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April 1, 2013

Rock the South ticket sales start fast; VIP sells out

CULLMAN — Organizers wanted to make a big showing with the first day of ticket sales for Rock the South, and Cullman residents Gail Phillips and Jessica Brown were happy to oblige.

The two 20-somethings showed up nearly two hours before the ticket window opened at the Cullman Civic Center on Friday, and were the first to receive their passes for the huge two-day music festival.

“We just wanted to be totally sure we had tickets,” Phillips said. “We wanted to make sure we got our two day passes, to see Sara Evans, Hank [Williams, Jr.] and The Band Perry. We went last year and it was great not to have to go to Huntsville or Birmingham for something like this.”

The second annual Rock the South is set for June 21-22 at Heritage Park. Hosted by country artist Sara Evans, the event will feature headliners Hank Williams, Jr., The Band Perry, Gregg Allman, American Idol winner Scotty McCreery and Jamey Johnson. Willie Robertson, star of A&E’s hit series Duck Dynasty, will also be at the event to meet and greet fans.

The 500 available VIP tickets were gone within two minutes of online sales, and 1,000 Platinum area seats were sold out by the close of business on Friday. Organizers say more than 4,000 tickets were sold in the first day, which exceeded even the most optimistic projections.

“I was watching the website this morning, and at 10:02 a.m. the VIP section switched to ‘Pending’, so I called our ticket service because I thought there was a problem, or it had crashed,” organizer Shane Quick, with Premiere Productions, said. “I thought it was a glitch, but then she told me there was no problem, it was just that the VIP tickets had sold out. For an outdoor festival still three months away, that’s very, very, very encouraging.”

Though some small lines lingered at local ticket locations, Quick noted the vast majority of sales have come from outside the state and from larger Alabama cities.

“The highest traffic on our website today was from Atlanta, Georgia, so it looks like out-of-towners are gobbling tickets up early,” he said. “People that attend major festivals know it’s important to buy early, and we definitely encourage locals and anyone wanting to go to do that.”

For Quick, a Hanceville native, Friday’s success was the fruition of more than a decade of hard work. Quick is a longtime concert promoter in the Contemporary Christian Music field, and also hosts the annual YouthQuake festival in Cullman.

“It’s’ good to know when you have an idea, a dream, and you’re wondering if there’s a need for it; days like today let you know there’s a massive need for what we’re doing in Cullman, because it’s never been done,” he said. “There’s no question people want something like this, and the overwhelming response we got is proof.”

The VIP and Platinum packages may be sold out, but general admission tickets are still available.

One-day general admission tickets cost $30, while a general admission weekend pass costs $49. Children five-years-old and younger will be admitted for free.

Tickets are available online at RockTheSouth.com and at select locations such as the Cullman Civic Center, Berkeley Bob's Coffee House, and Cabin Fever.

The tentative line-up schedule calls for The Band Perry, Sara Evans and Scotty McCreery to play on Friday; with Hank Williams, Jr., Gregg Allman and Jamey Johnson closing out the festival on Saturday.

* Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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