2017 tick­ets didn’t sell out as quickly

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By John Frank John Frank: jfrank@den­ver­post.com

Is the Great Amer­i­can Beer Fes­ti­val los­ing its huge hype?

The tick­ets to the na­tion’s largest beer fes­ti­val are typ­i­cally hard to get and dis­ap­pear fast. But this year, it took four hours and 15 min­utes to sell out — longer than any time since the event ex­panded in 2015.

A year ago, the Den­ver event sold out in record time at 67 min­utes. In 2015, it only took 77 min­utes to reach ca­pac­ity.

“As I think about an event of GABF’s longevity — 2017 marks our 36th year — I think it’s nat­u­ral to see some fluc­tu­a­tions in the pat­terns of de­mand and the pac­ing of sell­ing out,” said Bar­bara Fusco, the sales and mar­ket­ing direc­tor for the Brew­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, the Boul­der­based or­ga­ni­za­tion that or­ga­nizes the event.

This year’s event Oct. 5-7 at the Colorado Con­ven­tion Cen­ter will fea­ture un­lim­ited 1-ounce sam­ples of more than 3,800 beers from 850 brew­eries — the most ever. A ticket costs $89.50 with fees.

Early in the day, nu­mer­ous beer fans en­coun­tered prob­lems with Tick­et­mas­ter, the ven­dor the Brew­ers As­so­ci­a­tion uses each year. A num­ber re­ported se­lect­ing tick­ets only to see them dis­ap­pear when it came time to check out. Oth­ers hit road­blocks that made it ap­pear tick­ets were sold out, even though many were still avail­able. But no wide­spread prob­lems were re­ported.

More than 60,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend the three-day event, ac­cord­ing to the Brew­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Be­fore the sale ended, tick­ets flooded the se­condary mar­ket with start­ing prices at $100 and more — well above the $85 face value. Event or­ga­niz­ers sug­gest find­ing sell­ers will­ing to offer face value on the Brew­ers As­so­ci­a­tion Face­book page and Amer­i­can Home­brew­ers As­so­ci­a­tion fo­rums.

John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

Gena Has­sett of Golden’s Hol­idaily Brew­ing pours beer dur­ing open­ing night of the Great Amer­i­can Beer Fes­ti­val Oct. 6, 2016.

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