Long line and a good time: ‘Idol’ winner tickets a hot commodity

Phillip Phillips concert ticketsUW-Green Bay students lined up Friday, Feb. 1 to purchase their tickets for the upcoming appearance of 2012 “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, who is set to perform May 9 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.

Phillips is currently touring the country singing many fan favorites including “Home,” which earned the top spot on iTunes pop charts and was listed in the top five for eight weeks. The Good Times Programming student organization secured Phillips’ appearance, the latest in a series of high-profile acts that’s included ’08 “Idol” winner David Cook, rockers the Goo Goo Dolls, late-night funnyman Jimmy Fallon, and more. In October, GTP partnered with the Weidner Center to bring in “The Price is Right Live!,” the traveling version of the TV game show, a tremendously successful sell-out that attracted students and community members alike.

Whether a big name like Phillips or a lesser-known but equally crowd-pleasing act, GTP’s programming is a critical part of creating a vibrant campus experience, said Good Times Programming adviser Grant Winslow.

“It makes the students realize, the general student population, that this is a good, active campus,” Winslow said, “that we’ve got a lot of good things going on, and there will never be want of something to do.”

It’s a message to which Phillips fans can attest. Excited students eagerly waited for the tickets to go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, some lining up nearly an hour in advance. Jennifer Pederson, sophomore Accounting and Business major, felt the wait was worth it because of the fanfare surrounding Phillips’ visit to UW-Green Bay.

“I’m a huge fan, I can’t wait for him to perform,” Pederson said. “I’ve been a huge fan of “[American] Idol” since the beginning.”

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Friday was the first time tickets became available for purchase. UW-Green Bay students were offered the opportunity to buy tickets prior to their sale to the general public, which began Tuesday, Feb. 5, and dozens of students took advantage. Tickets range in price from $14 for students to $30 for non-students.

As of Wednesday morning, Feb. 6, about 850 Phillips tickets had been sold, nearly 500 to students, faculty and staff and the rest to the general public, Winslow said. Come May 9, he doesn’t think there will be an empty seat in the Weidner Center.

“I expect to sell out,” Winslow said. “The Weidner Center has 2,021 seats, there won’t be any left.”

Most students in line Friday were waiting for a chance to buy tickets for their own use. Scott Pamperin, freshman Education major, was at the 10 a.m. ticket sale in the University Union to surprise someone else.

“I’ve started to listen to Phillip Phillips because my girlfriend does,” Pamperin said. “I thought I’d surprise her for Valentine’s Day with a ticket to watch him in person.”

Jennesa Heiting, Good Times Programming intern, was excited about the level of turnout for the initial sale of tickets.

“We have several events that are always very popular like outdoor trips, UWGB Nites or Brewer buses,” Heiting said. “This has been fun watching everyone show up and be excited for Phillip Phillips.”

More information about Good Times Programming is available online.

— Story and photos by James Taylor, intern, University Communication