NEWS- Dry idea: Prine bans booze during show

Folk singer and songwriter John Prine, 60, insists that his immediate audience not drink while he performs.

Folk legend John Prine's signature song is "Illegal Smile," but some of his fans weren't smiling when they discovered they couldn't consume legal beverages if they were sitting in the primo seats under the canopy during his performance August 18 at the Charlottesville Pavilion.

"I found it very bizarre," says attendee Tom Daly. "People paid a lot of money and didn't know they couldn't drink alcohol at an event sponsored by Budweiser." 

Although attendees sitting under the canopy– where the seats cost up to $50– were asked not to drink after 8pm when Prine came on stage, it was perfectly okay for people on the lawn or in the concession area to have a drink.

The alcohol-free zone was written into Prine's contract, explains Pavilion general manager Kirby Hutto: "I wouldn't call it common, but it is at the artist's discretion." 

According to Hutto, Prine's manager said, "John used to play bars early in his career and now doesn't play bars or any place that serves alcohol." 

People attending were advised by signage at the show and by Pavilion staff, Hutto says.

"This is nothing out of the ordinary," he adds. "We have a show coming up this Sunday with no alcohol." That would be Third Day, a Christian band. 

"I think people should have been advised before the concert," says longtime fan Sandy Seal, who had lawn seats at the show. "If I was going to pay that much money and was told I couldn't drink when he came on, I would have been [annoyed]."

Seal says she heard beer-sellers at the Pavilion tell patrons that Prine is a recovering alcoholic, hence the booze ban.

"Just because someone is a recovering alcoholic doesn't mean you can demand no one else drink," says Seal.

Prine's manager, Al Bunetta, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Hutto says he received "zero" complaints about the suspension of suds during the Prine show. "People had two hours to drink," he says. "Once the show starts, the focus should be the music."



Its just like smoking. I am an ex-2 pack a day smoker and I can't stand the smell of smoke. Booze stink as well. Stop whining like a baby and suck it pun intended.

What a total crock! You find that out after you've forked over the dough for a premium ticket? I'd be outraged and want a refund. Plus I think I might explore the possibility of suing the promoters on the grounds of false advertising. Another example of the whims of these capricious celebrities who have little or no regard for those who support them.

Drink This - how about forking over your hard earned dough to see and HEAR a real master at work only to have the people around you, talk and sing over the performer, constantly get up and down to buy drinks.... Or how about getting a beer poured down your back. I love to have a drink and party, but when its a concert not a party - especially John Prine where every word and action is the best to watch, I will forego the drinks until after... Sue the promoter for false advertising is ridiculous. I don't think they advertised cocktails and Prine.... it's 2 hours, hardly enough for anyone to get the DT's over, and hardly worth suing over, you paid to hear John Prine and we got 2+ hours of the from a master - stay in your seat and listen...... good grief.

If everyone could be trusted to drink responsibly, then this wouldn't even be an issue, but there's always a few who think they are back in the 70's at a $5 concert - stay home turn on your stereo and relive the 70's.