TWISTED SISTER’S STATION BENEFIT NEEDS YOUR HELP:
February 22, 2008
Despite boasting a lineup of rock and country stars, Monday night’s benefit at Providence’s Dunkin’ Donuts Center to raise funds for the survivors of the Station nightclub fire is bombing at the box office.
“The show is not selling what we expected,” said Live Nation booking agent Bob Duteau.
As of yesterday only 2,800 tickets had been sold for the concert, which will feature Twisted Sister, Tesla, Staind’s Aaron Lewis, Boston’s Tom Scholz and Stryper as well as country artists Gretchen Wilson, John Rich, Kellie Pickler, Dierks Bentley and Randy Owen of Alabama.
That figure is far short of the expectations of the organizers of the Phoenix Rising Station Family Fund Relief concert, who hoped to fill at least 8,000-seats and raise several hundred thousand dollars to help pay the medical bills of some of the 200 severely injured survivors of the West Warwick, R.I., fire that killed 100 people at a show by hard rock band Great White in 2003.
“If (Monday’s benefit) isn’t a huge success, I don’t know how we’ll get attention,” said survivor Theresa O’Toole, who helped create the Station Family Fund. “We thought for sure it would sell out.”
Yesterday organizers decided to offer a two-for-one deal to try to attract fans to the concert fundraiser. Anyone who buys a ticket, priced from $41-$61, at the arena box office will get a second ticket free. Those who already bought tickets are eligible to go to the box office and receive an additional free ticket for every ticket purchased.
Duteau remains hopeful that ticket sales will climb over the weekend.
“There are enough sales right now to at least break even,” he said, noting that everyone from local unions to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center itself have donated services.
Dee Snider, the Twisted Sister lead singer who helped organize the event, believes filling the arena is crucial to bring attention to the needs of the Station families to areas outside New England. VH-1 is planning to air a tape of the concert on March 23, Easter Sunday, and organizers fear the sight of a half-empty arena won’t stimulate an outpouring of support from viewers.
“I don’t care why you show up (on Monday), just show up,” a concerned Snider said. “We need a full arena because we need Joe Blow in Montana to open up his wallet.”
Slow sales for the Phoenix Rising event reflect the ongoing struggle of the Station Family Fund.
“At one point we had $300 in the bank, and we had to turn down a lot of people,” said fire survivor and Station Family Fund co-director Todd King. “We run a tight ship on a very tight budget. We’re up against a wall.”
“Our needs are overwhelming,” King said. “Don’t forget about us.”
Courtesy of news.bostonherald.com