Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - As the box office at the New York State fairgrounds opened at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the new concert ticketing system debuted online, offering seats to the upcoming Jason Aldean and Keith Urban grandstand shows.
Many customers said they had a tough time working with the system.
Several people complained that an error message appeared on their computer screens. Others said they were blocked with notifications that their online sessions had expired quickly.
Etix was introduced as the fair's new online ticket seller earlier this month after an agreement with Ticketmaster was not renewed.
Fair Director, Dan O'Hara, said the system would have lower fees and allow customers to upload tickets to smartphones, eliminating the need for paper copies, if desired.
The idea was meant to make the process easier, but several customers lined up at the box office late Saturday morning because they simply couldn't make their purchases online.
O'Hara agreed there were problems when the sales first opened online, but he believed they were fixed early. Many customers disagreed, saying they were struggling for hours.
Several of the people waiting at the box office said they had given up trying to order online and decided to drive to the fairgrounds to purchase seats in person.
O'Hara sent a request to New York State several weeks ago to review the new deal with Etix. He had to wait for state officials to approve the agreement before allowing customers to secure their seats.
There was no mention of the grandstand concerts on the Etix website until late Friday afternoon. The fair director said his office needed time to finalize the seating layout for the shows.
O'Hara said he plans to hold a briefing with Etix on Monday to review concerns with the overall system, prices, and fairness of the process.