Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eliminating the Riffraff


This summer, promoters are offering a new service for VIP concert-goers: eliminating the riffraff altogether.

A new five-concert series called "Social" will debut in East Hampton, N.Y., in July, with a pass to all five shows costing $15,000. (Tickets aren't available for individual shows.)

The series is a new extreme in the concert industry's increasing attempts to woo big spenders. But it also reflects promoters' attempts to cash in on demand that's pushed prices on ticket-resale sites like StubHub to the stratosphere. This way, promoters can price tickets at the same level -- and keep the money for themselves.

The Social lineup is hardly cutting-edge -- it includes Prince, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews, Tom Petty and James Taylor. (Bulldog Entertainment, a two-year-old promotion company, says it sought mainstream artists with the help of former Warner Bros. and DreamWorks record executive Michael Ostin.) Then again, it's not just about music: At Social, artists will exhibit, celebrity chefs will cook, parking will cost nothing and seating will include daybeds, ottomans and Moroccan pillows. Social will be marketed as a lifestyle, says Bulldog, to Wall Street executives, Hamptons socialites and the ultrarich. (MORE)

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