Online and phone ticket sales systems for Hong Kong “heavenly king” Andy Lau Tak-wah’s concerts became inaccessible on Tuesday morning before tickets were set to become available, leaving fans high and dry.
The platforms had become vital for securing highly sought-after tickets to the Canto-pop star’s performances from December 15 to January 3 at the Hong Kong Coliseum after sales were suspended at box offices following a knife attack at a counter queue.
A total of 20 performances with about 60,000 tickets are available to the public. Prices range from HK$380 (US$48) to HK$980. Some tickets were sold through priority booking for credit card users on August 15.
Booking through the Urbtix website, as well as its mobile phone app and hotline, was set to start at 10am on Tuesday, but the three systems could not be accessed by the Post as early as an hour before that time. They remained inaccessible as of 4pm.
This was because the system was processing “a large number of customers”, with all “internet ticket slots” being taken up, the website stated.
This is believed to be the first time in a decade that counter booking at Urbtix outlets is not available for a concert held at the coliseum.
The counters were closed after an incident on August 26, when a 58-year-old mainland man, who was second in line outside the ticket office at Youth Square, Chai Wan, was punched and attacked with a knife.
Two days later, police arrested four suspected triad members in connection with the case.
In an earlier incident on August 6, a 26-year-old man was injured in a knife attack while queuing to buy tickets for a concert by Singaporean singer JJ Lin.
An outcry over scalping erupted earlier this year after tickets to some popular shows were snapped up and resold for nearly 20 times the original price. In April, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said officials would consider making ticket scalping a criminal offence at government venues.
Scalping is a crime at private venues and carries a fine of HK$2,000. However, that law does not apply to facilities run by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, such as the Hong Kong Coliseum.
This article System for Andy Lau tickets jammed for hours as fans scramble to secure seats first appeared on South China Morning Post