In light of the recently announced Barstool Blackout Tour, which was voted in a Facebook contest to be held at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield on Feb. 8, 2013, it appears Springfield College had blocked Ticketmaster.com in an effort to halt ticket purchases. Students who tried accessing the site through the college’s SCMOBILE Wi-Fi option receive a “Forbidden” message. Tickets went on sale earlier this week.
The Blackout Tour, despite its name, is a reference to the black lights portion of the show, and not getting blackout drunk. While most college students who have attended previous shows rave about the event, the tour has sparked controversy in some areas of the country.
In April, police in Montclair, N.J. shut down the Blackout Tour when 24 attendees were hospitalized for intoxication. At another foam party in Boston, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission confiscated over 300 false IDs.
ABC News, which reported the arrests, interviewed founder Dave Portnoy, who said, “Almost no drinking is happening at it. I’m sure there’s a few kids that drink beforehand, but it’s not different than any other concert or sporting event that goes on in the country.”
Students on campus have strongly voiced their opinions via social media and word of mouth, most disagreeing with the schools’ decision to allegedly block the site. Portnoy, whose nickname is “El Pres,” tweeted, “Anybody who can’t get online to buy Ma Mutual tickets can call venue and purchase. 800.745.3000.”
While most students have found alternate ways to buy tickets, they remain upset.
“I can just go to my friend’s house and use the Wi-Fi there,” said SC student Dylan Peterson. “But then again it is 50 bucks. But don’t they say, ‘The best thing to spend your money on are experiences?’”
Another student, who chose to remain anonymous, said, “I think they are just looking at the reputation of this event and trying to protect the well-being of the students.”
Given that the event has a racy reputation, it is understandable for the school to want to disassociate their name with the event, but allegedly blocking the website has prevented more than simply the inability to purchase Blackout Tour tickets.
“I don’t think Springfield [College] has the right to do that,” said junior Joe Vecchio. “If somebody were to want tickets to a Celtics’ game tomorrow night, they wouldn’t be able to buy it because of this. And not only that, but Barstool works to put on shows like this. They spend money. They shouldn’t have schools blocking sites to prevent ticket sales.”
The concert will be held on Feb. 8 at the MassMutual Center, and tickets are expected to sell out.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students David Braverman could not be reached on Dec. 5 for comment because he was out of the office due to other obligations.