I was born in Los Angeles, Calif. but have never lived anywhere long enough to call it a home town. I have, in chronological order, been considered a resident of Los Angeles, Portland, Houston, Augusta, England, Sacramento, and Washinton State. I'm a graduate of Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School and Western Washington University (B.A. - Journalism) and covered arts and entertainment at the Augusta Chronicle from 1999 to 2010. I am the current News Editor at the Columbia County News-Times.
Posted June 18, 2010 04:08 pm - Updated June 22, 2010 06:09 pm

Seven minutes


Seven minutes. That's how long it took Lady Antebellum to sell out the James Brown Arena. Seven minutes.

That means that this morning, the James Brown Arena was assigning seats at a rate of about 15 per second. Set a metronome to fifteen beats per second and it sounds like a steady tone. That's fast.

Of course, some of those seats were pre-sold to fan club members, so in the interest of accuracy, we might want to assume that tickets sold at a rate of 10 per second. Let's say, for the sake of argument it was five per second. It doesn't really matter. What's important is that tickets went out the door at a rate so astonishing that it's a little hard for me to wrap my head around it. This isn't just a victory for the folks over at the Augusta Entertainment Complex. It's a sure sign that the James Brown Arena, which seemed trapped in a permanent downward spiral just two years ago, has re-established itself as a viable venue, not only in the Augusta market, but for tour routes as well.

I know there will be those that argue that Lady Antebellum's Augusta connection invalidates this sell out to some extent. I disagree. Historically, acts can struggle booking big shows in their hometown. Certainly James Brown had his issues with lackluster Augusta attendance, while selling out enormous venues elsewhere, toward the end of his life. This is not a case of hometown support. This is a case of a significant act coming to town and an audience, after so many years of apathy, responding.

It's pretty exciting.