Seating change angers many fans

By Wendy Arquilla

Fans who thought they had good seats for Saturday night’s Radiohead and Belly concert were left in no man’s land when the concert was changed to general admission seating.

Because of demands the bands made, reserved seating at the concert was changed to general admission. This left fans who had great seats fighting for a better view with the rest of the concert-goers.

“At 4 p.m., the road manager for Belly and Radiohead basically implied if the chairs weren’t pulled, the bands were not going to perform,” said Pam Morin, director of the Campus Activities Board Concert Committee.

Morin said CAB concerts fought with the manager to keep the reserved seating, but CAB had to cave in to the demands of the bands.

“The reserved seating was written into our offer to them, but their agency never relayed that information to the road managers or the band,” Morin said.

The seating change ended up leaving many fans of the sold-out concert unhappy.

She said the overall reaction was negative, especially from the fans with good seats. However, CAB did offer refunds to anyone who did not want to see the show because of the seating change.

Brian Nach, a senior math major who attended the show, said if the reserved seating was kept, he would have been seated in the fourth row.

“I would have liked to have been in my reserved seat, but I still enjoyed the show,” he said.

Nach said the change reflected badly on the bands. “It just goes to shows you how insensitive bands can be to their fans.

“(CAB) feels really bad for those fans who lost their seats, but Belly and Radiohead angered their own fans. If they really cared about their fans, they wouldn’t have done it,” she said.

Morin says many of the concert-goers have been blaming CAB for the change, but she insisted CAB was not trying to rip students off by changing the show to general admission.

“It wasn’t CAB’s fault, we really had no choice. If we didn’t change the seating, the bands would have walked,” she said.

Morin said in a show that large, the Holmes Student Center strongly recommends chairs be set up for the fans.

She said in past concerts of the same size, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, chairs were set up for the fans. If the fans decided they did not want the chairs during the show, they could pull the chairs themselves.

Morin said they will be providing a telephone number of the bands’ management for disgruntled fans to call and voice their complaints.

“The bands did a great disservice to their fans. Fans just have to realize that these things are related to the nature of the business,” Morin said.