First, congratulations on your upcoming 2009, should be a very big and exciting year. During your "breakup" between 2004-2009, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and you were even individually quoted as saying at the time, "Trey (Anastasio) added in a statement on his web site, "New Orleans is in trouble, so music itself is in trouble...anything we can all do now to help is crucial. If you love music, please do whatever you can.""
Well, now that it's 2009 and you are out of retirement and again getting ready to play concerts, you have a great opportunity to “do something.” You've sold all the tickets to your first three shows at Hampton Coliseum in March and the demand for your Summer Tour dates is high and so no need to worry about your marketability even in these tough economic times. So, I present to you an opportunity to “do something,” play a benefit show (or two) in New Orleans as your comeback shows next month and donate all of the money, minus obvious expenses, like renting the arena, etc. to the city and to the important revitalization process. You know your return is going to be major news, so why not have this be an opportunity to show how much you want to give back? The Dead, for example just reunited, newsworthy, but also reunited for Barack Obama. See how that works? You could be newsworthy as reuniting, for New Orleans.
Luckily for you, two venues in town have a great window of opportunity for you to perform, the New Orleans Arena, capacity 20,000, is open from February 19-24 or the Lakefront Arena, capacity 10,000, is available February 20-25. That gives you a day of setup in either place, time for a show (or two) and a couple days to clean up the party. Don’t fret about the fans that already have tickets to Hampton, you “retired” remember? Just seeing you perform after five years is all that they ask for and to come back for such an important cause would be more than justifiable.
How much to charge? Well, if one tries to purchase tickets to your first announced show on March 6, 2009 through Ticketmaster, you are given a message, “Sorry, no exact matches were found, but other tickets may still be available,” at which point there is a prompt to buy tickets through TicketsNow, starting at $327. So, start there, $300 x 20,000 or even $300 x 10,000 + the boost to the city; restaurants, hotels, etc. (and right before Mardi Gras too, February 24), why not charge $500 a ticket, or even just do all different price levels from $1,000 to $300, after all it's the comeback show(s) and a benefit for New Orleans, "Phish's Mardi Gras" I can see it now, just think of what that can do…
by Greg Lake