Folk Fest considers ticket sale changes

Organizers may make changes to the way tickets are sold next year, but venue will stay the same.

Edmonton Folk Fest organizers say they’re looking at changes that could be made to how they sell tickets for the festival, after tickets sold out in record time this year.

"In some way it’s a nice problem to have. But I’m frustrated because I know there are people who have been going for a long time and now can’t go," said organizer Terry Wickham.

Folk Fest organizer Terry Wickham says the festival has been selling out since 1995 and tickets disappear faster every year. (CBC)

Eleven-hundred people lined up, some for hours, waiting for tickets to go on sale Friday morning.

Thousands  turned to the internet, trying to buy tickets through the festival's website and through Ticketmaster.

Wickham says tickets sold out in under 10 minutes. While many of those who lined up in person were able to get them, many online buyers were frustrated by crashing websites and flooded phone lines.

Wickham says its a problem they’ve dealt with as the festival has gained popularity in the past 20 years.

"Usually (it) would take about a week. And then it took a few days. And then last year it was crazy because it took two hours.

Now it’s selling out in nine minutes,"

Wickham says organizers are looking at different ways to handle the ticket-buying, perhaps through a different lottery systems.

They’re also considering moving the ticket sales indoors, with the Winspear Centre and Telus Field as possible options.

"Then people could at least sit and get comfortable, not standing around for four or five hours," he said.

One thing that won’t change, he says, is the festival venue. While moving elsewhere might mean more room for extra people, Wickham says the Folk Fest’s current site in Gallagher Park is ideal - the acoustics are good for music and the location provides a good backdrop for bands.

"It’s the matching of the venue along with the music that makes the magic," he said.