Nicole Berg turned on her computer two hours before tickets for Prince tribute concert tickets went on sale Monday morning and promptly at 10 a.m. began clicking on the Ticketmaster website hoping to score tickets to the Oct. 13 show.
Berg, of St. Louis Park, was lucky. Her request for four tickets to "The Official Prince Tribute, a Celebration of Life and Music" at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul went through.
"I was very happy," she said. "It was a good way to start the week."
While luck or good karma was with Berg, it was not on the side of thousands of others who were stymied at their attempts to get tickets to the show, featuring an all-star cast of Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilera, Chaka Khan, John Mayer, Tori Kelly, Anita Baker, Doug E. Fresh, Luke James, Bilal, Mint Condition, Morris Day and the Time, Judith Hill and Liv Warfield.
Tickets ranging from $19.99 to $152.50 were gone in an instant, snapped up by fans buying them online and by the hundreds who packed the lobby of the Xcel Energy Center.
Berg paid about $100 each for her four seats in Section 205, where she will enjoy the concert with her parents and her boyfriend. But others who logged onto Ticketmaster precisely when tickets went on sale were greeted with this message: "No tickets but keep trying. Other fans may have reserved and released seats!"
"I was one of those trying at 10. I had no success," said Marge Cole of Richfield, who was using two computers in hopes of getting through. "I was serious."
At midmorning, some fans were getting text messages from Ticketmaster saying new tickets had just been released. But by 10:40 a.m., only single tickets were showing up on the site.
For those who scored tickets and are looking to make a buck, Prince tribute tickets were immediately showing up on the secondary market. At StubHub, single tickets were going for $115.99 and up, while a pair on the site SeatGeek were going for $275.95 by the time fees were added on.
Berg said she would not dream of scalping hers. She tried to get tickets to the sold-out "An Evening with the Revolution" shows earlier this month at First Avenue, but could not.
"These are priceless," she said.
The arena, home of the Minnesota Wild, holds 15,000 to 18,000 for concerts.
At first, the talk was that a Prince tribute concert would be held at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. But last week, organizers announced they had changed their venue target to the Xcel Energy Center "to better handle the costs and quality and sound and production."
Prince, 57, died April 21 of an accidental painkiller overdose.