Free is good. That's why the Yahoo! on the Road tour and Boise Music Festival are such cool promotions.
Yahoo! on the Road is a month-long trek stopping May 28 at the Revolution Center. Hot folk-rockers The Lumineers will headline.
The Boise Music Festival is an annual opportunity for lazy snarkers to take music-snob potshots - and for tens of thousands of Idahoans to party outdoors at Expo Idaho. This summer's July 27 concert will be spearheaded by Carly Rae Jepsen, Candlebox, Jason Derulo, Hinder, Vanilla Ice, DJ Pauly D (of MTV's "Jersey Shore") and Dakota Bradley.
Both events are custom-built to create buzz. Both require free tickets. But snagging those tickets takes two different approaches.
I'm asked almost daily about how to get into the Lumineers gig. Here's the three-part answer: 1) Be patient; 2) Watch the Yahoo! on the Road website (Google it to be a smarty-pants); 3) Be prepared to hustle on or around May 28.
"Most of the tickets are going to be given away once we arrive in Boise on day-of," a Yahoo! manager revealed to me this week via email. "However, there will be opportunities for fans to win advance tickets and VIP experiences in advance. These will be announced on our site, via Facebook, and Twitter."
This week, we saw how things might work. On May 1, ticket information about the first stop of the Yahoo! tour - John Legend on May 3 in New York - was unveiled on the website. Several New York locations were listed where fans could go May 2 and pick up a voucher from the Yahoo! team - "after interacting with Yahoo! apps like Flickr and Yahoo! Weather."
Hours after the details were posted, free tickets suddenly were dispensed by Ticketmaster, too - surprising fans left out in the cold on the Yahoo! Facebook page: "Whoever is doing the social media for this Yahoo page needs to be fired ASAP," complained one. "Complete and utter shambles," groused another.
Any fan who did land a voucher can redeem it at the Legend show for a ticket. But the Yahoo! website offers this grave caveat: "Be sure to get there early because doors open at 7 p.m. ET, and vouchers are exchanged for tickets on a first-come, first-served basis. No more vouchers will be accepted when the Palace Theatre is at capacity."
Brother. Does it have to be this complicated? Kudos to Yahoo! for doing this tour, but it seems like things could be simpler.
When ticket details become available about The Lumineers gig in Garden City, I'll tweet them and post them on my blog. Then you can go to work chasing down that ticket. Nothing's really free, right?
Actually, don't be so sure.
Assuming you don't count the gas money spent to go grab your ticket, the Boise Music Festival takes very little investment.
Organizer Peak Broadcasting plans to give away 70,000 to 90,000 tickets through contests at its six radio stations, partner stations in neighboring states, and at Treasure Valley sponsor locations. Just listen or go to boisemusicfestival.com for details. You have a couple months to get a ticket. Or, if you hate contests, you can always just drop $20 at ICTickets beginning May 6.
The Boise Music Festival prides itself on appealing to a variety of mainstream music fans. Laugh all you want at Vanilla Ice, who's used a hammer to build a new career as a reality-TV handyman. I promise that half of Idaho will bounce around like fools when the opening bass line of "Ice Ice Baby" starts blasting over the sound system.
And you thought the ladies loved cool James last year? (I'm talking about LL Cool J, guys.) Wait 'til you see them line up and squeal for Pauly D. (Sad but true.)
Pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen is a timely act. Her worldwide smash "Call Me Maybe" was THE song of last summer and one of the biggest-selling digital singles of all time.
Grunge-lite band Candlebox plans to perform its entire, multi-platinum 1993 debut album. Bad boys Hinder have always struck me as a facsimile of Buckcherry (which borrows liberally from other bands itself).
But hey: Candlebox and Hinder will crank things up and rock - something the pop-loving Boise Music Festival usually doesn't do all that much. (Think urban act Jason Derulo or teenage country singer Dakota Bradley.)
Besides, it's all free. Say what you will: Free rocks. Always.
Michael Deeds' column runs Fridays and Sundays. He co-hosts "The Other Studio" at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM "The River" and appears Thursdays on Channel 6 News.