If anyone was still wondering if craft beer was still a thing, look no further than the 2013 Great American Beer Festival -- tickets to GABF sold out (again) in record time (again). This year, tickets available to the public were gone in only 20 minutes.
This was a new record for the ever-popular annual beer fest -- in 2012, beer lovers were frustrated by tickets vanishing in just 45 minutes.
GABF organizers say that a huge surge in interest in craft beer over the last decade is part of the problem. Via the GABF blog:
Newcomers might not have the same perspective as long-time GABF attendees, but you’ve all likely noticed how big the event is. In 2004, GABF filled the Colorado Convention Center with a mere 28,000 attendees. This year’s attendance is expected to be 49,000—75 percent growth over the last decade.
While only two of the four 2004 GABF sessions sold out in the early aughts, this year’s event sold out in a matter of minutes.
Increased attendance also means more beers and brewers at GABF. In 2013, the event will boast a record number of 616 breweries pouring in the festival hall and more than 3,000 styles of beer to choose from.
But many beer fans left high and dry without tickets took to GABF's Facebook page to complain about finding scalper tickets for the event posted on StubHub or Craigslist at more than double the price listed.
GABF responded to the outcry on Facebook:
Hi Everyone. We’re reading your comments, and we hear your frustration about scalpers and the secondary market. We share those concerns and wish there was a feasible fix. Unfortunately, there’s no perfect way to successfully avoid a secondary market for hot tickets—whether for popular concerts, sporting events or festivals like the GABF.
There are measures in place to decrease access for scalpers, including ticket limits we set for GABF ticket purchases (enforced by Ticketmaster), and Ticketmaster’s anti-bot and other security measures. Does this prevent scalper access? No, but it does decrease it. We will continue to evaluate options and solutions going forward.
The Great American Beer Fest runs Oct. 10-12 at the Colorado Convention Center. For more information on the fest visit, GreatAmericanBeerFestival.com.