They begin arriving Sunday afternoon, Elton John fans getting in line at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to buy tickets when they went on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. By that time, there were about 400 people waiting.
Most went away disappointed, victims of high demand, high technology and a balky credit card system.
"The lines were really slow," said Jeanne Carroll, who arrived with a friend around 8:15 a.m. to stand in line for tickets. They went away empty-handed.
"Disappointed? Yes. End of the world? No," she said.
The 7,500-seat Amsoil Arena sold out the May 6 concert in minutes, DECC Executive Director Dan Russell said. Only 300 tickets were sold at the DECC; most of the remainder were sold online.
"There was incredible demand," Russell said. "We probably could have sold out two shows."
Unfortunately for Elton John fans on a budget, much of the demand came from websites that buy tickets and sell them much higher than their original price. The face value of the DECC tickets for John's concert ranged from $29 to $129. Monday evening, the ticket-selling website Hardline Tickets had tickets from $184 to $613; StubHub had tickets from $120 to $499.
"It's disgusting, but the state of Minnesota legalized scalping tickets a few years ago," Russell said.
To limit the impact of such sites, many performance venues limit the number of tickets that may be purchased at a time. There was a six-ticket limit for Elton John's DECC concert. But that