Rock legends the Rolling Stones were due to play a surprise mini-gig in Paris Thursday and all 350 tickets priced at 15 euros ($20) each were snapped up in minutes.
“The Rolling Stones are playing a short warm-up gig tonight … in Paris,” the group said on Twitter, adding that the tickets would be available from 12 pm (1000 GMT) at the Virgin megastore on the emblematic Champs Elysees avenue.
“Names will be printed on the tickets. On presentation of photo ID at the venue, ticket holders will receive a wristband. Doors open at 8 pm,” the message said.
“Mobile phones, cameras, video equipment and recording devices are strictly prohibited.”
However, rumours spread like wildfire, forcing Virgin to open the ticket sales two hours earlier as a huge snaking line formed outside its doors overnight.
“I heard it on the radio, I have been here since 7:30” in the morning, said a man, giving his name only as Eric, as “I am not supposed to be here.
“It could turn out to be a 40-minute concert but I did not hesitate for a second,” he said.
Juan, who is in his sixties, said he had seen 15 Stones concerts since 1975.
“But it’s absolutely unusual to see them in these conditions,” he said.
Le Parisien newspaper said the event would be held at Trabendo, a small theatre with 700 seats located in the Parc de la Villette, a working-class area in eastern Paris.
The group are also due to play at a private gig in Paris on Monday at the Mogador theatre.
The band has announced four major concerts in Britain and the United States to mark their 50th anniversary. The Stones’ last concerts were in 2007.
There has been outrage in Britain over the steep price of the tickets for the concerts at London’s 02 Arena on November 25 and 29 which are up for £406 ($650, 500 euros) a seat on the official ticket website.
Frontman Mick Jagger, 69, has said the four concerts will be followed by a longer string of dates, yet to be announced.
US music magazine Billboard reported in August that Jagger and bandmates Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood will earn a total of $25 million for the four shows.