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Posted on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Wristband giveaways anticipating free Darren Criss 'Sonic Lunch' concert

By Melanie Maxwell


Matt Altruda, right, fastens a "Crissband" onto the wrist of a fan as Eric Helber, Bank of Ann Arbor vice president, smiles at Liberty Plaza on Tuesday. Sonic Lunch is giving away a total 1,000 bands for their June 13 show featuring "Glee" actor and U-M graduate Darren Criss at The Michigan Theater.

Melanie Maxwell |

It's still more than a week away, but the Sonic Lunch presentation of a free concert by "Glee"'s Darren Criss is already generating plenty of activity.


Melanie Maxwell |

Admission to the concert is by wristbands—or "Crissbands," as the organizers are calling them—which are being handed out at daily giveaways around the area and via Facebook contests.

Sonic Lunch organizer Matthew Altruda said about 4,000 people have entered the Facebook giveaway, from all over the world. But the main focus is on local giveaways, to allow the Ann Arbor community the most participation. Giveaways are announced one hour ahead of time via Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday saw a giveaway at Liberty Plaza in downtown Ann Arbor. Altruda planned to give away 80 wristbands at today's stop.

The concert takes place June 13 at the Michigan Theater. Those who get a "Crissband" must be in line by 10:45 to be guaranteed a spot. Theo Katzman opens the show at 11:30 a.m., followed by Criss.

University of Michigan graduate Criss has become a major performing name, thanks to his starring role on TV's "Glee." He's currently on tour, but the Ann Arbor concert is the only free show.

Watch for an interview with Criss later this week on

The other Sonic Lunch shows are outside at Liberty Plaza and do not require wristbands. The series kicks off this Thursday with a special appearance by Martha Reeves, for which Libery Street will be closed at Division.


Eric Helber, Bank of Ann Arbor vice president, smiles as he high-fives Amanda Belcher, of northern Ohio, who drove up from Ohio in hopes of getting a wristband after seeing the giveaway on social media.

Melanie Maxwell |



Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

So, if I show up today for Sonic Lunch can I get a wristband?


Wed, Jun 5, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Might be an issue, since the first Sonic Lunch of the season is tomorrow.


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

gotta love the things that people put on in Ann Arbor. That's why this is such a unique and great place to live!