Billy Bob's Made Its Fundraising Goal for a Jack White Concert, But Now Comes the Hard Part
Billy Bob's has got something for you to think about, Jack
Mary Ellen Matthews
Last month, in the wake of all the controversy surrounding Jack White's guacamole-fueled non-controversy, we took the opportunity to lobby White for a long-overdue return to Dallas. It's been six long years since he last played here. Well, at least on local venue took the idea to heart: Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky tonk, announced an ingenious plan to bring him back. Now it looks as though this year or next may really see him return to our fair city. Well, Fort Worth, anyway.
In an effort to demonstrate a Dallas audience's enthusiasm for White, Billy Bob's used Tilt, a crowdfunding platform, to sell over 2,700 tickets in just short of a week. An update posted to the campaign's Tilt page today announced that it had been fully funded. Somewhat surprisingly, over 1,100 North Texans purchased tickets to pledge their support for this hypothetical show.
At $50 each, the tickets are about what you would expect to pay to see White play, and one could even consider them a bargain if you think about all those Ticketmaster fees that would be circumvented. In a comment posted to the Tilt page, Billy Bob's pointed out that Daru Jones, Jack White's tour drummer, had posted a link to the crowdfunding campaign on his official Facebook page, which could indicate that White at least knows about Billy Bob's efforts.
But therein lies the real problem with crowdfunding concerts, especially at a venue that has existed for over 30 years. Billy Bob's isn't a small, upstart festival that's trying to catch a break -- it's a bona fide legend, a place where new country artists are christened as stars. So they shouldn't really need a crowdfunding campaign to bring White here, should they? The tickets may be accounted for, but that's not to say that the battle isn't already lost.
White shouldn't need this kind of show of good faith to come to Dallas. He has sold venues out here before, and it is clear that there are plenty of fans who appreciate how his career has grown as a solo artist in recent years. Our city is one of the largest media markets in the country, which allows us to continually attract an impressive calendar of concerts of all genres. If Beyoncé can come to Dallas without persuasion, so can Jack White.
Ultimately, though, after all the press and hoopla, White very well could say no. There are plenty of people who think that this show just won't happen, even those of us who purchased tickets. The money will be refunded if it doesn't go off -- no harm, no foul -- but what does that say about future attempts to bring White to Dallas? Have we been blacklisted for non-guacamole-related reasons?
Should it happen, though, this show at Billy Bob's would likely be one of the biggest of the year, whether it occurs later this year or in early 2016. If you ask us, bringing White to Billy Bob's is the biggest no-brainer of all time, no crowdfunding campaign necessary.
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