Everyone in line knew the Elton John concert would sell out fast.

The question was, how fast?

For many, the answer was much, much too fast.

“It’s so sad,” lamented Rick Bourque of Kitchener, who was only a few spots back from the ticket window when the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium ran out of tickets at 10:57 this morning.

“I was so close.”

Bourque joined the line-up at 4 a.m. and shivered until Aud staff opened the doors at 6 a.m. By the time tickets went on sale at 10, more than 100 fans of the Rocket Man were queued up.

Those who had camped out all night, such as the self-proclaimed “Ticket Master” Randy Berdan, walked away happy with primo seats.

“Was it worth it?” Berdan wondered aloud. “Look at my smile. Of course it was.”

Liz Harris, who feared she might lose a toe to frostbite after spending all night with two friends in a tiny tent, was among the final few people to snap up tickets.

“It was totally worth almost losing a toe,” she said. “I mean, it’s Sir Elton John. In Kitchener.”

Only about 45 people made it to the Aud’s three ticket windows — nearly all of them buying the maximum of six tickets apiece — before Aud manager Kim Kugler broke the bad news of the sell-out.

Many dejected fans complained that the number of tickets allotted to in-person sales at the Aud box-office was far too small.

“This is stupid,” said Rob Free of Guelph.

“I’ve been here since 6:30, I drove through this storm and now I’ve got nothing. If (Elton John) is playing at the Aud, they should sell more tickets here at the Aud, not other places.”

Those who spent the night fighting off the snow at the Aud might not want to read the next sentence.

They could have slept in their warm bedrooms, shown up at a TicketMaster outlet shortly before tickets went on sale and still have had a good chance of getting seats.

Only 14 people lined up for tickets at the Fairview Park Mall’s Sunrise Records store, the only TicketMaster outlet in Kitchener.

Following TicketMaster policy, line positions were set randomly rather than by whoever showed up first.

It only took one customer for TicketMaster to run out of group seats. No one left the line when store manager Daniel Jahn announced only single seats scattered throughout the arena remained.

Betty Grant, 61, let out a quiet “woo-hoo” when her request for six tickets went through.

“I never dreamt I would have a chance to see him,” said Grant, of Kitchener, a fan of John’s throughout his career. “This is just amazing.”

Her co-worker, Lisa Disher, was just as excited to pick up four seats. She said she didn’t mind that the seats were not together, especially considering one of them is for her ex-boyfriend.

“One of the seats is behind the stage. He’s going to get the worst seat,” said Disher, 28, of Kitchener.

About 10 minutes into the ticket sale at the mall, the only seats remaining were those left by Internet users whose credit cards had been rejected.

As the line inched along, Bill Blake of Kitchener, the 13th person in line, chanted to himself, “Oh come on, get me one, get me one!”

Alas, when Jahn punched Blake’s ticket request into the computer at 10:26, 26 minutes into the sale, it responded that all seats were taken.

Blake, 60, was clearly disappointed. Just two weeks ago, he and his friends had listed John among musicians they wanted to see in their lifetimes.

“When he’s in your hometown, it’s really frustrating you can’t get through,” said Blake.

Blake might have to wait until Elton John next rolls into Ontario for a show.

And he thinks it’s gonna be a long, long time.