Golden opportunity seen in Gaga rush
It looked like a crime scene. Cordoned off by police tape, dozens of people napped or played cards as they camped out in a Tsim Sha Tsui alley that rats and cockroaches would call home.
They were the hardcore group, the ones serious about getting tickets to Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way Ball'. But these were not Gaga's little monsters, her hardcore fans.
Here were Hong Kong's scalpers, professional queuers and a smattering of teenage fans hoping to make a quick buck when Mother Monster comes to the AsiaWorld-Arena in May.
'I'm not a big fan, but we want to see her because she's a superstar,' said Tony Kwok Ying-ki, 26, a waiter at Beijing Club. He and his girlfriend had been out there since Friday morning, sleeping on cardboard boxes amidst the wind, rain and grime.
From 10am today, ticket sales are open to the public, with a limit of eight per credit card. They can be booked by phone, on the HK Ticketing website or at 29 ticketing outlets.
'We'll get tickets for ourselves and sell the rest,' said Kwok.
His was a line echoed by several people in line outside the Tom Lee music store. More are expected to join the fray, after news that 6,000 pre-sale tickets had sold out in a matter of hours on Thursday.
'The police came yesterday because people were trying to cut in line and someone complained,' said Kwok. So far he says there does not seem to be a system for Tom Lee staff to know who is first in line.
On Yahoo's auction site and shopping portal Taobao.com, tickets for the May 2 concert were more than four times the original prices of HK$480 to HK$1,580. A second concert on May 3 was announced by promoter Live Nation on Friday.
'I was worried that we couldn't get tickets,' said Shek Chun-hei, 24, a graphic designer. 'I'm glad she's having a second concert.'
But her friend Lau Ka-chun said he hoped there would not be a third. 'That would affect ticket prices,' he said - presumably for people who may want to resell the tickets.
On Thursday, fans complained after tickets on priority sale to American Express card holders sold out in three hours. Those who got them were well-connected insiders who had paid a HK$205 service charge or had queued for hours overnight.