The Bluff's popular oyster festival looks set to sell out for the third consecutive year, as only 500 tickets are still available.

Bluff Oyster and Food Festival committee member Kylie Fowler said she expected the 5000 tickets to be sold out by Waitangi Day.

"We were sold out by Waitangi Day last year. If it happens this year, then it will be three years in a row that we have been sold out before Waitangi Day."

There was no possibility of increasing the capacity of the venue.

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"Any more than 5000 and it will be just too squashed."

Held on May 25 this year, Mrs Fowler said she had received several calls from people saying they had struggled to find accommodation.

Mrs Fowler said Air New Zealand had laid on two flights from Auckland and Wellington, which would lead to about 170 people flying in for the day from those two cities. One of Invercargill's largest hotels, the Kelvin Hotel, is fully booked for the weekend of the festival.

General manager Aaron Mills said the weekend of May 25 had been booked out a year in advance.

giordano.stolley@odt.co.nz