Guitar Pull tickets remain hard to get

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A hot concert ticket is catching fire in Augusta.

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People crowd around WKXC-FM's booth at A & D Carpets and Hardwoods in Martinez to fill out a form for a chance to win tickets to the Guitar Pull.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
People crowd around WKXC-FM's booth at A & D Carpets and Hardwoods in Martinez to fill out a form for a chance to win tickets to the Guitar Pull.

The 14th annual WKXC-FM Guitar Pull remains one of the hardest-to-get concert tickets of the year in Augusta. After the acoustic show sold out in minutes, fans have been showing up in droves for daily ticket raffles. Ticket scalpers are advertising tickets for several hundred dollars each on Craigslist.

“This is the biggest year we’ve had,” said Tee Gentry, WKXC’s operations manager and program director. “Tickets get harder and harder to get every year.”

The lineup for Tuesday’s concert features some of the best known names in country music. Chart topper Luke Bryan, of Leesburg, Ga., will take the stage with Billy Curring­ton, Brantley Gilbert, Little Big Town, Lee Brice and American Idol’s Lauren Alaina at 7:30 p.m.

The concert raises funds for the United Way to help local families during the holiday season.

Since mid-September, the Guitar Pull and its sponsors have held daily ticket raffles at stores across the area. Gentry said between 500 and 1,000 people are entering each raffle, compared with between 300 and 400 last year.

Only about 4,000 fans will get to see the stars on stage at James Brown Arena. The tickets, which have a $35 face value, are limited so fans can get close to the artists, Gentry said.

“We just don’t want it to get too big,” he said. “It’ll lose its intimacy.”

Angel Carr, of Martinez, and family members have driven around town to every ticket raffle for several weeks. As she waited Friday to hear whether she was a winner, Carr chatted with others she’s come to know by name and face because she sees them so often at raffles.

“It’s like a family reunion every year,” she said.

Carr’s family members have 14 pairs of tickets. Carr isn’t willing to sell the tickets, and she would purchase more for $100 each.

There is a maximum of two winning pairs per person.

Gentry said he’s seen a pair of tickets sell for $500 on Face­book, and a pair of front-row seats sold for $1,000.

“Unfortunately, we can’t stop that,” he said of scalping. “It’s surprised me how it’s going so high. I just want to remind people it goes to charity.”

Gentry said he has started booking artists for next year’s Guitar Pull.

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GiantsAllDay 11/16/12 - 07:14 pm

Mr. Gentry: I can put an end to all guitar pull ticket scalping. Hand ALL the tickets over to the Augusta National. Have the national sell the tickets for you (they'll probably charge a nominal fee per ticket) Richmond county sheriffs office will then use all their manpower and citizen taxes to pursue the scalpers no matter where they exist. I'm talking eBay, Facebook, Craig's list, everything.

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