Singer Billy Joel will perform at Bailey Hall on Dec. 2, according to a Cornell University Program Board press release.
The event, entitled “Billy Joel: An Evening of Questions & Answers ... and a little music,” will primarily focus on conversations between Joel and the audience, according to CUPB Chair Cameron Breen ’12.
“[Joel] wanted to have an intimate setting with the students,” Breen said. “He’s going to talk about his experience being a musician and he’s going to take questions from the audience. It’ll be a really unique opportunity for students and faculty to experience what his life was like.”
Tickets for the show will be distributed using an unprecedented lottery system due to the expected high demand for the event, Cornell Concert Commission Executive Director Harris Nord ’12 said.
Ticket sales will be limited to Cornell students, faculty and staff, who can sign up on the Cornell Concerts website to enter into the lottery. Signups will occur on Oct. 5 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., and winners will be announced that afternoon, according to the press release. Participants will be selected at random Wednesday afternoon to be given an opportunity to purchase actual tickets from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7.
The lottery will reduce the chance that the ticket website crashes and provide Cornellians with equal opportunities to attend the event, Breen said.
Breen called the lottery a “special exception” due to the event’s relatively small venue compared to Barton Hall, where concerts are usually performed. Bailey Hall has a seating capacity of 1,326, according to the University’s website. Barton Hall has a capacity of around 5,000.
David Roger ’13, a Joel fan, said he was looking forward to the intimate atmosphere of Bailey Hall.
“I’ve seen him twice. Both times have been incredible,” Roger said in an email. “But they’ve been with 20,000 and 50,000 other fans, respectively. To be among 1,000 people to see him is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“I’m extremely excited. I’ve never gotten to see him in concert,” James Gladstone ’13 said. “He’s a very intelligent man. I think it’s going to be an interesting atmosphere.”
In response to the lottery system, Gladstone said that he would “rather have the first-come-first-serve” system that is more common for Cornell concerts.
“If people really want to see him enough, they’ll get online early,” he said.
The event will be co-sponsored by CUPB and CCC.
Joel’s music career has spanned four decades and has produced number-one hits like “Piano Man,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” In 1999, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Joel previously appeared at Cornell in 1974 for a concert in Barton Hall and in 1996 at Bailey Hall, where he hosted an event under the same name as December’s performance. The Cornell Daily Sun reported that many people waited more than 30 hours to get tickets to the show. Joel spoke about his life and career and gave Cornellians advice on how to enter the music industry.
“If you think you can, you can,” he said. “If you think you can’t, you won’t.”