Two fans managed to avoid an internet jam for Prince tickets by buying some of the most expensive seats available to his upcoming Auckland shows.
Tickets to the Purple Rain hitmakers two performances at ASB Theatre on February 24 - ranging in price from $99.90 to $389.90 - reportedly sold out in under 10 minutes when they went on sale at midday yesterday.
However, some of the most expensive tickets were still available this morning, including the Premium Fan Package at $749.90, and the Ultimate Fan Package at $949.90.
Auckland resident and Prince fanatic Angela Beaumont says she told her husband Glyn to buy two Premium Fan packages to avoid the logjam of fans clamouring to get the rest of 4000-odd tickets that went on sale.
With booking fees, the total cost came to more than $1500.
"I said, 'Lets get whatever tickets we can, and bugger the cost'. (Glyn) had two browsers open (and) we thought the least likely to sell out were the expensive ones."
The tickets to their 6.30pm show include a red carpet arrival, a cocktail function with "an assortment of delicious canapes," alcohol, commemorative T-shirt, poster and laminate, access to the merchandise stand before the general public, and a dedicated help line on the day of the show.
But it doesn't include a meet-and-greet with the star of the show himself.
"At that price I should be able to touch him inappropriately," joked Beaumont.
Fans vented on Facebook about Ticketmaster's website crashing and the lack of cheap seats available to the shows.
"I was there ready at 12pm, chose 2 tickets, chose $99 value and (Ticketmaster) came back with a total of over $700," wrote one website user. "So ticketmaster has also added a little box ticked by default that will search for the most expensive ones even though you have chosen $99 range ... very angry!"
"I had tickets and then got an 'unexpected error' message when I got to the payment screen. Your website should be able to handle incredibly high levels of demand," wrote another.
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Ticketmaster responded to many of the posts with this message: "We're sorry that you were unable to get tickets to Prince. Due to the limited amount of tickets available and massive demand the tickets sold very fast."
But Beaumont, who hasn't seen her hero perform live before, says spending more to secure their tickets was worth it.
"I'm a huge fan. I'm so excited. I cried when I saw him on TV last night. I dress as Prince when I go to '80s parties. I do the hair up, draw on a moustache, get the beard going and the frilly white shirt and a big purple coat."
But with her credit card also suffering from ticket purchases for upcoming concerts by Madonna and Iron Maiden, she doubts she'll be buying much from Prince's merchandise stand.
"I don't think I'll be going to another concert until 2022."
Prince's first New Zealand shows are part of his Piano and a Microphone tour, which sees the Kiss singer performing solo on stage.
As well as his 6.30pm and 10pm shows on February 24 in Auckland, he will also play several Australian shows as part of the tour.