Fans willing to do almost anything for Backstreet Boys tickets

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    By REBECCA NEYENHUIS

    The Backstreet Boys will perform Thursday and Friday in the Delta Center. The hype surrounding their performance appears to some as “Larger Than Life,” but fans are willing to go to extremes for the beloved band.

    There were close to 33,000 tickets for the concert which sold out the first day, said Linda Sanders, a concert promoter with Magic Works.

    Those fans unable to buy tickets did all they could to win tickets from 94.9 KZHT, the radio station promoting the concert.

    During the promotion “Suck Feet for Backstreet,” one mother sucked on the feet of the 94.9 KZHT dee-jay “Danger-boy” for two hours, said marking director Mike Buttler. She won a pair of tickets for her teenagers. For her efforts, 94.9 also awarded her with a dinner certificate and a trip to a spa.

    A 94.9 KZHT “Larger Than Life” promotional, named for Backstreet’s latest single, had morning show dee-jays go on a search for the heaviest man and heaviest woman, then presented them with tickets, said program director Jeff McCartney.

    “This past Monday we had a “Sit on the Cold Seat for Backstreet” contest. Fans had to melt down a chunk of ice to get the tickets inside,” said 94.9 KZHT program director Jeff McCartney.

    The chunks of ice were 12-by-18 inch blocks, each containing a pair of tickets for the first, second, third or fourth rows, said Butler.

    KZHT also had a logo contest. Fans created desplaysw supporting 94.9 and the Backstreet Boys. Ten winners were picked for their creativity, said McCartney.

    “With a lot of the shows this type you will get people that will do whatever they possibly can to get tickets. They are good sports. They feel the same way we do about it, that it is a fun way to participate and win tickets for a concert,” McCartney said.

    McCartney says the amount of tickets a radio station gives away for each concert varies. He said while radio stations receive some complimentary tickets for concert promotion, the demand for concerts like the Backstreet Boys is so great that station has to purchase tickets for give-aways.

    Contests have already started for the Nov. 27 Ricky Martin concert said Butler. During 94.9 KZHT’s “Livin’ the Crazy Life” contest, listeners were asked how far they would go to win tickets. Fans were willing to skydive, shave heads and get tattoos, said McCartney. One fan was even willing to eat road-kill, but was stopped in the name of poor taste.

    To those still hoping to get tickets, there is still hope: Radio station 94.9 KZHT and Mandy Moore, the opening artist for the concert, will be at the Provo Towne Centre Mall from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday to give away a pair of tickets, Buttler said. Moore is a performer with a style comparable to Brittany Spears, McCartney said.

    While not every parent will suck feet for their children, parents are involved when young fans attend concerts. The Delta Center offers a “parent room,” designed to make event attendance easier on patrons, said Brandon Spevak, Delta Center Marketing Director. The parent room is a free service and no prior arrangements are necessary. The parent room is in the International Room of the Delta Center. Light refreshments, free massages, TV and video games, retail booths, and a quiet area are available in the parent room for the Backstreet Boys concert, Spevak said.

    “I’m not sure whether it determines if the child will attend the event or not, but it makes it easier,” Spevak said.

    Spevak said the parent room encourages parents to be involved with their children. He said it also makes rides to and from the concert easier for attendees.

    Spevak estimated around 1,000 parents a night will take advantage of the parent’s room during the Backstreet Boys. Spevak said the parent room is always available, but is primarily used during concerts in which there is a large underage turnout.

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