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Posted on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Ticket office explains long will-call line for David Sedaris appearance

By Jenn McKee

Thumbnail image for SedarisphotocreditAnneFishbein.JPG

Satirist David Sedaris' show at Hill Auditorium on Saturday was delayed due to a long will call line.

Many local David Sedaris fans who attended the saririst's Hill Auditorium show on Saturday, April 13 stood in a long line to pick up their tickets from the will-call window - and the event's start was consequently delayed.

In a statement sent via email, Michigan Union Ticket Office manager Vu Willey said, "This was a unique situation where TicketMaster had reached out and coordinated the event with a department that was unfamiliar with procedures and possible complications. The ticket management was subsequently turned over to Michigan Union Ticket Office and Major Events Office in an attempt to resolve challenges already encountered. In addition, patrons for a second show taking place that evening were coming to pick up tickets after being misinformed by a student organization website that will call for that show would be ready at 1 p.m.

"David Sedaris took the stage at 2:20 p.m. and still stayed the 90 minutes after the show officially started at 2:30 pm. We were expecting long lines, and set up procedures to help facilitate ticket distribution. We emailed patrons in advance advising them to pick up their tickets at our office ahead of time, if they were able. We also separated our will call from new ticket sales, and put extra staff on that task. Despite our best efforts, however, little can be done when a lot of people arrive for an event at the same time. We apologize for the inconvenience, but feel that it was handled the best way it could have been. Please note that we managed the will call for a similar show just days before (Ben Folds), where there were more will call tickets, and no lines. We have the highest regard for customer service, which is why you do not hear of a show starting late very often, and it becomes news when it does."

Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at jennmckee@annarbor.com or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.

Comments

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Ticketmaster is a greedy pox on the event going public. They care about nothing but their monopoly position and collecting fees, some of which are passed on to the performer or promotor. UMS and the Michigan Union Ticket office do a great job without their meddling and profiteering.

winterblue

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

The late start was a bummer and then there was talk of cutting the signing time short due to another event that was going to need the lower lobby space, but it all worked out in the end. David Sedaris was very gracious and spent time talking with each person who waited to have their books signed despite the time crunch. I truly enjoyed the show despite the snafu!

hattrix

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

It was a bummer for those of us who arrived early, waited, then had to leave early as we had planned for a 90 minute show. I will say that David Sedaris was very nice about it and came out to talk to the audience for a few minutes before the show was officially allowed to start.

Jenn McKee

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Yes - I heard about that. Hats off to Sedaris for doing what he could to alleviate an annoying situation for his fans.

Jenn McKee

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 7:15 p.m.

By way of a follow-up, I asked Willey what specific department Ticketmaster reached out to, and this was the response: "What happened was TicketMaster was selected as the main ticket office, which was unusual as this role is traditionally filled by Michigan Union Ticket Office. As a result, there were some hiccups with set up, because they did not know how to handle an event of this caliber. We were happy to come in and handle the unusual circumstances."

Some Guy in 734

Wed, Apr 17, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

Uhhh... TicketMaster doesn't know how to handle events of this caliber? Whatever you may say about their practices (another story, another day) they do sell kind of a lot of tickets. You'd think they might have worked out most of the major kinks by this point.