Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fans prepare for McCartney ticket rush

But frenzy will take place in digital age

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When Paul McCartney tickets went on sale for his August 1993 concert at Winnipeg Stadium, fans of the former Beatle camped out overnight -- in February, no less -- or put in frantic calls to the ticket wicket so they could see him perform Hey Jude and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da live.

There will be no sleeping bags and buckets of coffee this time around, as concertgoers long ago entered the digital age. But how do they ensure they get tickets for what could be the last show ever by a former Beatle in Winnipeg?

You can go the tried and true way of logging into the websites of Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.ca) or the show's promoter, Live Nation (www.livenation.com) just before the general sale starts on Monday at 10 a.m. Prices will range from $35 to $250.

But just how many of the estimated 32,000 to 35,000 seats in Investors Group Field will be available by then is a bit of a crapshoot. There will likely be thousands of tickets gobbled up in the pre-sale period -- which will start before the week is out -- by season-ticket holders of the Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg Blue Bombers as well as members of McCartney's fan club.

(The promoters don't release what percentage of the house will be sold via the pre-sale.)

This Aug. 12 show could easily represent the biggest frenzy for tickets since the reborn Winnipeg Jets launched their Drive to 13,000 nearly two years ago.

If you aren't lucky enough to get in on the pre-sale, here are some strategies you can use when the general sale starts:

  • Prepare to spend at least 45 minutes on your computer starting at 10 a.m. sharp. You can jump at the first available seats if you want -- or if you're desperate -- but if you're patient, you might be able to score better ones.
  • If you're shut out on Monday -- it's widely expected that the show will sell out quickly -- don't despair. When the final configuration of the stage is known either a few weeks or months down the long and winding road, additional seats should be made available then.

If you like to live dangerously, you can search out scalpers online or outside the stadium the night of the show. Buying on Kijiji or other websites, however, might be a ticket to fraud.

Your best scalping bet is to go to the gate on Aug. 12 and find the people yelling, "who needs tickets?" or "who's selling?" At least this way, you can see the tickets in person and get a better idea if they're real. Remember, however, scalping is illegal.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 25, 2013 A2

History

Updated on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM CDT: adds fact box

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