Edmonton

Edmonton folk fest tickets sell out in near record time

Edmonton folkies coming up short in the ticket line are finding the growing popularity of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival hard to swallow.
Edmonton folkies line up outside the ticket office Friday before snapping up tickets for the four-day music festival in August. (Andrea Huncar/CBC)

Edmonton folkies coming up short in the ticket line are finding the growing popularity of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival hard to swallow.

"We know there are a lot of people that have been going for 10 or 15 years that are disappointed and we hate that, but we don't have a solution to it," said organizer Terry Wickham.

'Demand is outstripping supply. I don't know what to say'—Terry Wickham

"Demand is outstripping supply," said organizer Terry Wickham. "I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do."

More than 1,100 ticket seekers lined up Friday morning at the festival office in Edmonton's river valley, while thousands more tried online and through Ticketmaster.

By 11 a.m. all tickets were sold.

Folkies frustrated 

Peter West arrived at ticket offices at 7 a.m., as he did last year, to find a much longer queue.

"I was kind of a little bit demoralized," he said. "It feels like the festival used to have a bit more of an easy-going feel. And now it's tougher to get in."

While almost all were rewarded, that left fewer tickets and more frustration for online purchasers.

Wickham estimated 5,000 people were logged on trying to buy tickets. 

Others who tried to buy through Ticketmaster were equally frustrated when the phone system crashed.

Wickham attributed the crash to people trying to buy tickets for Justin Bieber and the Canadian Football League which went on sale at the same time. 

"It's pretty amazing if Ticketmaster's system is crashing, because that's the biggest system in the world," he said.

It's the third year in a row tickets sold out in less than a day.

Last year's festival sold out in less than two hours, crashing the folk festival office phone lines and pressuring online access.

This year's festival will be held at Gallagher Park on Aug. 9-12.

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