Gary Barlow mania crashes De Montfort Hall's website
De Montfort Hall's website crashed and its box office phone line was jammed as thousands of Gary Barlow fans battled to get tickets.
The Take That songwriter is appearing at the Leicester venue on Sunday, January 13.
The rush for tickets caused chaos yesterday morning as feverish fans overloaded the venue's website.
People turned to the phone lines but found them permanently engaged.
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De Montfort Hall sold its allocation of 600 tickets within a couple of hours.
De Montfort Hall staff tried to keep people updated on Twitter, but many fans vented their frustrations on social networking sites after coming away empty handed.
@HulbertMathew wrote: "Not sure I'll bother trying to get tickets to anything again. A total waste of a morning."
@Cat608 tweeted: "Keep seeing all your happy tweets but half an hour on I still can't get through by phone and website still crashed.
At about 11am @beckycanfield wrote: "Are tickets still available? Trying phone and net. No luck"
Venue staff worked to repair the internet booking site.
Replying to the comments, they said: "We're trying to sort out the website issues ASAP."
They also tweeted: "Please keep trying on the phone. The website is down but that means tickets haven't gone as fast so please keep trying!"
But by the time the problem had been fixed, at about 11am, all the tickets had been sold.
A spokeswoman for De Montfort Hall said: "We had so much interest on the website that it crashed just before the tickets went on sale and it stayed out until just before we had sold out.
"We would like to say well done to anyone who actually managed to get a ticket because they were extremely hard to get hold of.
"It's going to be an amazing concert."
She warned Barlow fans about the number of fake tickets already on sale.
She said: "No tickets have been printed yet and they won't be sent out until 10 days before the concert.
"There are already tickets on eBay for about £300 – but they're fake."
In all, 2,000 tickets were sold through De Montfort Hall and the websites gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk.
They were not available to buy in person from the hall's box office. Prices ranged from £35 to £55.
Sales were limited to four tickets per person.
Despite the furore surrounding the crashed website, there were still 600 happy Gary Barlow fans who managed to get their hands on the tickets.
One, @daleneal wrote on Twitter: "OMG – Finally got through to box office.
"Tickets for Gary Barlow are in the bag. My marriage is saved."