‘I’m crying inside, I just got broken,” said Ashton Mason, who was disappointed after spending 20 hours in line for White Stripes tickets.
Although nearly two hours of rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the army that camped overnight for tickets, the small number of available seats at the arts centre meant dozens of patient fans went home empty handed and upset.
“This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of because the White Stripes are the biggest thing that’s ever come up here,” said Mackenzie Pemberton, who walked away empty handed after a 14-hour wait.
“There are 20,000 people in Whitehorse that probably want to see them, but only 400 people get to.”
The tickets went on sale with a flurry of action at precisely 9 a.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre and Arts Underground.
A few orders were taken over the art centre’s single phone line.
Fans could purchase eight tickets at a time.
Twelve minutes later a voice came over the loudspeaker declaring the concert sold out.
The crowd responded with boos, yells and some profanity.
“I’m a little bit pissed off,” said Pemberton.
“Some of those people (at the front of the line) weren’t even in line the entire time.”
“I’m mad,” said Julie Leblond, another fan who spent 14 hours in line.
“I got sick just for this — this is ridiculous,” she added.
While many were disappointed, the early birds, like Stephen Waterreus, went home with eight tickets.
Waterreus queued up at the arts centre at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, and was first in a line of more that 100 by 8:45 a.m. Friday morning.
“Visa, don’t fail me now!” he yelled as the box office processed his order.
The White Stripes’ Whitehorse stop, slated for June 25, is part of the band’s North American tour.
The pair has dates set in every province and territory.
The band will begin its Canadian tour in Burnaby on June 24, then snake its way across the country ending in St. John’s, Newfoundland on July 16.
The art centre scored the gig after the House of Blues contacted the centre looking for a place for the band to play.
“Four-hundred and twenty very lucky people are going to get to see it,” said the Yukon Arts Centre executive director Chris Dray.
“It’s unfortunate,” he added. “But, on the other hand, in the theatre world it’s sometimes good to leave those audiences hungry.”
Dray wasn’t surprised at the record sales.
“We’ve sold out shows in one day before, but never in 12 minutes,” he said as an angry crowd milled around the art centre’s atrium venting their frustration and packing up their gear.
“This is an extraordinary event that senior artists like this would come to Whitehorse anyway.
“We’re always trying to bring in big names, but in most cases the costs are prohibitive.”
In this case the band really wanted to play the North.
“Having never done a full tour of Canada, Meg and I thought it was high time to go whole hog,” band member Jack White wrote on the White Stripes website.
“We wanted to take this tour to the far reaches of the Canadian landscape. From the ocean to the permafrost.”
“It was the band’s choice to play in a small venue,” said Dray.
And it would be their choice to move the show to a larger venue.
Rumours that the show will be moved to Shipyards Park or the Yukon Convention Centre have been spreading around Whitehorse.
For now they are just rumours, said Dray.
“We did make the promoter, the House of Blues, aware that the concert could be relocated so a larger audience could be served, but it’s entirely up to them.”
It was also the promoter’s decision to allow the box office to sell eight tickets at a time.
“It was their way or the highway,” said Dray.
“I guess that was the only way we could get them here.”