Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Fans dig for Kanye tickets

Pandemonium.

With obsessive determination, 927 Northwestern students fought, bargained and waited up to 11 hours in line Wednesday morning in a campus crusade for Kanye tickets.

All 2,300 tickets for rapper Kanye West’s Nov. 13 concert sold out in less than four hours to a line of students that, at one point, stretched to almost 1,000 people long.

The first students arrived in front of Norris University Center at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night. By 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, more than 130 students shivered eagerly in front of the locked doors.

“We predicted that there would be an overwhelming response but nothing like this,” said Medill senior Erica Futterman, A&O co-director of promotions. “I found out last night that people were camping out; we were all just flabbergasted.”

By 9 a.m. a line of more than 500 students wound in a circle on the first floor of Norris, up the steps to the second floor, across the length of the building to the Northwestern Room, back to the staircase, down the steps, out of the door and around the south lawn.

When the line became uncontrollable, some students were eventually lead into McCormick Auditorium, filling all 370 seats as they waited to buy tickets.

Fights broke out about line cutting, bribes were rampant and many students offered hefty premiums to secure tickets from students ahead of them in line. Norris and A&O officials were on-hand to organize the process.

WaitinG in line

Weinberg freshman Jonathon Webster holds the distinguished honor of being the first to purchase a ticket.

Webster arrived at Norris shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday with two friends and was the first person to buy a coveted ticket when the box office opened early at 9:55 a.m. He missed an astronomy quiz as he waited.

“We are the sickest Kanye fans ever,” Webster said shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday. “His lyrics and confidence have changed the way I look at my life, and I will be the first to buy a ticket. If people try to push in front of me, I’m gonna have to start fights.”

Third-year chemistry graduate student Faith Boman was at the other end of the line, one of the last people to get tickets. While some people studied, read or watched movies to pass the time, Boman found another method: knitting. Within four hours, she had knitted an entire blue scarf.

“I have not been to a concert since I was 15, so this is a great opportunity,” Boman said. “Plus he is the only artist I would pay to see right now.”

Gold Diggin’

Despite strong warnings from A&O organizers, students were scalping recently purchased tickets in front of Norris. At least one set of tickets was for sale online at craigslist.com Wednesday afternoon.

“If anything is done blatantly in front of us, we will do everything in our power to make sure the rules are enforced,” said Weinberg senior Doug Singer, director of concerts for A&O.

Weary of waiting in line for several hours, many students chose to pay premiums to others ahead of them instead of waiting themselves.

“This girl was walking the line up and down and offered to buy three tickets for $50 each from me,” Weinberg sophomore Adrienne Williams said. “She was ping-ponging back and forth to get people to undercut me. It got down to $30 from someone else, and I got really mad. This is my money.”

Denied

At about 1:45 p.m. Futterman announced the dreaded news to the remaining line of more than 150 people: Tickets were sold out. All of the remaining people would have to sign a waiting list. One-hundred and fifty names were on the list as of Wednesday night.

A&O created an e-mail address, [email protected], and said other students who are interested in tickets should send their name, e-mail and the number of tickets desired to it. Tickets are not guaranteed.

A&O officials would discuss opening up more seats if there is substantial demand for them and if contractual and facility issues can be worked out, Futterman said.

Weinberg freshman Federico Rodriguez was the last student to get seats.

“I waited almost four hours,” he said. “This could have been awful.”

Medill freshman Greg Canuel was not so lucky. Despite his four-hour wait time, he was the first person in line not to get tickets.

“It’s like a bad movie. This really sucks,” he said. “My name is first on the list, so hopefully they will open some tickets.”

Reach Jason B. Gumer at [email protected].

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Fans dig for Kanye tickets