Thousands of Elton John fans had their dreams of seeing him perform in Napier snuffed out like a candle in the wind, as Mission Estate's website struggled to cope with demand.

Approximately 23,500 pre-sale tickets to the pop superstar's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour show sold out in just over an hour, a Mission spokesman said.

Pre-sale tickets for the February 8 show went live online on the Mission's website at 9am, with users reporting that more than 37,000 were in the queue.

The winery venue's capacity is roughly 26,000.

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By Tuesday afternoon, controversial ticket re-seller Viagogo already had more than 500 tickets available for the Napier concert, starting at about $350 a ticket.

Another 2000 were for sale on Viagogo for his Auckland and Dunedin shows.

Many fans were left out in the cold by Mission's system, claiming they were in the process of purchasing tickets before being pushed to the back of the queue.

Some of the dozens of complaints on Mission Estates Facebook page.
Some of the dozens of complaints on Mission Estates Facebook page.

Mission Estate CEO Peter Holley said no formal complaints had been laid with it as at 11am but he would "have our IT department look into it". He did not respond to later requests for an update.

Mission Estate later released a statement via their website apologising to those fans who had missed out.

One fan, Jacqui Robinson, found the system to be "extremely poor" for a concert of such significance to so many.

"Mission Estate really needs to clean up their act when it comes to these things if they want to be able to host big acts like this."

Robinson logged on 15 minutes before the tickets went on sale, having already signed up as a member and was listed 1083 in the queue.

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But as she went on to the next stage to pay for tickets the system failed multiple times.

"As I went to go pay for my tickets the page kept on saying error wait till we redirect you, then on the third time it told me I was number 27,000 in the queue.

"It was just annoying to have to wait that long and then get pushed to the back," said Robinson.

Some fans turned to Twitter trying get a second concert organised for those who missed out.

Mission's website on Tuesday afternoon still had a place where fans could register their interest for the show, fuelling speculation about the potential for a second show.

But for Robinson, missing out on Tuesday was a lost opportunity for a once in a lifetime experience.

"My husband and I saw him perform at Wembley in 1992 which was an amazing experience and being British expats we wanted to see him one last time on his big farewell tour, but now we probably won't be."

Meanwhile, Viagogo has reiterated it is a "marketplace and doesn't buy or sell tickets".

A statement from the company said it was a platform for third party sellers to sell tickets to event goers and did not set ticket prices.

"Sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value. Where demand is high and tickets are limited, prices increase. All tickets on Viagogo are valid and it is perfectly legal to resell a ticket or give it to someone else if you want to."