to get tickets to this great event, I dragged myself out of bed at 7:30 on a Friday morning to guarantee that I would get a ticket. However, as I rode my bike along with about $40 in my pocket for the ticket (The price was not advertised in The Observer ads), I pulled up to the ticket gate at the JACC. My face, though, dropped when I saw that decent seats for the concert were $60! Now, I am not above paying for such a great performer, and if they want to charge that much and still can sell the JACC out, which will likely happen, then more power to them.
However, from a student's perspective, I was so surprised to see this exorbitant price for tickets. I do not know who is presenting the funding for the concert and what connection the University has with the concert. Maybe we only leased out the JACC to make some money, which is what I am guessing would have happened. But I am reminded of last year's Third Eye Blind concert. That was a great experience, a great concert with two pretty popular bands, within walking distance and for under $30. Even Aerosmith was around $40, which was around the price of Bob Dylan.
Now, I am not saying that there is anything wrong with the Elton John concert. I just want to offer up a proposal for the University, and maybe they'll listen.
Why not make such a great concert more accessible to students? Find some way to make the tickets cheap enough that the students can take advantage of the biggest musical event to come this way that I've ever heard of. Maybe even offer student tickets. Hey, it's a start. But when I see a big performer like the Dave Matthews Band brought to campus to play for THE STUDENTS that doesn't cost us the equivalent of almost a third of a semester in flex points, half of our season tickets, our math books, or two months of laundry service, then I will be totally thrilled with not only the University's choice but also the University's commitment to bringing a little something extra to the students and doesn't try to make a buck off of them.
St. Edward's Hall
September 27, 1999
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, September 29, 1999