Editor’s note: This article was originally published January 13, 2014
Several fans hoping to see George Strait’s Friday night show at the Frank Erwin Center were turned away after it was discovered they’d purchased tickets that were allegedly bogus.
About 100 people weren’t able to see the show, according to John Graham, an assistant athletic director for the University of Texas, which operates the venue.
An estimated 16,700 people were on hand to hear Strait perform.
"The show was a massive sellout," Graham said. "Demand was extremely high. More people than we have room for wanted to go."
That intense interest apparently caught the attention of some unscrupulous folks who sought to make a quick buck by selling forged tickets, according to Graham. Typically, he said, someone will photocopy a print-at-home ticket, then sell several copies.
"Sadly, this isn’t uncommon," Graham said
In fact, it’s a problem that’s popped up plenty of times here in Austin and elsewhere, including at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
When buyers show up at the door, they learn their tickets, often purchased from sites such as Craigslist, aren’t valid, Graham said.
Typically, shows aren’t sold out and, when people show up with bogus tickets, the Erwin Center box office can sell them a legitimate one. But with Friday’s sellout crowd, Graham said that just wasn’t possible.
"That made the problem more difficult than usual," he said.
To avoid purchasing counterfeit tickets, Graham advises buying them directly from Erwin Center or TexasBoxOffice.com.
After Friday’s incident, the Erwin Center plans to reevaluate its ticket security measures, something it regularly does, Graham said.
It will also add tips to its website to help concert-goers spot fake tickets.