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Tickets for Vienna Philharmonic concert in Helsinki sold out in five minutes

Many disgruntled would-be concert-goers chose the "wrong" method of getting tickets

Tickets for Vienna Philharmonic concert in Helsinki sold out in five minutes
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The tickets for a concert to be given by the Vienna Philharmonic in Helsinki’s new Music Centre in February 2012 were sold out in the space of just five minutes on Wednesday morning. Many people were left disappointed.
      For example Helsinki resident Raimo Lehtinen writes in a letter sent to Helsingin Sanomat that ”hundreds of people had been waiting and getting their queuing numbers in the ticket office of the Music Centre in the morning. Hardly had the first buyers reached the counter, when it was announced at 9:05 am that all tickets have been sold”.
How was this possible, Communications Coordinator Marja-Leena Lehtimäki?
      ”When we are speaking about a world-famous orchestra and the ticket prices are reasonable, it is no wonder that the concert was sold out in a matter of minutes.”
There have been suspicions that tickets may have been reserved for some people in a privileged position. Was this just a bogus sale?
      ”No, by no means. According to the normal procedure, a few seats have been reserved for example for the press, invited guests, and for the Vienna Philharmonic itself, but all other tickets were on sale”, Lehtimäki argues.
Couldn’t the Music Centre have reserved a quota for those who came to queue for tickets early in the morning?
      ”Not really, no. It would most certainly have aroused indignation among those who were queuing somewhere else.”
How did the ticket retailer Lippupiste prepare for an influx of people coming to buy tickets for the Vienna Philharmonic concert, Managing Director Ari Palhamo of Lippupiste?
      ”We reserved 60 persons to handle telesales, making sure that all of our 800 ticket sales outlets had enough staff.”
Was the number of purchased tickets limited?
      ”Usually, classical music concerts are not such a hot item, but in this case, the limit was six tickets per client.”
And yet the tickets were sold out in five minutes?
      ”The number of tickets on sale for a concert in the Music Centre is really low, only 1,700, when compared for example with the Hartwall Arena or a stadium concert. For example, the tickets for the Black Sabbath concert in the Arena in May 2012 were sold out in five minutes, even though the number of tickets on sale was 10,000.”
In other words, all popular events are regularly sold out in a few minutes?
      ”Yes. In practice, only the first two or three buyers at each outlet manage to buy tickets.”
Where would you buy a ticket?
      ”I would be online with my fingers poised over the keyboard at nine o’clock.”
”That is to say that it is not worthwhile to go and queue for a ticket behind the door of a ticket sales outlet?

Previously in HS International Edition:
  Vienna Philharmonic to arrive in Helsinki in February (1.9.2011)

  Helsinki Music Centre
  Nordic Concerts

Helsingin Sanomat

  9.12.2011 - TODAY
 Tickets for Vienna Philharmonic concert in Helsinki sold out in five minutes

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