A reported one to two million people attended the inauguration today. For the amount of glowing reports about how many people attended, who would have thought that certain inaugural parties are being cancelled due to lack of interest?
The Washington Post’s gossip columnists Roxanne Roberts and Amy Argetsinger reported today that those with official ball tickets sponsored by the Presidential Inaugural Committee will have no problems partying the night away at these affairs.
On the other hand, if you were neither swift nor well connected enough to get an official ball ticket, attending other unofficial inaugural parties around DC could have been another option.
Unfortunately, according to the Washington Post, many of these gatherings have become a little less expensive or are getting the shaft completely (emphasis mine:)
The People's Ball at the Grand Hyatt announced a blue-light special yesterday: Tickets slashed $100 -- to $250! The American Music Ball, hosted by Dionne Warwick, which planned two big-name events at the Marriott Wardman Park, was scrambling to sell enough tickets ($450 for the Legends ball with George Clinton, Chaka Khan and the Temptations; $350 for the Urban ball with Ludacris, Fantasia, and Cedric the Entertainer) for the show to go on -- and it wasn't looking good last night, said sources.
The "Heroes Red, White & Blue" Ball at the Warner Theatre with Jamie Foxx, rapper Nas, guitarist Slash, and gospel star Donnie McClurkin scrapped its entire lineup and subbed in a band called Memphis Gold, reports our colleague Richard Leiby. "There will be a performance, but not as previously listed," said publicist Linda Roth. Ditto for the after-party with disco stars Chic, who were stunned by the sudden cancellation. Singer Sylver Logan Sharp told us in an e-mail: "I can't express how sick I am over this."
And the Veterans Ball at the St. Regis Hotel? Canceled -- and promoter Dante Hayes is nowhere to be found, the Navy Times reported yesterday. Tickets for the party (not to be confused with the official Commander-in-Chief Ball for the military) went for up to $385 on the Congressional Education Foundation for Public Policy's website Web site, which abruptly shut down yesterday.
What happened? Not enough demand for high-price unofficial celebrations with no drop-bys from the Obamas. Only groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the Creative Coalition -- with lists of long-time supporters -- were able to fill ballrooms.
While the majority of inaugural attendees may not have been able to get hold of official inauguration ball tickets, most were likely not able to afford the pricey tickets to unofficial inaugural parties in DC.
Will the very wealthy and special interests have the only access to the new president? If this is how the Obama administration plans to operate, many of his supporters may be in for a pretty sour surprise, and the disappointment of missing a party with celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Nas will seem pretty small.