Summer concert season picks up tempo along the way


The telephone number for Ticketron is 1-800-448-9009. Due to an editing error, an incorrect number for Ticketron was given in a story about summer concerts in Thursday's Accent Plus. The Evening Sun regrets the error.

THE combination of late bookings and the late opening of Pier Six' new concert pavilion has pushed back the date of summer concerts this year.

Even Merriweather Post Pavilion, which usually has a busy June schedule, booked just three shows before June 16, and this weekend the shed is dark.

But concert fans shouldn't worry toomuch, for once the schedule heats up in mid July most area venues will average five shows a week.

If you have the money (most shows are more than $20 this summer with Sinatra coming in at a cool $54.25) and a broad span of musical tastes, you can see nationally known musicians just about every night.

And although prices have been rising steadily each season for as long as most concert-goers can remember, there are signsthis summer that cooperation between venues and acts will lead to a more accessible price structure.

For instance, Merriweather has instituted a "low dough" ticket for two shows -- Styx ($16.50 pavilion, $12.50 lawn), which occurred May 24, and Nelson with Enuff Z'Nuff ($15.50, $11.50), which comes to Columbia on June 21.

Although tickets for Sinatra's show might seem a bit steep, lawn seats for that performance are just $19.50. The most expensive lawn seats of the summer will be the most popular; Jimmy Buffett's shows are $20 and the second is already sold out. By the way, there is actually fresh, healthy, green grass on the lawn at Merriweather this year, another reminder of the light early schedule.

As for Pier Six, don't be alarmed if you haven't seen the familiar tent at the waterfront location. The new canvas has just arrived from England and should be erected next week. The seats will be installed soon after, and facility manager John Wright assures that "all systems are go" for the new Pier Six to open on July 27 with John Denver.

Tickets for most shows are available by calling TicketCenter at 481-6000 or Ticketron at 265-5372. Keep in mind that shows are still being booked so the concert calendar will grow.

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