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March 13, 2014

Brewery Ommegang show sells out in 10 minutes

By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
Cooperstown Crier

---- — Here’s something they don’t have to be modest about: selling out Brewery Ommegang. 

A May 24 show with Modest Mouse with special guest Brand New sold out May 7, with online tickets selling out within 10 minutes of going on sale, and paper tickets selling out within two hours of being delivered to the brewery around noon.

“We were expecting this to be a big show, but the concert selling out online in 10 minutes was a shock to all of us,” said Allison Capozza, publicity manager for Brewery Ommegang. “We’re thrilled.”

In all 5,000 tickets have been sold, 4,650 online and 350 paper tickets. About 1,000 tickets have also been upgraded to camping tickets, the maximum number of upgrades allowed.

“We expected it to sell out, but not immediately like that,” said Steve Hamilton, an events coordinator for Brewery Ommegang.

In response to the May 24 show’s popularity, a second concert has been announced at Brewery Ommegang for May 23. That concert will feature Modest Mouse and special guest Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. Mouse will be doing doulbe duty that day, coming down from a Boston festival. 

Special guest Brand New will be playing the festival later in the day, and will only make the original show. 

Modest Mouse is an indie rock band formed in Issaquah Washington in the early 90’s. The band’s 2004 album “Good New for People Who Loves Bad News,” went platinum, with the tracks “Float On” and “The Ocean Breathes Salty” receiving extensive radio and video play.

An indie rock band from Long Island, Brand New formed in 2000. Their 2003 album Deja Entendu was certified gold and, like “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” received extensive airplay.

“I remember the radio blew up,” said Hamilton, recalling hearing songs from both bands played frequently during the early 2000s.

Hamilton said that he thinks that one of the reasons why the show sold out so fast was that one of Brewery Ommegang’s chief demographics, people in their 20s and early 30s, became fans of Modest Mouse and Brand New at this time, which for many of them were formative years. He also said that the ability to see both bands on the grounds of the craft brewery, and to drink Ommegang’s wares while doing so, is appealing to a number of these fans.

“I think the people are really excited about the experience of the whole night,” said Hamilton.

In addition to beer, both food from Cafe Ommegang and local vendors will be available at the site. The venue will open its doors at 5 p.m. and the show will start at 7 p.m.

Hamilton also gave other reasons behind why the show may have sold out so quickly.

“Modest Mouse hasn’t toured, especially in the northeast, for quite sometime,” said Hamilton.

He also said that Brand New shows also have a reputation of selling out fast.

While Hamilton said that this is not the first time a show has sold out at Brewery Ommegang, he did say that there has never been a hard ticket close before the day of a concert until now.

“Besides Belgium comes to Cooperstown ... this is the fastest we’ve sold an event out,” said Hamilton, referring to the brewery’s annual summer beer festival.

“We expected that it could,” said Dan Smalls, whose company, Dan Smalls Presents, booked the show, when asked about the concert selling out. “We were all sort of blown away by how fast it went.”

Smalls, whose company is in the fourth year of booking shows for Brewery Ommegang, said that bringing Modest Mouse to Brewery Ommegang was a long time in the making.

“The manager (of Modest Mouse) and I are quite good friends,” said Smalls.

He said that he and his company are very selective about the kinds of acts that they bring to Brewery Ommegang, and that both Modest Mouse and Brand New fit into the vibe of the kinds of shows that they are trying to promote.

“Modest Mouse fits perfectly with the mentality: small, perfect show,” said Smalls. “That’s how they (Brewery Ommegang) feel about their beer and that’s how we feel about our events.”

The show selling out has led to some to some frustrations from fans, with complaints about scalping having shown up on the event’s Facebook page. While the tickets for the concert sold for $45, some people on the page said that they’ve seen tickets retailing on StubHub for over $100.

“Unfortunately you can’t stop all scalpers,” said Capozza. “What we recommend is that you just don’t support those people (scalpers).”

“We had a four-ticket limit,” said Smalls, who said that he didn’t think there was an organized effort to buy up the tickets by scalpers.

He also pointed out that reselling tickets is legal in New York and, like Capozza, encouraged people not to support those doing so.

Tickets for the May 23 Modest Mouse with special guest Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls show will go on sale at on March 14 at 10 a.m. Tickets will also go on sale at the brewery on that date. 

Frank Turner is an English folk/punk singer-songwriter.

Smalls said that being able to do a second show had not been expected, and that interest in the May 24 show motivated them to set up the earlier date.

“We always try to facilitate everyone (interested in) seeing a band within reason,” said Smalls.

Tickets will be $45, and will be an additional $15 for the first 1,000 ticket buyers who want to camp.

The May 23 and 24 shows are the first in Brewery Ommegang’s 2014 Summer Concert Series. Last year, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Black Crowes and Grace Potter and the Nocturnals were some of the acts that played at the brewery.

“It’s amazing,” said Smalls, when asked about working with Brewery Ommegang. “We look at it as a pure partnership.”