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Hot ticket? Demand for Garth Brooks' Fargo shows causes system meltdown

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Friday was a topsy turvy day for Garth Brooks and his fans in the Red River Valley – a day that left the country music star feeling frustrated, apologetic, and flattered all at once.

Fans had circled Friday on their calendars as their first chance to buy tickets to Brooks' May 7 show at the Fargodome, his first Fargo-Moorhead concert since 1998.

In the morning they learned that was only half of it: Brooks had added a performance on Friday May 6 ... and tickets to both shows would go on sale at 10 a.m.

And go on sale they did. For a little while.

Just after 10:30 came an announcement that the "tremendous demand" for tickets had overloaded the online and telephone systems, causing all sales to be suspended.

Instead of taking a break for an hour or two and trying again, organizers of Brooks' tour announced ticket sales would not resume until next Thursday.

Leigh Ann Pigue of Varnell Enterprises told the Fargo Forum: "Instead of trying to churn through it to try to get folks in, we just decided to suspend the sales, get everything fixed and make sure everyone has a great experience next Thursday."

Pigue told the Forum similar problems popped up in San Diego last year. In that case, when sales resumed after a suspension everything went well, she told the newspaper.

Brooks himself soon called the Red River Valley for an on-air interview with BOB 95 FM.

Brooks said he was frustrated and apologetic about the snafu, and was "kinda miffed" given that just last week the same company had managed to sell 90,000 tickets to his six Des Moines shows – only to see the system "melt" soon after Fargo tickets became available.

On the other hand, Brooks said, he was flattered that the demand for tickets to the Fargo shows was so strong.

The Forum spoke with one frustrated fan – Jeremy Pollestad of Drayton, North Dakota – who had taken the day off from his job at a grain elevator to focus on getting his Garth tickets lined up. Pollestad said he won't be able to take another day off next Thursday, so now faces paying far more for tickets on the secondary market.

Fans who did manage to secure tickets during the brief time they were available were celebrating Friday.

When sales resume Thursday, tickets will be available at the Fargodome's site for $75.

During his comeback tour in 2014 Brooks played 11 shows at Target Center in Minneapolis.

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