Disobey the Master

On June 10, FM-94/9's Independence Jam will be held at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. It will be the first time in 11 years that Devore Stadium will be used as a rock concert venue. Why did it lie dormant for so long?

"We wanted to avoid the exorbitant Ticketmaster and facility-use fees that music fans hate," says FM-94/9 program director Garett Michaels.

What's not to hate? To purchase a $19.50 ticket for Fall Out Boy's July 1 show at Coors Amphitheatre, Ticketmaster assesses $9.80 in fees, more than 50 percent of the ticket price. Added to $26 tickets for the 91X-sponsored X-Fest at Coors on May 20 is a $6 "building facility" fee and a $10.05 Ticketmaster "convenience" fee -- 61 percent of the admission price.

Though Fall Out Boy and 91X might prefer not to have jacked-up admission prices, they have no choice if they want to use Coors Amphitheatre; the venue has an exclusive contract with Ticketmaster, as does Cox Arena and SDSU's Open Air Theatre (site of last year's FM-94/9 show). One insider says major promoters such as Live Nation/House of Blues are unlikely to use Devore because they own Coors, and their contract with SDSU requires them to bring a minimum number of shows to the Open Air Theatre and Cox Arena.

To distribute tickets, Michaels says they will use www.casbahtickets.com.

"At some point we may find that we may be stuck like Pearl Jam [11 years ago] and have to use a Ticketmaster-controlled venue."

Southwestern's Devore Stadium last rocked in 1996 with the H.O.R.D.E. Festival (Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow, Blues Traveler). The stadium can hold 7200 for a concert.

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