Inside D.C. entertainment

Countdown to Dylan: Seating free for all

November 5, 2010 - 10:50 AM
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Dylan is in town on Nov. 13, and you could be in the front row. Kind of. (publicity photo)

Dylan is coming. On Nov. 13, the living legend/American treasure performs at George Washington University's Smith Center, a stop on his fall college tour.

Naturally, tickets sold out weeks ago, and, of course, they're showing up on  Craiglist and other websites that sell tix, typically for at least a 100 percent markup. (Save for a few good people unloading them at the original purchase price).

Many of the online sellers are boasting that they have "front-row" tickets. That's sort of true.

"Have two tickets to the sold out Bob Dylan show at Smith Center (GWU Campus) on 13 November 2010," reads one recent ad. "This is a sold out show in a 5,000 seat venue. All tickets are General Admission so if you come early, you will be able to see this living legend perform live from the front row!"

That can't be right, can it? You can sit wherever you want for a Bob Dylan show, no restrictions whatsoever? But spokespersons for both show promoter IMP and George Washington University confirmed that the show is indeed general admission, with first-come, first-serve seating.

But won't there be pandemonium? Sure, general admission shows take place all the time, but this is Dylan we're talking about— couldn't this thing turn into a big tangle of grey ponytails and light-rinse jeans as parents and grandparents get shoved around in the scramble for good seats?

No way, says GWU spokesperson Michelle Sherrard.

"There are lots of events at the Charles E. Smith Center—basketball games that are general admission, and we've hosted other events, like Jimmy Fallon recently, and it's not a problem," Sherrard says. 

She adds that there will be a large "festival-style" standing area in front of the stage, which will accommodate folks who want to get close, which means there aren't really "front row" seats for this event.

Sherrard adds that there won't be reserved seating for press or VIPs. So, it's entirely possible that by arriving early and making a mad dash once the doors open at 7 p.m., ticketholders can nab seats worth way more than the $55 (or $35 in the case of GW students) that they paid for them.

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