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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, March 30, 2006

Stage is set for crater concert

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer


Performers at the Diamond Head Crater Celebration, in the order of appearance: Kenny Endo's Taiko Center of the Pacific; Sonny Ching with Halau Na Mamo O Pu'uanahulu; Honolulu Symphony with special guests Na Leo, Yvonne Elliman and Pops conductor Matt Catingub; WAR; Linda Ronstadt and the Steve Miller Band.

Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.com, the Blaisdell Arena box office, and by calling toll-free (877) 750-4400.

For more information, go to www.cratercelebration.com.

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Barring severe weather, the first Diamond Head Crater Celebration in 30 years will happen Saturday.

Workers were setting up stages, stands, food booths, restrooms and big-screen video stands yesterday. The state is closing the Diamond Head State Monument all day for the event, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and end after 8.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which oversees the monument, has been monitoring the work, said Peter Young, department chairman.

"It's all part of the plan to erect the stage and tents," Young said. "Our staff has been there checking on the progress."

The stage has been erected on the level grassy area at the crater floor, Young said. No endangered or threatened species are being placed at risk because of the concert.

If the event goes off as planned, the popular tourist destination will resume its regular hours on Sunday, opening at 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, Ron Gibson, the concert producer, has been checking every available weather Web site.

"It's a rain-or-shine event," Gibson said. "We do have a backup day Sunday but that would be terribly hard to arrange with the talent and everything else."

Tickets, which range from $125 to $175, have been on sale since Jan. 28, Gibson said.

No tickets will be sold at the crater, nor can people drive to the crater to buy tickets. All sales on the day of the event will be from the Waikiki Shell. Gibson said concert-goers must catch a shuttle bus the price is included in the ticket sales. Three lots downtown, Hawai'i Kai and Diamond Head have been designated and the location and departure time are printed on the event tickets, Gibson said.

Those conditions were levied on the event producer in order to mollify resident concerns about traffic and noise and too many people trying to sneak into the event all problems that caused the concerts to be discontinued. Gibson has spent roughly two years planning the event, which he hopes to continue next year with a weeklong music festival that may or may not include Diamond Head Crater.

"It will be an outrageous event," Gibson said. "The venue is so green. It looks like Kane'ohe. Bring your memories, but enjoy what's here today."

Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com.