By Ben Olson
The Festival at Sandpoint announced Wednesday that it was doing away with the “number line” system it has used for the past decade, replacing it with tiered pricing for early entry.
Executive director Dyno Wahl said the change came about after input from both local and out of town ticket buyers who could not participate in the early morning ritual of standing in line to obtain a number for preferred seating.
The Festival now offers tiered ticket pricing for general admission and early entry. Season Pass holders can also opt to upgrade to early entry for their choice of shows.
“While recognizing that it is impossible to please everyone, we think this plan is fair to all and reflects how concert venues operate across the country where there is a choice of pricing depending on how close you want to be,” said Wahl.
Festival fans can now choose from a variety of options. The “Keepin’ it Simple” plan is a basic general admission ticket where fans pay regular price for tickets and come to the venue whenever they’re ready, line up and enter the venue at posted gate times.
The “Need to be Closer” plan charges fans $25 extra to enter the venue through the new lakeside early entry gate 10 minutes before the general admission. There are only 300 early entries available for Friday and Saturday shows, so they are expected to sell out. This is an automatic benefit for Patrons and Sponsors.
The “Donor” is when a patron donates $1,500, buying them two season passes with early entry for Friday and Saturday nights as well as tax donation benefits. The Patron/Sponsor gate located to the left of the Main Gate on Ontario St. will also open 10 minutes early.
Season Pass holders can call or visit the Festival to upgrade any or all of the Friday or Saturday night tickets for $25 each. If pass holders choose not to upgrade, the Season Pass still saves them half on all concerts as usual. With the upgrades, pass holders save 30 percent.
Because Thursday and Sunday concerts usually have shorter ticket lines, general admission pricing will apply.
“Our goal is to improve the Festival experience, make it fair for fans from near and far and minimize the time spent in line,” said Wahl. “We will see how this new system works this year, and reevaluate for the future.”
Call (208) 265-4554 or visit the Festival office for more information.