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Three Dog Night to perform in front of sold out crowd

Feb 22

Written by:
Friday, February 22, 2013  RssIcon

from The Star Press 

MUNCIE — Three Dog Night is used to singing “Jeremiah was a bulldog” in front of sold out crowds, and that will definitely be the case in Muncie.

The band will headline Rialzo IV, the gala fundraiser for Meridian Health Services.

“This is the fourth year, and I think word’s getting out that you have to get your tickets early, you have to make your reservations early, if you want to come to Rialzo,” said Al Rent, chairperson of the Rialzo committee. “That being said, I was still amazed. I was hoping to be close to 700 people this year, but to sell out a month before the event is just amazing.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 780 people have reserved seats for the event at the Horizon Convention Center with 30 names on a waitlist.

Nearly half of those seats come from corporate sponsors — businesses that have donated services or funds toward the event — but close to 400 seats have been bought by individuals.

Traditionally in May, this year’s Rialzo was moved to March due to the busy nature of a month that includes Mother’s Day, graduations and trips to summer homes.

This move is only part of the reason for the increase in ticket purchases, according to Rialzo organizers.

The popularity of Three Dog Night might have also played a role in the quick sales. Organizers have also shared stories of people stopping them to relive stories of the band’s concerts from the 1970s.

But the recipients of the gala’s proceeds — Meridian Health Services as well as Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Muncie Civic Theatre and the Muncie Symphony Orchestra — are believed to be the true reason for the strong sales.

“I was really surprised by the number of individual tickets,” said Scott Smalstig, Meridian’s vice president for fund development. “We asked people last year about what we could do to make this event better and we really listened to what they had to say. This is more than a party. It’s a party with a purpose and we want as many people there as possible.”

The proceeds from last year’s Rialzo — headlined by the Pointer Sisters — raised money for MHS’ children services, funding the “Wheeling for Healing” mobile program for local schoolchildren.

In the future — actually for the next six years — Rialzo will be during the second weekend of April.

Bands haven’t been chosen for the future galas, but if this event is any indication of future sales, get your tickets now, according to organizers.

The first year, 350 people attended the gala. Now, they’ve more than doubled that amount.

“There are great events in Muncie, but we really are trying to make this the event,” Rent said. “I always thought if we ever sold out of tickets. we’d be there. Lo and behold, that’s where we are.”

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