Tickets lure in a big crowd

More than 2,500 people line up for free tickets to Saturday's Selena Gomez performance.

March 24, 2011|By Sarah Peters,
  • Zach Mikol, 18, of Costa Mesa, high-fives employees as he enters the new Microsoft store during its grand opening at South Coast Plaza on Thursday.
Zach Mikol, 18, of Costa Mesa, high-fives employees as… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Orange Coast College students Zach Mikol and Brittaney Beckworth lined up at 1 a.m. for Thursday's opening of the new Microsoft store at South Coast Plaza.

The pair were second and third in a line that stretched more than 2,500 shoppers deep.

They waited for hours in the morning cold for Microsoft's second Orange County store to open, so they could grab one of the 950 pairs of free tickets to a Selena Gomez concert, which the store handed out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gomez, a Disney star, is to perform an exclusive concert 2 p.m. Saturday in the South Coast Plaza parking lot at Sunflower Avenue and Bear Street, shopping center officials said.

Mikol and Beckworth were also among the store's first 150 visitors who will have a chance to meet the singer after the concert and get her autograph.

Beckworth said the long wait for the chance to meet a teen idol, who became famous after starring on the Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place," was well worth it.


"She's a role model for girls because of how she presents herself," said Beckworth, 19, of Fountain Valley, who admitted being more interested in the tickets than in the new store.

"You can tell by just how she presents herself," she said. "She doesn't dress scandalously, she's always tasteful, and in her music videos she's never doing anything promiscuous."

South Coast's parking lot was fairly quiet until 3 a.m., which was when the crowd started building up outside the shopping center doors, said Mikol, 18, of Costa Mesa.

"There were a couple of false starts," Mikol said. "We got kicked out a couple of times."

Mikol said they saw people running and a few of them slip and fall in the rush into the center.

"It's her fan base," Mikol said. "It's not that much about Microsoft; it's her fans. They're all here for Selena."

Sure enough, as the countdown commenced and brightly outfitted Microsoft team members with microphones tried to lead the crowd in a countdown from 7 — as in Windows 7 — and a cheer for South Coast Plaza, few people in the line that snaked around the carousel and back to Bloomingdale's joined in.

Michael Burger, 49, of Irvine, was the first to enter the store through a tunnel of hand-slapping and cheering team members.

"I'm mostly here for the tickets," Burger said. "They're for my daughter, but I'm a fan of Microsoft also, so it's a win for both of us."

The tickets will be a surprise for his 12-year-old Emily.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles