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Why Amnesty Didn't Sell Out

September 24, 1988

In regard to the sluggish ticket sales for the L.A. stop of Amnesty International's "Human Rights Now!" tour ("Amnesty's Jack Healey: Low-Key, but Not Down Over L.A. Turnout," Sept. 23):

As an advocate of both human rights and rock, and as a person who took off from work to get tickets at the first possible minute, I think I can give Bill Graham and others an answer to why sales were so sluggish: It was the way the sales were handled.

Let me take you through the hassle. First you had to show up at a store the day before the tickets went on sale between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. to get a plastic wrist band clamped on so you could participate in a drawing the next morning to see who would be in line first.

Next you had to show up at 7:30 a.m. to find out where luck had placed you in the line.

Although I got my tickets only an hour and 10 minutes after they went on sale, the seats were as far back from the stage as they could get.

Some people who bought tickets days later got better seats than some of us in line that morning.

The only reason I can guess at for this is that the computer that doles out the tickets must scatter us around so if the show doesn't sell out the arena doesn't look empty.

I think the public is tired of this arrogant manipulation. The next tickets we buy should be to a fund raiser for ticket buyers rights.


South Pasadena

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