More than 20,000 try to get tickets to Green Day's El Paso club show

Show sells out quickly; a few fans claim website wouldn't let them complete ticket purchase

POSTED: 10:30 AM MDT Mar 11, 2013    UPDATED: 06:03 PM MST Mar 01, 2013 
EL PASO, Texas -

More than 20,000 Green Day fans tried to buy tickets to the band's March 13 concert at Tricky Falls at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

The tickets sold out in minutes.

The El Paso Times and El Paso 411 are reporting it sold out in 60 seconds but an ABC-7 employee was able to buy one ticket shortly before 10:30 a.m. after hitting refresh on his phone's browser several times until the sold-out message disappeared.

The show at Tricky Falls, with an expected capacity of 1,500, is part of Green Day's run of club shows in three cities leading up to its gig on March 15 at SXSW in Austin. They will then perform an arena tour starting at the end of March.

John Hay, office manager with HoldMyTicket which sold tickets to El Paso's show, said they estimate there were between 20,000 to 30,000 submissions for tickets.

"And we were selling only around 1,100 tickets," Hay said in an email. "That means that for every person who got a ticket, anywhere from 20 to 30 people were locked out."

Some El Paso fans have contacted ABC-7, expressing frustration at issues they say kept them from getting tickets. Tickets were only available online through HoldMyTicket's website.

The fans said they went to holdmyticket.com, clicked to buy tickets, filled out the required information and said that the purchase-tickets button did not work. They said they hit the refresh button and the screen then stated the concert was sold out.

Hay said this was simply a case of demand far overshadowing supply.

"If we had received the same amount of traffic, but had more tickets available, it would have gone differently," Hay said in an email to ABC-7. "HoldMyTicket uses a queuing system that ensures a first-come-first-served basis for handling ticket purchasing. Customers who experienced delays, either at the submit transaction screen, or even earlier, when selecting ticket quantity (which is when tickets are actually reserved in our system), were at that point already too late to purchase tickets. It seems that there was so much anticipation for this sale, with so many people who were ready to go at the stroke of 10 a.m., that essentially every ticket was spoken for the millisecond that tickets went on sale. Far more people tried to buy tickets at 10 a.m. than were available. Though we admit that seeing a processing icon for a long period of time is confusing, when the truth of the matter is that the tickets had sold out, we're positive that no transactions were dropped or blocked due to the traffic as far as our servers are concerned. Obviously El Paso was enthusiastic for this concert, and we hope Green Day and other bands get the message that shows can sell out like this down there and do more shows - which would be the solution to the issue."

If you're looking to get a ticket on the secondary market, don't hold your breath and buyer beware.

"There can be NO name changes - the person who buys the ticket MUST be the person who comes to the door to be banded ... ," according to the event page for the Tricky Falls show.

TicketLiguidator.com claims to have two tickets to the El Paso show for sale at a cost of $708 per ticket. Face value of tickets were $51, not including service charges.

Green Day, known for selling out arena tours, released three albums in recent months but was forced to cancel and reschedule its tour because its lead singer, Billy Joe Armstrong, entered rehab after an onstage meltdown in September.

Armstrong and his bandmate, Mike Dirnt, talk about Armstrong's addiction struggles in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Check it out here and here.