My contention is that Tucson just isn't an stadium-rock town. Phoenix, yeah. But Tucson?
The Associate Students of the University of Arizona, try as they might, tried to gin up excitement for this show featuring Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, The Veronicas, and Third Eye Blind. Early Birds got the pleasure of seeing a local act: Ryanhood. But ticket sales sagged so much that those in the cheap seats pulled the baseball-game trick of sliding up closer to the stage, which security permitted until Jay-Z took the stage. Photos from KOLD News 13's Paul Durrant show an excited yet thin crowd.
They got a show and ASUA got a learning experience, with a few solid rules to put in the notebook:
- You can't charge hundreds of dollars for seats in a lousy economy, especially when the U of A is whopping your potential customers for more money in tuition, fees, and whatever surcharge they can get.
- Smorgasboards work better for salad bars than concerts. A number of commenters on StarNet point out rap and rock audiences are not one in the same. Mashing up Kelly Clarkson, Jay-Z, and the Veronicas was like serving guacamole with baloney.
- Where was the marketing outside the University? When a show comes to Desert Diamond Casino or AVA at Casino Del Sol, it's all over billboards and TV. Granted, the ASUA likely has a meager publicity budget, but even Charo's concert got more ads than this show.
UPDATE: That concert lost more than $900,000, according to the Arizona Daily Star, and now the UA Bookstores will have to bail out ASUA. Looks like the organizers could work for the banking industry (rim shot).