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Michelle Obama ’85's book tour sells fast, tickets go high

Michelle Obama ’85 will begin her book tour in November

Michelle Obama ’85 will begin her book tour for her upcoming memoir "Becoming" in November. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 will begin a book tour for her upcoming memoir, “Becoming,” next month.

The 10-city tour will travel from Chicago to Dallas to Brooklyn for 12 events in which Obama will discuss her memoir. Venues include major arenas like the Barclays Center, the Capital One Arena, and the United Center, each of which hold about 20,000 people. Since the tour’s announcement on Sept. 12, two events have been added to the initial 10-event schedule after tickets quickly sold out for several stops. Though tickets have been on sale for several weeks, there are still plenty left. Current ticket prices, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, have stirred controversy.


Within hours of going on sale on Sept. 21, cheaper tickets in nosebleed sections sold out. Now, only the more expensive packages remain.

Disappointed fans took to Twitter to voice their surprise. “Michelle Obama is coming to LA next month,” one fan tweeted, “but I’m broke and the tickets are $1,000.” 

Another wrote, “I’m a teacher in America, so I can’t even afford tickets.”


Some fans even tweeted the former first lady to ask if she would buy the tickets for them. 

Others didn’t seem to mind the prices. One fan, who spent $450 on tickets, tweeted, “Absolutely no regrets. I hope she uses my share of the ticket money and buys something outrageously extravagant for herself.”

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But, according to The Washington Post, Obama will not be receiving all of the proceeds.

Obama and events promoter Live Nation both said that 10 percent of the sales from the tour will be paid to “local charities, schools, and community groups.”

Since the tour’s announcement, Obama has thanked fans for their enthusiasm for the tour.

“Truly humbled for the response to my upcoming book tour,” she tweeted. “I can’t wait to share BECOMING with all of you & hope to see you somewhere along the way.”

“Becoming” is a personal account of Obama’s childhood, life in the White House, and her public health campaigns as first lady. A million copies of the memoir will be donated to First Book, a nonprofit which provides educational materials to children.

Obama is not the only first lady to hold a book tour.

Hillary Clinton launched a 13-city tour following the 2016 presidential elections and the release of her book, “What Happened,” in which she described her election experience.

Unlike Obama’s tour, events on Clinton’s tour were held in opera houses and theaters. Among the most expensive tickets sold on Clinton’s tour were $745.50 tickets for the Boston Opera House event.

The tour will begin on Nov. 13, the memoir’s expected release date, and will end on Dec. 19.