Billboard Bits: Stones, American Worship Gathering & More

News on the Rolling Stones, American Worship Gathering & More

StonezMany fans attempting to purchase special pre-sale tickets late for select shows on the Rolling Stones' upcoming North American tour found themselves in Internet-related agony earlier this week. Fans had to join Sam Goody and Clear Channel Entertainment's GetAccess program for a cost of $60 for the ability to purchase tickets before they went on sale to the general public. But overwhelming demand clogged servers nearly all day Wednesday, leaving scores of fans without seats.

By yesterday morning, things were running a bit more smoothly, according to a Clear Channel spokesperson, and pre-sale seats to at least five shows had sold out. At deadline, tickets remained available for more than 20 additional shows.

The spokesperson said Clear Channel is aware that many fans were shut out and that refunds are being made available through a customer service hotline (800-632-9237). Fans can also send an email to with the subject line "refund request" and are urged to include their name and day and evening phone numbers.

Tickets for Rolling Stones shows in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco will go on sale through traditional retail and online outlets Sunday.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

JaciJaci Velasquez, Don Moen, Crystal Lewis, tobyMac and Michael Tait of dc Talk, Jeff Deyo, Cyndi Frame, Sheila E., Out Of Eden, Bob Fitts, Lenny LeBlanc, Marcos Vidal, and Tommy Walker are among those slated to participate in the American Worship Gathering, set for May 25 at the foot of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. The event is being billed as the largest worship event ever held in the U.S., with more than 100,000 people expected to attend.

The performances will be recorded and released, to benefit the Todd M. Beamer Foundation. Lisa Beamer, whose husband, Todd, died in the United Airlines Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania last Sept. 11, launched the foundation to aid children who lost parents in the tragedy. A special remembrance service will be held at the Pentagon on May 27.

Several other concerts are on tap for the weekend. Lewis, Walker, and Kent Henry will be part of An Evening of Praise and Worship at Constitution Hall on May 24. tobyMac, Tait, Out Of Eden, Chris Tomlin, and Louie Giglio will be featured at Constitution Hall at 8:30 p.m. on May 25 in the Praise All Night event. Brooks, Abraham Laboriel, Justo Almario, Sheila E., Paul Jackson Jr., and friends will perform at the Superband Jam and Musician's Seminar at Constitution Hall at 3 p.m. on May 26, and at 7:30 p.m., Velasquez, Vidal and the All-America Kids Choir will perform at the venue.

-- Deborah Evans Price, Nashville

Sir GravGravity Kills keyboardist Doug Firley dropped a custom-made, spring-loaded keyboard on his hand, shattering the bones in his right ring finger during a May 3 show in Allentown, Pa. "Doug is feeling fine (apart from the whole broken finger thing) and hopes to make a rapid recovery," reads a message posted on the band's official Web site, which also boasts an x-ray of Firley's finger.

The band finished the show without Firley, then promptly returned to its St. Louis homebase to consult an orthopedic surgeon to repair the damage to his hand. Scheduled tour dates through tomorrow (May 11) were canceled to allow the keyboardist time to heal.

Gravity Kills expects to perform at a trio of upcoming radio station sponsored festivals: May 19 in Brockton, Mass., for WAAF Worcester's Big Field Day; June 2 in Morrison, Colo., for KBPI's Birthday Bash; and June 16 at KXTE Las Vegas' Our Big Concert. As reported earlier this week, Gravity Kills is among the bands featured on this summer's Locabazooka festival tour, kicking off June 27 in Milwaukee.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.