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Ravinia Breaks Ticket Sale Record

Festival sold 110,000 tickets on Thursday, selling out six concerts completely.

began selling tickets for its  Thursday morning, and by the end of the day had sold a record-breaking 110,000.

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Six concerts completely sold out (meaning both pavilion and lawn seating), including Colbie Caillat and Gavin Degraw; Santana; both James Taylor shows and both Train shows.

Pavilion seats sold out for Earth, Wind & Fire; Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers; Sarah McLachlan; Idina Menzel; and Duran Duran.

"The season includes 50 artists who have never been to Ravinia before," said Ravinia Communications Director Nick Pullia in a statement. "That has attracted great attention, and could bring us new audiences as well."

 Patch reader Jennie Moore commented on Patch's Facebook page that she was waiting for over two hours Thursday morning, but logged off because she had to go to work.

According to Ravinia, the festival's website maintained about 9,000 users consistently throughout the day. Ravinia's web host tripled its server capacity to improve the site's speed.

"It was akin to open-heart surgery,” Pullia said, “We tripled our space and combed our code to make sure there were no other issues slowing things down, all without interrupting the sales flow."

Originally, Ravinia's website warned customers they'd have to wait 30 minutes or more; however, many waited for hours. For some, the wait ended with the frustrating news that the show they wanted to buy tickets for was sold out.

"I have been trying for SIX hours," wrote Esther Spaeth Kelly on Ravinia's Facebook page. "James Taylor and Train have completely sold out for the Saturday shows on the lawn. Great."

Pulia apologized in a statement to Ravinia customers.

"I do apologize to anyone who had to wait a long time to purchase tickets," Pulia said. "I do hope you were able to get the tickets you wanted."

Joni Johnson April 28, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I considered making the $250 donation so I could order tickets early, but decided against it because the actual ticket prices for pavilion seats are so high anyway. So, when I tried to buy tickets online on Thursday to Diana Krall, the only seats left, at a very high price, were in the back half of the pavilion. I found much better seats on an unrelated web site, but was worried that the tickets were not guaranteed to be mailed until 3 days before the concert. I saw Diana there (decent pavilion seats) a few years ago, so maybe I'll just skip it. I think the lawn ticket prices are way too high, too. I've been going to Ravinia since I was a teen, and worked one summer in one of the restaurants, but I feel a lukewarm commitment to it at this point.
Mosaic53 April 28, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Absolutely understand your point. Most of our friends prefer the Lawn. We only purchase a couple Pavilion concerts, but still want to be able to purchase Lawn early, to avoid a sell out, as well as the ability to walk in & get a spot 30 min. before the gates open. We've lIved in HP for over 20 years & even the lawn tickets have really gone up.
Nancy E.Parient April 29, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Wow! What a Great Group of performers for this season!
David Greenberg April 30, 2012 at 02:42 AM
"Non-for profit summer music festival"... I might have been able to buy that line when the CSO was the main act. Not gonna buy it when you have thousands packed into the Pavilion and Lawn spaces for headline pop acts... Restaurant on-premises...
Harriet Kohn May 12, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Ravinia improve your ticket sales process. As others have said, I was on line for 8 hours not knowing if what I was waiting for was sold out in the first hour. I am a neighbor of Ravinia, never complain about traffic or noise because its such a great venue. I'm not feeling so generous this year.

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