I live within spitting distance of the Kennedy Center so for my morning walk, I went down around 9AM to see if Sufjan fanatics had really camped out all night in freezing temperatures for a free ticket to hear Sufjan play here (with an orchestra) on February 5th. I point out that normally his tickets are about $15.00 or so and can be bought off the Internet. And even though he's to be accompanied by an orchestra, he's only playing for an hour (and it will be broadcast live in pretty decent sound quality). Just sayin'...
I don't have pictures (damn me) but the entire left side of the Kennedy Center was full of people - I'd say thousands, hoping to get their tix. Several tents were being taken down as I walked by. By the time I arrived, of course, getting a ticket to a 2400 hundred seat theater when there were thousands in front was out of the question - but I decided to get into the action and stood/sat for an hour in line for free tickets to the National Symphony Orchestra (normally $40-70) - they'll be playing Pictures at An Exhibition the same day that St. Sufjan arrives to spread his bliss upon the Potomac.
Check out both the triumphant and the whining bloggers:
"Fuck you, Kennedy Center! I spent three hours (6:30 - 9:30) waiting in the freezing cold for tickets to the Sufjan Stevens concert in February.
They ran out of tickets about 150 people in front of me. I was sad." - daily scribblings
"but for real, it was awesome. we met a lot of people, like our neighbors, these kids from jmu we dubbed "the scrabble tent" because they brought scrabble with them. some of the jammin' java folks were there too, aka "acapulco blanket" since that's all alfonso brought with him. i was representing "babar tent," named so because of the babar blanket that laid on top of our makeshift abode.
it was freezing for the majority of the night, but spooning for warmth kind of helps, plus i brought s'mores supplies and a chafing dish with which to roast the marshmallows. all in all, it was pretty fun, and definitely worth it." - ian with a j
"As we turned the corner I could only laugh...probably 1500 people in line and if you do the math (2 tickets each) we were shit out of luck. Oh well, I guess the memories of his last two shows will have to suffice for now. Hopefully we will see him again at 930 in the near future. Apparently, you had to camp out from Friday to have a chance at getting a ticket to see Sufjan Stevens next week for free at the Kennedy Center. Waiting in the cold for two hours on a Saturday morning was not hardcore enough. Oh well. At least we got killer brunch at Open City.
Oh and never get involved in a land war in Asia. It's one of the classic blunders. " - edinuk
I am frozen, and exhausted, but I hold in my hand two tickets to Sufjan Stevens at the Kennedy Center, February 5. It was a long, long journey.
Then, a random and spontaneous IM from a SuperFriend, and after explaining the situation to him, we were off to D.C. in a flash! We got there at 5 AM, and were still around about 450-500 deep in line. And it was cold. It was freezing. My feet became numb countless numbers of times, and my legs are STILL blue. I had a blanket, though, so we huddled and we waited and we waited and we huddled.
In one of the most surprising acts of charity that's ever happened to me, just at dawn, a stranger came up to me, said I looked cold, and gave me a cup of coffee.
Sunlight made the air a little warmer, and all in all, we survived waiting in line as more and more people flocked in, and we made it inside, and we GOT OUR TICKETS.
I cannot wait for November 5." (uh, it's Febuary 5th, dood) - nouex
Taylor Kate has pictures of the mobscene... alas, she didn't get tickets.
More pictures at Kings of the Road
Lovely Miss Jess summarizes the scene in one sentence and passes on the big news for those that didn't camp out yet still want to commune with others near His Sufjanness:
Hipsters win. I lose.
My only consolation came in the form of a little blue slip. The KC staff passed them out to us poor bastards in the late half of the line. It said that they'll do a live broadcast in the Grand Foyer, and if you bring a chair, you can still catch the show.
Although on second thought, Sufjan fans really aren't hipsters anymore, are they?
And since everybody played nice, here's a Sufjan piece from the Indie Baby compilation, See You On The Moon (fri) and also appeared in Volume 3 of his Christmas box set.
"The Friendly Beasts"
Hey guys, welcome to my neighborhood. I would have offered you my bathroom for a shower and respite but I was, like, sleeping in warmth.
UPDATE: What does it cost to camp out in the cold over night with a buddy? $600 for four tickets.
UPDATE to the UPDATE: More fanaticism and pictures in Can This Pilgrim Make Progress?:
People around us who had made the sacrifice to come out here in the frigid cold starting to realize that the sacrifice was about to bear some amazing fruit, like some very amazing tickets... In fact, this guy who finally received his tickets, was jumping up and down and screaming, "This is so worth it - Sufjan you are so worth it!!!"
And at The Luck of 13th Street, Kennedy Center personnel confirm that Sufjan is perhaps bigger than The Messiah:
Three hours later, unlucky and unthinking people are still lining up, looking either incredibly awed or incredibly depressed at the sheer number of other people ahead of them. Over a thousand, we guess. The security guards say this kind of turnout only happens two or three times a year, and the only time it was even close to this amount of people was for the Messiah Sing-a-long.