Early bird Simple Minds tickets sell-out

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One thousand “early bird” tickets for the Simple Minds Hogmanay concert in Stonehaven were snapped up in just an hour.

Volunteers who manned a stall at Stonehaven’s annual Feein’ Market were surprised to find fans had been queueing from 7am for the 10am sales launch of cut-price tickets for the Open Air In The Square event.

At one point the queue stretched several hundred yards from the Market Square round the corner into the next street.

Advance tickets were being sold at a discount rate of £20, while the main batch will go on sale for £30 plus booking fee online at www.stonehavenevents.org tomorrow (Friday) from 9am and also at Celtic Chords music shop in the town’s Barclay Street.

The first batch of tickets went to Karen Boag of Cummings Park Circle, Aberdeen, who bought them for family members Alex, Lynne and Jim. She said she was “chuffed to bits” and the long wait was well worthwhile.

Ticket sales organiser Carol Humphreys, of Stonehaven Festival and Events Committee, said: “It was a great success and totally exceeded expectations.

“The crowd were really good natured - even when they thought they might not reach the ticket table. It was great to see the smiles of those who got tickets. Everyone said how much they were looking forward to it.

“One man who had come all the way from Huntly and did not get tickets said it was OK as he would buy them on the web page on Friday.”

One Stonehaven couple said they had seen Simple Minds three times and could not wait to see them again in their home town. Another couple came from Oban on the West coast of Scotland to buy tickets.

The Market Square party - which runs in tandem with Stonehaven’s world famous Fireballs ceremony in the nearby Old Town - attracted 5000 revelers from home and abroad last year when the Red Hot Chilli Pipers topped the bill.This year it is hoped the Glasgow stadium stars, boasting a career which spans more than three decades, will attract even more people to the Aberdeenshire seaside town that has a population of around 10,000.

Support acts for the December 31 party will be announced soon.

The event will cost more than £200,000 to stage and this year the organisers are looking for as much sponsorship as possible from local and national businesses, including the chance of company VIP packages.

Tickets go on sale to the public tomorrow (Friday)) at 9am - either online at www.stonehavenevents.org/ or through the Celtic Chords Music Shop on Barclay Street in Stonehaven.