Sunday, May 25, 2014

Great Gigs at the AUA Annual Meeting

I thought that I would share the story of how a group of people attending an Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association managed to score an entry into a Prince concert.

We had been enjoying a wonderful meal at a San Diego restaurant and mention was made that Prince was in town. A couple of our group were from Minnesota which of course is the home town for Prince. As such we were cajoled into walking back to our hotel via the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel for the sake of a possible glimpse of fame.  As we reached the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel, there was a long line on the footpath.  When asked as to why they were lining up, we were told that they were waiting to get into the Prince concert which was starting at around 10pm.  One person in the line mentioned that there might still be tickets at the sales desk in the hotel lobby. 

Upon reaching the ticket sales desk in the hotel lobby, we were advised that no more tickets could be sold because just at that very moment, their printer had completely malfunctioned. A well dressed man with a much younger lady who was literally hanging off him, was not happy. He carried the attitude of “do you know who I am?” and it was suggested to him by one of the bouncers to try using the hotel’s business center to see if tickets could be purchased on line and printed out from there. We decided to follow this couple to the business center to check out whether tickets were available and how much they were going to cost. Once ‘on line,’ it quickly became evident that ticket sales for this show had been discontinued as it was too close to the time of the show’s commencement.  In any case, this was a small and fairly intimate gig with ticket prices being in the vicinity of $250 each.  The pricing pretty much turned us off from pursuing this any further.

The man I mentioned earlier was really unhappy and complained bitterly to bouncer.  The bouncer then suggested that he go to the head bouncer at the entrance door to the venue to try to resolve the situation. My thoughts were that we should tag along in case we could benefit from being in the slipstream and I signalled to the others with my hand to follow.  At the entrance, the story was explained to the head bouncer that an attempt was made to buy tickets in good faith but because of the printer malfunction, attendance to the gig was not going to be possible. The head bouncer went into a huddle with his colleagues and then announced that if $250 cash per person was paid, then entry would be permitted. The couple that we followed coughed up the cash and were granted entry.  We jokingly said how about $250 for the five of us but that was a no go. As we were walking away from the entrance, we bumped into the first bouncer who had been directing us in the hotel lobby.

He asked, ‘how did you go?’  I explained the story of how we had 5 Australians and 2 from loyal Prince fans from Minnesota who had tried in good faith to buy tickets but were not able to as a result of the printer malfunction and then with the closure of the on line ticketing website for sales to this gig.  I explained how as visitors to this town, we simply did not walk around with hundreds of dollars in our pockets and relied on our credit cards.  The bouncer then says. "F**k, I hate when this happens.  Look, come with me."

He leads us down the footpath and around the corner where it was dark.  He pulls our entry wristbands and says to us "just give me what you have in cash and I’ll make sure it goes to Prince’s favourite charity"  Most of us only had about $20 in our wallets and even though it was all that I had left in my wallet, I was happy to part with it. We put on our wristbands and he then lead us through a back way through the hotel into the venue. The next moment we were inside and the doors behind us closed and the bouncer was gone.  It was major high five and it is pretty obvious that it was a fantastic gig.

You never know what is going on in town when you attend an AUA meeting. In the previous year in Atlanta, we were treated to an outdoor concert featuring the Flaming Lips,  This year, the only performers of note were Modest Mouse.  Tickets were available although scarce but at over 5 times the original cost so decided to give it a miss.

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