Organizer of Dave Chappelle benefit show to disappointed fans: ‘Fear not,’ premium tickets are ‘A Level’

Organizer said he takes responsibility that exact seat locations were not conveyed to WYSO donors, willing to make it right with disappointed fans.

An organizer of Dave Chappelle's upcoming WYSO benefit show in Dayton says he regrets that more precise information was not conveyed about the location of some of the premium tickets offered with a $365 donation to the radio station.

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Luke Dennis, WYSO 91.3 FM's development director, said tickets were described as floor seats in media stories and on air during the station's spring fund drive.

Although about 85 percent of the seats are on the floor in the orchestra and loge sections, about 100 pairs are located in the lower balcony.

Dennis said he thinks most people will be happy despite the incomplete information.

“All of the seats included in the $365 level are ‘A level’ seats,” he said.

Chappelle is set to perform 8 p.m. June 12 at the Schuster Center, 1 West Second St. in downtown Dayton.

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Proceeds raised by the show will support WYSO as it moves to be an independent station.

A letter was emailed to donors with the following message on May 13:

“Your generous donation made our spring membership drive our most successful drive ever. Due to the high demand for these pre-sale tickets, we used every seat in the orchestra and loge sections and needed to assign around 15% of you to the first few rows of the lower balcony. Fear not: these lower balcony seats are great seats with prime views of the stage, and in my opinion the sound is excellent up there, out from under any overhang.”

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Dennis said he has fielded calls from concerned donors and has handled situations case by case.

Credit: Michael Kovac

Credit: Michael Kovac

He said he takes full responsibility for the misinformation, saying people should have been told that seats would be in the orchestra, loge and the first few rows of the lower balcony.

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“We made a mistake definitely. We should not have said floor seats so often,” he said.

“We did not go into that level or specificity (on seat location), but we should have. We are not trying to deceive people.”

Dennis said he wants Chappelle fans will be pleased with their decision to support WYSO.

“I am so grateful for people who made that big donation, and I want to make it right for those who want to talk to me.”

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About 700 people called the station between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 23.

The remaining 800 tickets were sold May 10 between 10 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. directly to the public for either

$69.50 and $89.50 through Ticket Center Stage, the Victoria Theatre Association’s ticketing agency.

About 4,000 people were in an online queue to get the least expensive tickets before they sold out.


Dennis said as much as $320,000 is expected to be raised by the concert.

Proceeds will benefit the NPR affiliate as it transitions into an independent radio station.

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The station’s newly formed nonprofit organization took control of WYSO from Antioch College for $3.5 million on April 1 after a fundraising drive led by a donation from Charles Berry, an heir of the Berry family that founded the Yellow Pages.

The Yellow Springs based nonprofit is still awaiting final approval from the Federal Communications Commission of the license transfer.

WYSO officials met with Chappelle and his wife, Elaine, a few weeks ago as part of their efforts to secure funds for the transition.

He volunteered to do a show to benefit the nonprofit, allowing it to use the money raised as it sees fit.

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