Camping 4 Clay

When Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken went on tour together, Ginny really, really, really wanted to go. I wanted to go, without the “really” attached. But the closest venue was Winston-Salem or Raleigh, and of course they all sold out immediately, and even if we had gotten tickets, Ginny was in the hospital during those shows.

So when I heard on the radio this week that Clay Aiken was coming to Roanoke this summer, I knew we had to find a way to go.

Ginny and Sammi LOVE Clay. Jamie and Mom and I like Clay. We pooled our funds together to get tickets, and decided that Sam and I would go to the box office on Saturday and wait in line for them. We wanted to avoid the online surcharge, and if we’d paid online we wouldn’t be able to buy them all together since we were using money from more than one account. Besides, we thought we might get better seats if we went to the box office, and we’d never waited in line for tickets before.

So here is the story of how Sammi and I are gigantic dorks who woke up at 7:00 A.M. on a weekend to wait in line for Clay Aiken tickets. I believe that hanging out with teenagers all the time is turning me into one, too.

We left the house at 8. There was very little traffic, because no one in the world is awake at 8 on a Saturday.

After we stopped at the ATM to get the ticket cash, we decided that we needed food, like, real bad. Luckily, there are golden arches across the street from the Civic Center.

We were afraid that when we got there, we’d either be the only ones there, or there’d be like 100 people. We brought camp chairs, just in case, but when we got there and saw that there were about 10 people waiting, we left the camp chairs in the car. We figured we were set, since we’d gotten there at 8:30 and the box office opened at 10, but when we went up to the other people waiting, they were all wearing wristbands. They told us where to go to get ours.

Wristbands are the Civic Center’s way of making the ticket buying process “fair.” We went in and drew a wristband out of a box. I got number 425. Sammi got 410. They tried to console us by saying that the numbers started at 251 and that there’d only been a few people there, but we were still pissed. Also, the dude put my wristband on WAY too tight.

They told us that they’d start lining people up at 9:30, so we had some time to kill. Luckily, we had supplies.

We set up a little hobo camp on the sidewalk.

To kill time while camping, we ate breakfast, read the Sports and Life sections of the paper to each other, and looked for a Super Mario Bros. ring tone for my cell phone.

Finally, they started lining us up. The liner-upper needed a megaphone and didn’t have one, so we had to listen really carefully. They also told us that they would only allow one person at a time to go up to the window, and that we should have our money ready ahead of time.

We got there before most of these people, but they were all in front of us in line.

These two girls spent fifteen or twenty minutes in a really loud argument about the difference between check cards and credit cards. It turned weirder and funnier when half of us started blatantly making fun of them, and some other people started educating them about credit cards. I think one guy was a secret agent for Discover Card.

Finally, we got close enough to see the doors. It was also at about this time that the line wrangler came out and told us that the Internet was selling tickets faster than the ticket office, so they couldn’t guarantee that we’d get good seats. That guy in the blue shirt looked like Clay’s little brother, pre-makeover.

We finally made it in, but they seemed really stern, so we didn’t take any pictures inside. The harried ticket saleslady told me that all of the box seats had gone to Internet sales, but she could get me five seats together in Section 24, row C. They weren’t what we wanted, but they weren’t terrible, so I forked over the cash.

So at 10:30, our mini-camping excursion was over, with okay results. We’d have been better off buying the tickets online, but this was a lot of fun, so it was worth it.

And yes, I know. We are gigantic dorks.

7 Replies to “Camping 4 Clay”

  1. Love it! A heroic quest, and lots of fun — thanks for the pictures… I can't say I share the affection for Aiken, but I hope the story of the concert is as entertaining as the quest for tix!

  2. I have stood in line exactly once for tickets, and my story is almost identical to yours. Except replace “Clay Aiken” with “N*Sync” (and yeah, I was old enough to drink at the concert… losers!).

  3. I can't say that I've ever stood in line for tickets…but of course that doesn't mean I never will…

    OH and the pictures of the food are tortuous this morning!! I'm starving!

  4. Congradualtions on getting the tickets. Score. I hope you are happy with them. I have stood in line for Red Sox tickets, but that's about it. I always wonder who is that first person in line…

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