Hundreds of comedy fans were left disappointed after demand to see top comedian John Bishop appear on the Fylde coast was three times more than the number of tickets available.
The 457 tickets on sale for the TV favourite’s appearance at Lowther Pavilion in Lytham sold out in record time – taking just one hour and 40 minutes – but box office phones were still ringing for hours afterwards.
A number of disgruntled fans complained of problems booking online, as well as the telephone booking line being continually engaged.
While others who queued for hours to buy tickets were turned away empty-handed.
Venue manager Mark Alexander promised the box office would be better prepared next time the Lowther Pavilion hosts a headline act.
He said: “We would like to apologise to all our customers who did not get tickets. We did not realise the demand would actually be three times the number of tickets we had .
“We wanted to try and sell in person and over the phone to be fair in terms of access for everybody.
“We were limited by the facilities we have at the Lowther, but we will have a good think for the next time of how we can manage it better.”
The venue’s phone line is able to queue up 50 callers before customers are met with an engaged tone.
Meanwhile, the high volume of traffic is thought to have crashed the website, and prevented tickets being sold online.
Several Gazette readers expressed their frustration over the booking system, with one saying: “Perhaps they should use this sell-out money to invest in a system to ensure such a fiasco doesn’t happen again.”
Another said: “If they can’t handle the demand then they shouldn’t be putting on big acts. I queued for more than two hours and came away with nothing.”
But Mr Alexander said attracting John Bishop was a major coup for the theatre, and hinted more big names could soon follow.
He added: “It’s fantastic for us and our customers. On the back of this we’ve got two or three more in the pipeline.”