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Fans trying to buy McCartney tickets for Candlestick leave empty handed

by Katie Hickox

Many diehard fans in San Francisco were unable to buy any tickets via the TicketMaster online portal yesterday at 10am when tickets went on sale to the general public for Paul McCartney's August 14th Farewell to Candlestick Park Concert in San Francisco. One fan shared with Beatle News, "There was nothing online, I had five computers going!"

Many fans experienced extreme disappointment when they were unable to purchase even a single ticket when sales of tickets for Paul's only San Francisco appearance were opened up to the public via the Ticketmaster website despite spending nearly an hour from 9:50am to 10:45am on Monday, regardless of whether they were in San Francisco, Los Angeles or Marin County.

One fan, Eric, a technologist from San Francisco, said, "The brokers have rooms full of interns, and they are so very well practiced from hitting every single presale for every single concert. They have a list of tickets they click yes on."

Another fan, Eric's sister based in Los Angeles, also couldn't get any tickets online, not even a single ticket.

For another fan, Mary, who lives in San Francisco, the only way to get a few single tickets was to travel outside of San Francisco to a Walmart store with a Ticketmaster kiosk, the closest being in Oakland. Despite being on the phone with a live TicketMaster ticket agent, and also having brought a laptop with hotspot and having logged into the online TicketMaster while waiting in line at the Oakland Walmart TicketMaster kiosk, Mary was still unable to purchase a single ticket either over the phone or from her personal laptop.

Click here to see a larger image
TicketMaster Kiosk in Oakland Walmart

However, the strategy to go to the Walmart store in Oakland paid off. Once the first person at the Walmart Ticketmaster kiosk managed to get a single ticket, Mary, who was next in line and was still on the phone with a live ticketmaster agent and was also online via her laptop, was finally able to buy individual tickets after originally trying to get 2 or 3 tickets together. So by continuing to keep pressing the "back" and "try again" buttons, over and over, she finally got three individual tickets, each in a different section and price category. Even the highest price ticket of $254 was nowhere near the stage, but was at least on the field in section B1.

About her experience yesterday getting tickets, Mary said, "Went to the Walmart in Oakland, was 2nd in line (first person in line had also driven from San Francisco), was able to get some single seats in lower east section 31 (I'm keeping that one), Upperbox section 4 and Field B1. It was really tough. I got the other 2 tickets for friends, tried getting 3 or 4 seats together, no luck.

"I was online with Ticketmaster, brought my own laptop with hotspot, and also on the phone with a live Ticketmaster agent, but by the time the rep took the call (they dropped any calls if you called spoke with a live agent before 10am, this happened twice to me) and looked for 3 or 4 seats together), it was all sold out. I couldn't get even a single seat even after I asked to speak with a Ticketmaster supervisor, and my laptop browser Ticketmaster session just kept coming back and stating that no tickets were available online after trying something like 20 times. Looked like the Ticketmaster website was overwhelmed and just kicked me out online over and over. It looked like some else pushed out fans like me trying to get any tickets.

"But I got onto Walmart Ticketmaster kiosk and was able to get a few singles though I had to pay high convenience fees. It's a disappointment that I won't be able to sit with my friends, but at least I got a ticket which most fans couldn't get, my friends Gillian and Davina, were both online with Ticketmaster at their homes in San Francisco and neither could get a single ticket.

"What a blowout. Apparently many ticket brokers are already selling tickets at double the price and have heard that some of the big tech companies bought huge blocks of tickets as they have the money to do it."

Why bother? What's so important about getting a really good seat in the front row? For Eric the technologist who is a big fan of Paul McCartney and appears in the DVD from the McCartney 2005 concert tour shown standing in the front (Paul signed Eric's RAM album) during the song "Fine Line" wearing a t-shirt of Linda, being upfront is everything.

Eric said, "It was a while ago, in 2005 at Paul's concert in San Jose, I was looking down at the phone when he and Rusty came to the edge and Paul yelled "Nice Shirt" (I had made up one of his paintings with Linda). I had a sign that was about a mathematical sequence in Hey Jude that changed my life, but that was a little too complex in front of thousands.

"He signed my 'Ram' album. Part of me thinks he may have been happy I wasn't offering up 'Sgt. Pepper' to be signed. I have been obsessed ever since, as it was a replay of my 1976 front row experience, when my older sister took me to his concert in San Francisco at the Cow Palace."

Related articles:

• Paul McCartney Candlestick farewell concert stark contrast to his last visit (8/16/14)

Published May 6, 2014

This article is Copyright © 2014, Katie Hickox, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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