Monday, February 3, 2003

Miami students cram for Dave Matthews tickets



By Rob Phillips
The Cincinnati Enquirer

OXFORD - Although the Dave Matthews Band sings "Crash Into Me," Miami University Box Office employees are hoping students don't crash into them in the frenzied race to get tickets for an upcoming show in Oxford.

Student tickets to the March 31 show go on sale at 7 a.m. Friday, and already some students are going to great lengths to get them.

"I'm going to be first in line and I'm willing to do anything it takes," said Aaron Pitcock, a senior public administration major from Zanesville. Pitcock, who has seen Matthews perform 22 times, already has purchased a thermal tent, sleeping bag and a space heater.

"Arguably, this is the most popular show Miami has ever hosted," said Patti Hannan Swofford , director of Miami's Performing Arts Series . "The buzz around here is electric."

Matthews and Tim Reynolds chose the Miami campus as the only Ohio stop on their upcoming acoustic concert tour. Adding to the demand, only 6,200 tickets will be sold for the 10,850-person Millett Hall , a limitation Matthews requested.

"He wanted a place that you could go and have some fun with his music," Hannan Swofford said. "He wanted a more intimate setting and that is something Miami could offer."

The day news leaked of the show, phones rang constantly at the Miami Box Office, supervisor Craig Harkrider said.

"We were getting killed all morning," he said.

Students have said they would skip classes to wait days in line for the $52.50 tickets. But the university has restricted students from lining up until 25 hours before ticket sales begin.

Freezing temperatures probably won't shorten the line, Harkrider said.

"When you talk about tents and sleeping bags, the lines could get pretty lengthy," he said.

Marketing major Tara Brennan of Buffalo, N.Y., has seen Matthews in concert six times.

"I'm a second-semester senior and I don't care about missing a few classes to ensure that I get to see Dave at Miami," she said.

A portion of the student tickets will be sold online starting at 2 a.m. on Friday . Another portion of the tickets will be reserved for the general public, and will go on sale Saturday

"Everyone is looking for an angle," Harkrider said. "There will be none."

Many students say they will try their luck at purchasing the tickets online.

"It will be a huge mess waiting outside with hundreds of other students, so I'll probably just try online," said junior finance major Janet Landry of Toledo.

Yet some on campus don't understand what all the excitement is about.

"When you are on a campus that plays Dave Matthews nonstop - I'm not about to pay $50 for a ticket," said junior finance major Josh Breehl of New Philadelphia, Ohio. "If the tickets were free, I'd think about going."

Harkrider said that the box office will have increased capabilities and should be ready to handle whatever lines the students produce. University staff and public safety will monitor the line.

Students must show Miami identification and will be limited to two tickets per person.




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