Great American Beer Festival tickets: gone in a flash

Categories: Beer Man

Thumbnail image for GABFpretzelnecklace.jpg
Tickets to the Great American Beer Festival, which takes place October 10-12 at the Colorado Convention Center, sold out in less than twenty minutes this morning, according to message on Twitter from the Boulder-based Brewers Association. (Update: BA addresses scalping issue below.)

The speed with which they disappeared was no surprise: the same thing happened last year, and members-only tickets -- which went on sale yesterday -- also went fast.

See also:
- Brewers Association apologizes for continuing Great American Beer Festival ticketing snafus
- Great American Beer Festival tickets go on sale today and tomorrow
- More than 300 breweries sit on the GABF waiting list as organizers sort out what to do

Before the sale, Brewers Association spokeswoman Barbara Fusco said she expected the Ticketmaster experience to be a smooth one this time -- after a "disappointing" performance yesterday. And there didn't appear to be any technical glitches this time, as opposed to yesterday and last year.

But scalpers -- whether they are professionals or just locals just looking to turn a quick buck -- once again had their way with the system.

Within minutes of the sale, GABF tickets were listed on StubHub and other aftermarket sites for prices ranging from $130 to more than $300 a piece. Face-value tix are $75.

The BA released the following statement on Facebook at 11:30 a.m.:

Hi Everyone. We're reading your comments, and we hear your frustration about scalpers and the secondary market. We share those concerns and wish there was a feasible fix. Unfortunately, there's no perfect way to successfully avoid a secondary market for hot tickets--whether for popular concerts, sporting events or festivals like the GABF.

There are measures in place to decrease access for scalpers, including ticket limits we set for GABF ticket purchases (enforced by Ticketmaster), and Ticketmaster's anti-bot and other security measures. Does this prevent scalper access? No, but it does decrease it. We will continue to evaluate options and solutions going forward.

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My Voice Nation Help

Like last year it will be easy to get tickets for face value the day of the event as all the wannabe scalpers panic and try to unload the tickets they were hoarding and thinking they could get $300 a piece for.

seiferth 1 Like

I've read suggestions that they need to expand the venue, expand the festival (actually two weekends would be great) but the biggest thing is fixing the ticketing system. As a HA member I wasn't able to get tickets for the members only session because they sold out so quickly, and of course tickets are showing up for sale. People are continually blaming BA and GABF for the problems, but its not their fault. This is entirely on TicketMaster. They supposedly have anti-scalper measures but as evident by the info above the are shite. Something seriously needs to be done hopefully by next year, or when the contract with TicketMaster is over the folks at BA go with someone with some know how.

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