Local News

Tickets Process To See Clay Aiken Hits Sour Note With Fans

Posted September 28, 2004

— State fair officials don't plan to add any more Clay Aiken concerts. His two shows on Monday, Oct. 18 each sold out in a matter of minutes, but that success has hit a sour note with many fans.

When Clay Aiken's State Fair appearance was announced, it was music to the ears of fans like Bonnie Jackson.

"I was really excited and I thought since he's coming here, I can see him," she said.

The only way to buy the tickets for the two Clay Aiken concerts was on the State Fair's Web site. The first show sold out in nine minutes while the second show sold out in 14 minutes.

Both times, Jackson said she was shut out of the ticket process.

"[It] just locked up. It wouldn't give us the information we needed. It wouldn't give us confirmation of anything," she said.

Thousands of "Clayniacs" across the country logged on at the same time, trying to buy the $15 tickets. Now, you can find many of the tickets on sale on eBay for $100 to $800 a pair.

"We should have priority, I think, because it is our state, our fair and the people in Nevada should not be able to sell to the people in North Carolina $400 and $500 tickets," said Karen Salmon, a fan of Clay Aiken.

State Fair representative Tiffany Budd said Clay's concerts were treated like the rest.

"We felt online sales would be the easiest, quickest and best way to handle all of our concerts," she said. "I wish everybody could come see Clay because I know how popular he is."

In North Carolina, it is illegal to re-sell tickets for more than $3 above face value. Local and state prosecutors said it is almost impossible to go after ticket scalpers on the Internet.

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