Early rising Elton John fans catch tickets

After more than three hours waiting in line outside the Regent Theatre yesterday morning, Elton...
After more than three hours waiting in line outside the Regent Theatre yesterday morning, Elton John fans Bridgette Russell and her niece and sister, Nikita and Toni MacPherson, were thrilled to secure their tickets to the 71-year-old Grammy Award-winning artist's Dunedin show. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
When you name two of your children after Elton John ballads it is almost inevitable you will be up before dawn to guarantee a place to see him live, possibly for the last time.

General sale tickets to John's show at Forsyth Barr Stadium in February next year went on sale at 9am yesterday.

Extra seats were made available yesterday as fans snapped up tickets earlier in the day and by this afternoon the cheapest tickets still available were $699 "VIP experience" tickets.

Self-confessed mega fan Toni MacPherson lined up outside the Regent Theatre at 5.45am with her sister Bridgette Russell and daughter Nikita.

She is such a big fan of the 71-year-old Grammy Award-winning artist that two of her children - Nikita and Daniel - are named after two of his songs.

After the rush of buying the tickets, it would be a long wait until the performer touched down in Dunedin next year, she said.

"But we've got them now, and that's all that matters."

Many fans trying to buy tickets on the internet were met with a message saying the show had sold out shortly after 9am, though there were still tickets left.

Maree Scott tried to buy tickets online when they went on sale but was told there were only tickets for the VIP experience left.

Determined not to miss out, Mrs Scott and her friend kept trying different combinations on the TicketMaster website until they were able to buy four tickets just after 9.30am.

She had also registered to buy the pre-sale tickets on Tuesday, but the code she had been sent did not work.

"It seems the whole system has been a debacle, but I must say my kids, my friend and I are very happy to be going."

Dunedin Venues chief executive Terry Davies said all indications were pointing to a "full house" and there was still a strong demand for tickets.

At the moment, the focus was on selling-out the February 4 show and any possibility of a second would only be explored after that, Mr Davis said.

"I'd encourage everyone to get on and get their tickets, demand is very strong."

A second show at the Mission Estate winery in 2020 was announced yesterday.

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