Official explains James Taylor ticket ‘debacle’

For about 15 minutes on Feb. 11, the Roanoke Civic Center experienced what its manager calls a “debacle.”

Tickets went on sale that morning for James Taylor’s upcoming concert at the complex’s Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre. But at 10 a.m., when the sale was to begin, something was wrong. People could not purchase tickets online. Customers were hitting the civic center’s ticket sales site and winding up frustrated.

That day, a spokeswoman said so many people were at the sales site,, that the system was overwhelmed. But this week, RCC general manager Robyn Schon said that what actually happened was a bit different. One item on a list of electronic protocols — steps that are necessary to activate transactions — was not checked off, Schon said.

“There was an area that should have been activated, and it wasn’t,” she said. “And it was caught like 10 minutes after we went on sale, just 10 minutes, because we recognized quickly that something was not right. And then we started getting phone calls. And it was corrected within another four or five minutes.

“So the first 15 minutes were not fun for us.”