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Five reasons why Tragically Hip concert tickets are so hard to get

Last Updated May 31, 2016 at 7:00 pm PDT

The Rogers K-Rock Centre is shown on The Tragically Hip Way in Kingston, Ont., on Wednesday May 25, 2016. A day after The Tragically Hip announced lead singer Downie has incurable brain cancer, the band revealed it will begin an 11-show tour in late July in Victoria, B.C., with the last tour date at the K-Rock Centre. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg

Tragically Hip fans are fuming over how quickly tickets for the band’s summer tour are selling out.

While the public sale doesn’t begin until Friday, eager buyers have already snapped up limited tickets offered during presale events on Monday and Tuesday.

But far more fans were left disappointed.

Securing tickets to major concert events has always been a struggle and trying to snag these sought-after Hip seats is no exception.

Demand is especially intense given the recent news that lead singer Gord Downie is facing incurable brain cancer.

Here are five reasons why many hopeful Hip fans will have trouble buying tickets to what could be the Hip’s last tour:


There are only so many seats to go around and far more Tragically Hip fans to fill them. The band has built up one of the country’s most loyal followings, so it was inevitable that the tour would be in high demand from concertgoers who either haven’t seen the Hip in years or never witnessed one of their shows at all. And given Downie’s health, many assume this could be their last chance to see the band live.


The Hip plans to stay within the borders of Western and Central Canada which leaves fans in Quebec and the Maritimes without any local shows to attend. Many have said they will trek to the nearest city to see the band, which means shows in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Kingston, Ont., will be particularly hot tickets.


Further complicating matters are the various stages of ticket presales, which began on Monday with the Hip’s fan club members. Select batches of tickets were only available online with a special code to complete the purchase, but the tickets still sold out within minutes. A second wave of fan club tickets and an allotment reserved for American Express credit card holders seemed to sell out just as fast on Tuesday.


Scalpers were no doubt in on the action as presale tickets sold out and were quickly listed on secondary resale sites like StubHub and classified ad sites like Kijiji for significantly higher prices. Two first-row tickets for the band’s final stop in Kingston were — perhaps optimistically — being offered for $5,999 on ATB Tickets on Tuesday. Online resale sites have made it easy for anyone to flip their tickets for a big profit. Even diehard Hip fans might be tempted to sell for the right price.


Even fans who got tickets into their online shopping cart were ultimately denied. Some fans say they were prevented from buying tickets on Tuesday when Ticketmaster’s website began to glitch. “Errored out on me after hitting ‘accept’ for row 25 on the floor for #TragicallyHip in YYC. Now nothing,’ tweeted disappointed user Curt Robinson.

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