Twilight Concert tickets on sale Friday morning
Live music • Salt Lake City Arts Council’s wildly popular downtown concerts offer season tickets sales for the first time ever.
Published: May 31, 2012 01:56PM
Updated: May 31, 2012 02:33PM
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Common will perform at the Twilight Concert Series in downtown Salt Lake City this summer.

Tickets for the Twilight Concert Series go on sale Friday, June 1, at 10 a.m. at 24Tix.com and Graywhale Entertainment stores.

Concerts will cost $5 per show, with season tickets for the nine-show series on sale for $35. Tickets will also be available at the gate.

Concert attendance will be limited, but Casey Jarman, programs director, hasn’t yet determined the number of gate tickets that will be made available.

Charging for the concerts is a break with a 24-year tradition.

“Twilight is a cultural phenomenon that has changed the face of downtown Salt Lake City. I’ve been arguing for years that it makes sense [to charge a nominal fee],” said Jason Mathis, executive director of Downtown Alliance, which is one of the chief sponsors.

The hardest person to convince? Mathis said it was the Arts Council’s Jarman, the series founder. Jarman said he realized at last summer’s closing concert — rapper Lupe Fiasco headlined — that the series had become a victim of its own success. With an estimated crowd of 55,000 inside Pioneer Park, Jarman said audience members were packed in and “uncomfortable.”

“There was irony in the name if there ever was one,” he said, referring to Fiasco.

Last year, the average show attendance was 33,000.

Jarman added that as he walked around the Fiasco concert, he ran into overcrowding, the recurring problem that led to the move three years ago from the much-smaller Gallivan Center to Pioneer Park.

With rising production and artist fees, Jarman said he considered two options: Produce five Twilight concerts with no fee, or put on nine concerts with a $5 fee.

That’s two more than last year’s seven concerts, which was all the Arts Council’s budget could afford.

“The idea is not to weed out people,” Jarman said, but to provide a better concert experience for those who attend.

dburger@sltrib.com

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Twitter: @davidburger

Making Twilight plans?

P 2012 Twilight Concert series lineup at Pioneer Park; gates open at 5 p.m.

July 5 • Beach House with The Walkmen

July 12 • Raphael Saadiq with JJ Grey & Mofro

July 19 • Nas with TBA

July 26 • Band of Horses with TBA

Aug. 2 • My Morning Jacket with TBA

Aug. 9 • Passion Pit with Austra

Aug. 16 • Iron and Wine with Kathleen Edwards

Aug. 23 • M. Ward with Devotchka

Aug. 30 • Common with TBA

Tickets • $5 for each concert, $35 for the series, at www.24Tix.com and Graywhale Entertainment stores, on sale today at 10 a.m.

More • Ticketholders will be allowed to enter through a separate line at each entrance.

Info • Visit www.twilightconcertseries.com