’98 scramble for Hanson tickets
Lucky fans of Hanson are 'armed'
BY THOMAS CONNER
© Tulsa World
At least one mother could sing about it.
As she ushered her young daughter into the Drug Mart at
32nd Street and Yale Avenue to get one of the cherished
Hanson concert-ticket wristbands, she sang, “MMMBop / Is
it worth it? / MMMBop / I really hope so / MMMBop / Oh,
brother . . .''
Hanson fans of every age were lined up outside — and
around — eight Carson Attractions ticket outlets Thursday
morning for a crack at the wristbands, which became
available at noon. Some had arrived as early as 3 a.m.
determined to get tagged with the bright pink and orange
wristbands that guarantee a spot in line when tickets for
the Hanson concert go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday.
A concert by the Tulsa-native hit trio Hanson is
scheduled for July 8 at the Mabee Center. The Tulsa concert
is the only show scheduled in the Midwest.
Hanna Willsey, 10, was the first in line at the Maxwell
Convention Center, decked out in her Hanson T-shirt and a
necklace with beads that spelled out Hanson. She and a
friend, Valerie Grannemann, 13, arrived outside the
Convention Center at 5 a.m.
“I'm glad school is out, but I would've missed school,
anyway,'' Valerie said, jumping up and down.
Jack Tubb at least had some leafy shade to stand in
about halfway down the line at the Convention Center. He
plans to buy some tickets for his granddaughter. She'll be
visiting from Kentucky when Hanson appears here, and — shhh --
it's a surprise.
As noon approached, the Convention Center crowd began
clapping and chanting, “12 o'clock! 12 o'clock!'' By then,
the line stretched a good 100 yards out the building's
The wristbands are the first step in the ticket-buying
process for the big show. A wristband does not guarantee a
ticket, only a place in line Saturday morning.
Ticket outlets were turning away hundreds of fans as
their stock of wristbands quickly dwindled and ran out.
Some frustrated fans hurried to other locations, but nearly
every outlet had given away all the wristbands by 2:15
“I don't know what we're going to do,'' said Verna
Smith, the mother of two pouting young girls. They were
turned away from the Mabee Center, where an estimated 1,000
fans stood in a line that wrapped almost all the way around
the building — all vying for the 350 wristbands available at
that site. “I'm not sure my girls will forgive me if they
miss this show,'' she said.
Some crowds got a bit unruly. James McCarthy, manager of
the Drug Mart at 31st Street and 129th East Avenue, said he
had to call the police to help deal with a mob that started
pushing and shoving.
“We had about 400 people out there and only about 175
wristbands to give out. I thought we were going to have a
problem, but everybody was pretty nice when it was all said
and done,'' he said.
Glenn Smith of Glenn Smith Presents, the show's
promoter, said his company has tried-and-true formulas to
determine how many wristbands to make available.
“There are enough for one show, and 85 to 90 percent of
the people who got wristbands should get tickets,'' Smith
said. “It's not like paper money that we print until it's
worthless. We've figured out how many should be at each
location given the number of terminals there, the fact that
each wristband holder can buy up to four tickets and our
guess that about 15 percent of the tickets will be sold by
Smith handled last summer's five concerts by Garth
Brooks and used the same procedure then.
Hanson fans quickly purchase 8,000 tickets for Tulsa's July concert
BY THOMAS CONNER
© Tulsa World
Armed police officers patrolled the line. Men with
hand-held radios and clipboards checked off the numbers of
the desperate refugees. When the signal came, everyone
screamed. A child was torn from her mother.
Sound like a war zone? It was just the Mabee Center on
Saturday morning as tickets went on sale for the July 8
Like any military skirmish, too, there were winners and
losers and lots of cries to pity the children. But for
those frustrated by the ticketing procedure and their
inability to get tickets, it all boils down to a simple,
military answer: There were only about 8,000 tickets and
only time for one show.
“We could have sold three shows here easily,'' Glenn
Smith said Saturday morning after all 8,000 tickets had
been sold. “It looks like about 85 percent of everyone
with a wristband got tickets.''
Smith, the show's promoter, said, “We still turned
thousands away. . . . You just don't know when you're
planning a show like this in advance — scheduling the venues
and the transportation and such — what kind of demand there
will be. Who could have imagined eight months ago that
there would be this kind of demand?''
Smith relayed a message from the Hanson boys themselves:
“We will be back as soon as we possibly can.''
A second show can't be added because of the tour
scheduling, Smith said. Also, the Mabee Center is booked
the following night.
Tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at eight Carson
Attractions outlets and via a toll-free telephone number.
They were all gone by 9:58 a.m.
Despite having their place in line already guaranteed by
their numbered wristbands, fans began gathering at the
Mabee Center box office as early as 4 a.m. By 6 a.m., they
lined up in the order of the numbers on their wristbands
and eagerly awaited the random drawing that would determine
the first place in line.
At 8 a.m. sharp, the number was called: 227.
Summer Smith, 14, and her friends halfway down the line
began squealing hysterically. The line ahead of her — now
full of fallen faces, young and old — was moved to the rear,
and Summer stepped up to the door.
Ironically, Summer's mother, Teresa, had wristband No.
225. She had to head to the very back of the line, while
her daughter stepped front and center. Mom took the twist
with good spirits.
“I was the one who brought all these girls here, who
waited in line with them, who spent the night out here,''
Front and center is exactly where Summer will be on July
8, too. Her first spot in line scored her and her friends
front-row seats. They're probably still screaming.
Others at the back of the line had a few choice words
about their predicament. The ticketing procedure required
fans first to obtain numbered wristbands. A drawing was
held Saturday morning at each ticket outlet to determine
the first place in line.
“Dedication doesn't pay,'' said Sue Smith, an
end-of-the-line mother buying for her daughter in
California. “If you sit out here from 3 a.m. because you
care about these guys, you should get a ticket. This didn't
alleviate people from camping out. They were still spending
the night to get wristbands. What difference did it make?''
“Concerts have always been sold first come-first
serve,'' one mother, LeAnn Rose, who was next in line,
said. “It's not fair to these kids. They're the ones who
will be the most crushed by it.''
Smith said he devised this procedure early on for other
high- demand shows like Garth Brooks. He said he would
rather bring it all down to luck of the draw than risk
having kids injured in a mad rush or lose out to scalpers.
“It's the fairest way,'' he said. “If we had done it
first come-first serve, we'd have scalpers — not fans --
camping out for weeks ahead of time. Mothers wouldn't let
their kids do that, but scalpers don't have lives — they can
afford to beat you in that game. This gives everyone an
equal chance to be first. Unfortunately, not everyone can
be first, but I don't know a better way.''
One Carson Attractions employee predicted early on that
Saturday would be a short work day.
“This will sell out really quickly,'' the employee said
Thursday. “It's still not as big a crowd as we get for
(professional) wrestling tickets, though.''
Hanson ticket trauma
BY THOMAS CONNER
© Tulsa World
Two girls. One ticket.
Oh, the dilemma.
Victoria Rodriguez, 15, stood in line for four hours
back in May for wristbands to purchase tickets, but she --
and thousands of other fans — came up short. Rodriguez,
however, managed to find one ticket through a friend a few
weeks after the quick sellout.
Good news for her, surely, but a friend of hers, Lili
Lambert, 14, traveled here from Germany just to see her --
and the Hansons.
"The girls are at the Hansons' house today in southwest
Tulsa, hoping to see them and find another ticket," said
Rodriguez's mother, Nila Estradda. "We found one from a
scalper for $175, but that's just too much."
For the time being, Estradda said, Victoria gets the
ticket for Wednesday's show.
Rodriguez met Lambert last year through the Internet.
They chatted online nearly every day, Estradda said, until
Lambert and her parents came to visit in mid-June. The trip
was to unite the new friends and let them explore the
hometown of Hanson in hopes of finding . . . something.
"They are fanatics, both," Estradda said.
Hanson — the Tulsa trio of Isaac, Taylor and Zac that
scored a No. 1 hit last year with "MMMBop" from the group's
debut album, "Middle of Nowhere" — is scheduled to play a
concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Mabee Center, 8100 S.
Lewis Ave. The show sold out in less than an hour when
tickets went on sale May 30.
While Hanson may be hot, so are their fans.
One of them was on Monday, anyway. That morning, disc
jockeys at radio station KRAV, 96.5 FM, asked listeners,
"What's the craziest thing you would do for passes to meet
Hanson?" Lonnie Dugan called in with his bright idea — to
ride around town on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle wearing
a clown suit — and the station took him up on it.
Dugan is a fan of Harleys, not Hanson, but his daughter --
like most young girls in the hit trio's hometown — is more
interested in "Three Car Garage," Hanson's latest album.
Dugan's idea won his daughter and her cousin two
hard-to-find tickets to the show plus backstage passes.
"They're definitely happy campers," Dugan said.
He found out, though, just how hot a ticket this concert
is. Dugan donned the clown suit and set off among rush-hour
traffic — shortly after the air temperature reached its high
mark of 99 degrees Monday.
"I ride an old Harley, and it runs pretty hot. The heat
outside didn't make it any better," he said.
At least 8,000 fans — plus hundreds of others just hoping
for a glimpse of the blond boys — are expected to descend on
the Mabee Center for the show.
Another Tulsa band, Admiral Twin, has been on the tour
with Hanson for nearly a month. This power pop band — which
includes drummer Jarrod Gollihare, author of Hanson: The
Official Biography — will open the Tulsa show.
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These online "clips" reproduce a self-selection of my journalism (music etc) during the last 20+ years. It's a lotta stuff, but it only scratches the surface. I do not currently possess the time or resources to digitize the whole body of work. These posts are simply a bunch of pretty great days at the office.