STAR-BULLETIN / APRIL 2007
Jack Johnson, left, joins Eddie Vedder onstage at last year's Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell. This year's concert is scheduled for April 19 and 20 with singer Dave Matthews on the bill.
Most Kokua tickets sold locally, organizer says
A representative for musician Jack Johnson gave assurances yesterday that although tickets for Johnson's Kokua Festival sold out in just 20 minutes, Hawaii residents were able to purchase the bulk of them.
The Earth Day-themed event, scheduled for April 19 and 20 with singer Dave Matthews on the bill, sold out quickly Saturday. Some would-be buyers reported problems trying to access Ticketmaster's online site that morning, raising questions of whether the tickets were snapped up by mainland buyers.
"Tickets this year sold out quickly as demand far exceeded availability, however the majority of the tickets sold to the general public were in fact purchased by residents of Hawaii," said Tom Chauncey, president and owner of Partisan Arts, who represents Johnson.
Tickets hit the online resale market quickly, at upward of 10 times face value.
"Unfortunately, we can't do anything about the prevalence of the secondary ticket market," Chauncey said. He added that he would "encourage people not to buy tickets through secondary sites. Some of them are not legitimate, and people should not be paying that kind of money."
Chauncey said Hawaii residents also had the chance to purchase tickets in advance, if they participated in beach cleanups held on Oahu earlier this month. Johnson's publicity office, Fresh and Clean Media, stated that more than 2,000 tickets were sold that way.
The festival venue, the Waikiki Shell, has a capacity of about 8,400, with 2,400 in reserved seating and a maximum of 6,000 on the upper lawn.
Original Kokua Festival prices were $40 to $125, to benefit the environmental Kokua Hawaii Foundation that Johnson and his wife, Kim, oversee, with sales limited to four tickets per person at the Blaisdell Center box office and through Ticketmaster.
"One hundred percent of the festival's net proceeds (stay) in Hawaii to create programs that support environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii," Chauncey said.
Next year, he said, the foundation would like to offer more pre-sale opportunities for those willing to help with Johnson's environmental aims. "We'd like people to get involved early next year, whether it's with beach cleanups or other special incentives."
He also said that those who join the Kokua Hawaii Foundation beforehand were also able to buy tickets before Saturday. "We encourage people to join to help with a good cause, not solely for the opportunity to buy tickets, but because they want to help contribute to make a better environment in Hawaii."