Instead of handing out wristbands to note your eligibility to drink beer, the DECC workers should have stamped “chump” on the forehead of each fan who painstakingly waited in line for a cold one before Wilco’s concert last weekend in Duluth.
Besides the sticker shock of $6.75 per large beer, that sucker feeling was inevitable as a long — seemingly immovable — line lead fans to only three servers.
That’s one server for each 733 fans at the show!
Moreover, the wait was not worth a generic domestic!
Before Wilco’s set, this fan stood in line for about two minutes only to move his feet once or twice. Once this sad sap realized his futility, he headed into the venue and overheard a few rumblings from disgruntled and obviously thirsty fans.
“That line is ridiculous!” one guy said to his gal.
“What are they thinking? I guess the DECC doesn’t want to make money!” another dude said.
But the DECC did make money. (During the middle of Wilco’s set, this fan relented and ordered two cold ones, and waited in a much shorter line.)
Dan Russell, executive director of the DECC, said the amount of beer sold — $15,000 worth — was more than double any other auditorium show in his 20 years.
“I saw how hard they were working, but we didn’t anticipate it,” Russell said. “It was a Friday night, and Wilco fans seem thirsty. … We just got slammed.”
Another complication was the beer line blocked the entrance to the auditorium. The set up left a 20-yard-long beer line and a less than 5-foot sliver for fans to navigate from the lobby to the concert.
“It was more people in the beer line than we expected,” Russell said. “There was really no other place that we could put that with the sports show going on.”
The DECC made some money on beer, but what could the return have been if people could have easy access to a brewed beverage?