Rodriquez fans call for move back to Town Hall

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 14:01 13/02/2013

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A group of Rodriquez fans are campaigning to have the gig shifted back to Wellington Town Hall and an extra show, even attempting to contact the man himself.

The venue change from Wellington Town Hall to TSB Arena was announced on Monday, with promoters citing high demand for tickets as the reason for the change. But a number of fans have called for a second show at the smaller venue, rather than shifting the gig to the Arena.

Steve Holloway, who queued with a friend for more than an hour to secure 16 tickets to the March 16 gig, said TSB Arena is well-known for its bad sound and poor seating arrangements.

"The biggest issue is the unsuitability for Rodriquez. He sold out the town hall out, that was awesome, we should celebrate that shouldn't we?''

Mr Holloway argues that Wellington Town Hall, as a more intimate venue, is more appropriate for a musician who plays acoustic music.

"They're going to put 1000 more people into that sardine can, and everyone's going to lose out - the artist is going to lose out, the public to going to lose out.''

He has gone straight to the top with his concerns - tracking down a number for Sixto Rodriquez in Detroit and calling to see if he has any sway with promoters.

Rodriquez is currently on tour in South Africa and Mr Holloway said he was not been able to get in touch with him yet.

Mr Holloway and a number of friends have sent emails of complaint to promoters Blues Fest Touring in hope of getting the gig shifted back to Wellington Town Hall.

Fan Michael Savidge said in his email to promoters that it was "a little bit bullshit to expect this show to thrive in that space'' and he was considering asking for a refund.

Bluesfest Touring and Marketing Manager Rusty Thorpe responded to Mr Savidge: ''I will make the decision-makers aware that your email exists - and more importantly what it contains. In the meantime, Keep Rockin.''

New Zealand publicist John Baker said while he did not have any comment about TSB Arena's suitability or sound, the venue change was for the greater good.

"The show was moved for the greater good to accommodate the large demand for tickets. If people who have already purchased tickets want, we're more than happy to refund them.''

However, Mr Savidge said Mr Baker's claim of the 'greater good' rang false.

"Who benefits apart from a few more people get to see a less-than-ideal show? Why not schedule an extra date? There appears to be room on the tour schedule," Mr Savidge said.

Rodriguez' final concert in South Africa is on February 21. His next shows are March 16 (Wellington), March 17 (Auckland) and March 21 (Melbourne).

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- The Dominion Post

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