Aussie fans fume over Prince ticketing bungle

Prince performing on stage. Photo / Ian Dickson, Redferns
Prince performing on stage. Photo / Ian Dickson, Redferns

There are a lot of disgruntled Prince fans in Australia right now.

Tickets for the musician's Piano & A Microphone solo show went on sale at 12pm on Tuesday and people jumped on ticketing websites in the hopes of snapping up a ticket to his Sydney or Melbourne shows.

However many had problems even getting on to the websites. Ticketek sent out messages to anyone who logged on explaining they were being put in a queue because of the volume of people looking for tickets.

"A major event has gone on sale today. YOU ARE CURRENTLY QUEUED AND WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY REDIRECTED TO TICKETEK.COM.AU AS CUSTOMERS LEAVE THE WEBSITE," Ticketek's website read, which was selling tickets for Prince's Sydney Opera House shows.

His performances at the State Theatre in Melbourne and Sydney were available via Ticketmaster.

"Prince fans - hang in there! Due to huge demand, the ticketing websites are running slower. Please be patient," the message on touring promoter Dainty's Facebook page read.

However, fans took umbrage with this post explaining that regardless of how quickly they logged on they weren't offered the cheapest option - a standard $100 ticket - and instead were only offered the most expensive tickets for sale, which were retailing for about $400.

"Tickets at state theatre sold out at 12:00:30 for all but $400 tickets. How can you say standard tickets were still available 7 minutes after that?" Jenelle Watkins replied to Dainty's post.

Jo-Anna Ashby had similar issues: "They are sold out! I waited on 4 devices over 20 mins before they went on sale. Unfortunately couldnt buy any tickets other than the most expensive which is sadly not in my budget due to medical conditions. Congrats to all those fans that secured tickets - have a fantastic time."

"What a load of rubbish. I had 4 devices running, and everytime I got through (first time right on 30 secs over 12), the site only offered the most expensive tickets despite not selecting anything other than the cheaper two options. Don't waste your time," Mary Vetere said.

"How can all the $100 Opera House tickets be gone when my husband pressed enter right on midday?" Denise Waite wrote.

Many others who had logged on said they got pretty far into the purchasing process but were then kicked off by the ticketing websites at the last minute.

"Mate I had 2 in my basket, then when I went to purchase, I got a message saying technical issues please start again! Grrrrr" Mark Foster wrote.

The demand to see Prince at one of his eight more intimate Australian shows is high. The last time he toured Down Under in 2012 he played arenas.

This tour, which kicks off in Melbourne on Feburary 16, is also his first solo tour, which he debuted in January at his Paisley Park recording complex in Minnesota.

He will also play two shows in New Zealand on February 24, with tickets for those shows going on sale tomorrow at midday.

Anyone who did fork out big dollars for one of the coveted tickets will at least be given a free CD of Prince's new album, HITNRUN - Phase II, which will be given to ticketholders as they exit the venue.

Promoters said information about the distribution and sale of Prince tickets wasn't available yet.


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