So, Who Are Those People Camping On The Sidewalk?

And they’re camping on sofas?
BY: BITSY LYLE

Sarah flew in from Chicago, Jim and Sue are here from Maryland. They’re all on the sidewalk in front of Cabo Wabo

They met at the Sammy Hagar show four years ago and today, as they have for the past four years, they’re camped out on the sidewalk, side by side, outside the concert venue, Cabo Wabo. They’re not alone there are a hundred or so fans who didn’t make the cut who have gone home empty-handed, while 50 fans who earned their lucky red ticket are pleased as punch to have made the cut. Maybe next year. Sammy is here for his three birthday concerts, performances he gives at the club he owns, every year on his birthday. The police asked him not to give out tickets willy nilly for free to whoever shows up because the crowds clogged up the streets. And nowadays with the internet, it’s just easier for everyone to get their tickets online. But he still sells 50 tickets each day to first come, first served. That would be the first 50 in line.

These fans, (that word comes from the word fanatics for a reason), are determined and prepared. Take Cindy from Iowa and Greg and Deb Kelly, from Alaska, who together snagged the first place in line this year. They’ve been hunkered down (with a trusty air mattress) for 28 hours and have a few more hours to go until noon today when they file into the club with the 47 others who will be given a red ticket. Then for $120 each, they trade those red tickets in for a small patch of floor space for the Tuesday show.

But that’s not the end: Cindy will hold their place in line so they get the red ticket for the next two shows. Mind you, there aren’t any seats. These are standing room only tickets. On the night of the shows, these same die-hard campers are admitted at 6 pm and stand there until 9:30-10 pm when Sammy charges out and they’ll remain standing and dancing for a couple more hours.

“Why do we do it?”, a bemused Sarah, who flew here from Chicago and will be camped out for two more days, asked herself. “ I used to drive past people like us, sitting on the sidewalk for hours, and shake my head saying I would never do that. But I met these friends, Jim and Sue, at a show four years ago and here we are every year, four years later and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.” She isn’t interested in the tourist stuff like the pool or margaritas or fishing, she wants to see Sammy, the Red Rocker, and the only rocker she goes to see and that’s how she spends her annual vacation. “This is old home week”, chimed in Jim (comfy in an air-pumped BarcaLounger), “these fellow Red Heads have become our chosen family!”.