North Carolina State Fair

Fans angered by sellout of State Fair concert

Posted August 2, 2013
Updated August 3, 2013

Fans of the band Florida Georgia Line, the artists behind the catchy summer single "Cruise," expressed frustration Friday after tickets to the band's concert at the North Carolina State Fair sold out within minutes.

Brian Long, spokesman state Department of Agriculture which runs the fair, said about 4,300 tickets were available online Thursday, and buyers snapped them up in five minutes. More than 10,000 people were in the queue 30 minutes before tickets went on sale at 10 a.m., he said.

"That many people going online at one time and snatching up a limited number of tickets, that’s what happens," Long said. "You sell out very quickly."

Yet tickets are still available, for a price. "They're selling $10 tickets for $75 to $100," one fan said. Lori Tennant found tickets available almost immediately on ticket reseller

Tennant wanted to buy the tickets as a birthday gift for her daughter. 

"You know what makes me mad about this," she asked. "This is the NC State Fair. I always thought this was something for the families, something for us to enjoy, and now it’s turning into commercialism."

Tennant recommended that fair tickets be made available first to in-state residents.

Long said he has heard the complaints, but there is little that organizers can do.

"I don’t know that it’s fair that there’s people out there who take advantage of the technology or the venue and do this," Long said, "But we certainly tried to take steps to make sure everybody had a chance to get online and get those tickets."

Buying tickets in bulk and reselling them at a markup is well within the law, Long said, and the fair limited purchasesto 10 tickets at a time. 

"Our data show most people bought three or four tickets," he said.

That is little consolation for Tennant and her daughter. "She’s extremely disappointed," Tennant said.


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  • busyb97 Aug 5, 2013

    "All the concerts used to be free. Saw many top name entertainers at the fair. Sell tickets at the door. If you are not at the fair you can't buy the ticket. That way only the fair-goers get into the concert."

    You still have to have a fair admission ticket to get INTO the fairgrounds and to the arena.....

  • megan920renee Aug 5, 2013

    This is just ridiculous that it's newsworthy and people are getting all up in a fit over it. Just to clarify things, majority of tickets get held back from the presale for fan club members to allow more to the general public, not to mention that something happened with their cache' the day of the presale and had to shut down the site so a lot of fan club members didn't even get tickets until Thursday along with the general public. Also, they are doing another concert in Greensboro in November, a much larger arena. If you couldn't get cheap tickets to the fair concert, suck it up and buy some in Greensboro. There is a group of me and 7 of my friends going to this concert, I was on the website at 930 as was another one of my friends. Luckily he managed to scoop up 8 tickets for all of us and had he not, we would be going to the concert in Greensboro. Let's cry a little more because you didn't successfully get tickets. Did you pitch a fit when you couldn't get them to the Luke Bryan

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 2, 2013

    @ paulej

    The Republican Legislature made it lawful for outside online groups to purchase up all the tickets to resale. I have no problem with it. I find it amusing that people do have a problem with it. This is capitalism. If I am smart enough to have a computer program buy all the tickets in seconds and resell them at 500 times what they are worth ... GREAT!

  • zenonx6 Aug 2, 2013

    The acoustics suck in Dorton arena anyway.

  • sweetydmh Aug 2, 2013

    Who cares... why is this news...-US VET

    Free enterprise is alive and well. I agree, no news here, let's move on.

  • Alexia.1 Aug 2, 2013

    "The Republican Legislature allowed this." --Crock a doodle doo

    How so? What does the legislature have to do with this?

    Ticket scalping has been around and will be around. No law would stop it, either, because many of the sellers might be out of state or even out of country.

    The only way to limit the effect is to require a NC driver's license (or ID) and require showing that same license on entry to the event. That would put on a lot of brakes. Nothing to do with the legislature, though.

  • US VET Aug 2, 2013

    Who cares... why is this news...

  • Cock a doodle doo Aug 2, 2013

    The Republican Legislature allowed this. Get over it and quite whining. This is capitalism people. If you can't get a ticket, Boo hoo. Earn more money. You've only got yourself to blame for not being wealthy enough to get a ticket to this lame concert.

  • smokemup Aug 2, 2013

    I'll trade my 2 tickets for a 2014 Corvette Convertible.

  • heelsrule Aug 2, 2013

    All the concerts used to be free. Saw many top name entertainers at the fair. Sell tickets at the door. If you are not at the fair you can't buy the ticket. That way only the fair-goers get into the concert.