CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - People hoping to snag a ticket to popular Broadway musical Hamilton lined up early Wednesday morning - both in person and virtually. But the wait didn't end there.
More than 8,000 bots were trying to influence the sale around 6 a.m., Blumenthal officials said, causing online sales to come to a halt.
On-site sales ended around 10 a.m., about 20 minutes before online sales started moving again.
The musical is coming to Charlotte's Blumenthal Performing Arts Center this fall. Performances, 32 in total, run Oct. 10 through Nov. 4 at the Belk Theater.
Many went the online route and waited for a spot in the virtual waiting room at Blumenthal's CarolinaTix. Others lined up outside the Belk Theater Box Office, located at 130 N Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte, where wristbands were handed out.
The Hamilton on-sale began at 8 a.m., but people were able to get "in line" online beginning at 5 a.m. The ticketing system also assigned the best available seats, regardless of whether the purchase was made online or in person.
Logging on at 5 a.m. or at 7:55 a.m. didn't make a difference — everyone in the virtual waiting room was placed in line at random.
"At that time, you and all others who arrived prior to 8 AM will be randomly assigned a place in line in the virtual waiting room. Do not close this tab until you have been assigned your place in line. When your place is assigned, you will have the option to request email notification when your turn to purchase arrives, or you may continue to leave this tab open," the website stated.
Similar to the process of the online "line" — it actually doesn't matter whether you arrived in person at 5:30 a.m. or at 6:59 a.m. Those who arrived by 7 received a numbered wristband and were entered into a random drawing to determine placement in the actual ticket-buying line.
No actual tickets will be distributed until September - and tickets are limited to 4 per person. Purchasers also had to check a box acknowledging that they will not sell tickets for more than $10 what they paid. If tickets are sold for more than $10 above face value, Blumenthal can deny the ticket.
Heavy online traffic caused the website to crash when the virtual waiting room first opened. By 5:20 a.m., things were back up and running - until the bot issue happened.
Most tickets cost between $74.50 to $174.50, with a select number of $434.50 premium seats available.
With 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize tucked into its cap, the hip-hop musical about the life and death of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton continues to be a juggernaut on Broadway (where it premiered in 2015), having topped the box office there this past season with $161 million in gross receipts, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Click here to view FAQ regarding the ticketing process.