Bono, singer of the Irish band U2.

Tickets to U2’s two concerts in South Africa have all but sold out only hours after going on sale.

The band will play at the FNB and Cape Town stadiums in February as part of their 360° Tour. It will be their first visit to South Africa since their PopMart Tour in 1998.

Tickets ranging from R161 to a special Red Zone at R2 568 went on sale yesterday at 9am.

By 7am Computicket reported having 17 000 users camping on the website. At 9am the website crashed from the surge of hopeful buyers, said Big Concerts chief financial officer Justin van Wyk.

But within 25 minutes of the website coming back up, more than 25 percent of the tickets had been sold.

The FNB Stadium in Gauteng can accommodate close to 100 000 ticket holders while Cape Town Stadium can hold almost 70 000 fans.

The website continued to crash sporadically throughout the day, and giving users the number of a national call centre.

Twitter was busy with tweets about snaking queues and lagging ticket servers.

“Good news! After four hours I finally got the tickets – over the phone. Lank excited for February 13!” tweeted one user.

Van Wyk said: “It’s gone phenomenally well.

“The volume we’ve received has been unprecedented.”

He promised concertgoers would experience the full show.

Yesterday he said: “We expect to close at about 95 percent and sell the rest today.” - Sunday Argus