TICKETS for a popular band's homecoming gig have sold out with fans struggling to get access to the hotly anticipated concert.

Blur fans had their first chance to bag tickets for the band’s show at Colchester Arts Centre in an exclusive pre-sale on Wednesday – but tickets sold out in seconds.

Tickets were a hot commodity, with the venue having a capacity for just 400 standing music fans.

The general sale was due to open at 10am today but when a Gazette reporter opened the Ticketmaster website at 9.55am, 10am and just after 10am to buy tickets the site stated none were available.

A message on the website prior to 10am said: "Sorry, tickets are currently not available. Please check back later, or view availability for other dates."

Upset Blur fans took to social media to share their frustrations following the debacle, with many questioning if all tickets were sold in the earlier pre-sale.

When queried, a representative for Blur said the majority of tickets went to Blur fans in the first instance, on a first come first served basis to fans who had signed up to the band's online mailing list, leaving "a handful of tickets" available for the general sale.

Ticketmaster has been approached for comment.

The Britpop band, which has firm roots in Colchester, announced four warm-up shows ahead of their European tour, which will see the band take to the world-famous Wembley Stadium for two nights in July, on Tuesday.

They will start their warm-up shows with a special gig at Colchester Arts Centre, in Church Street, on Friday, May 19.

Earlier this week, the Gazette investigated ticket fraud after a Gazette reporter spotted "scammers" targeting Blur fans who missed out on securing pre-sale tickets.

Colchester Council’s culture and heritage boss Pam Cox, who was influential in securing the gig, said she was “very pleased” Blur is coming back to Colchester.

Gazette: Pleased - Pam CoxPleased - Pam Cox

Ms Cox added: “I had conversations with Dave Rowntree which were very helpful in moving the plans forward.

“I also spoke with Nigel Hildreth and between us, those three-way conversations helped pull it off.”

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Why is Blur coming to Colchester?

Nigel Hildreth, a retired music teacher who taught two members of the band at Stanway School, has kept in touch with his former pupils.

Having spoken with Colchester Art Centre’s Anthony Roberts, Mr Hildreth approached the band to ask if they’d do a homecoming show at the venue to celebrate Colchester gaining city status.

Gazette: Proud teacher - Nigel Hildreth taught two members of Blur at Stanway SchoolProud teacher - Nigel Hildreth taught two members of Blur at Stanway School

The members of Blur were only too happy to agree, especially as the gig coincides with two huge shows at Wembley Stadium, London, on July 8 and 9.

Mr Hildreth, who now sits on the board of Colchester Arts Centre, said: “It’s great they’re doing this. They’ve been back to Colchester before in the 90s for a charity concert at Colchester Sixth Form College, so there’s a precedent but I didn’t know they’d agree to this one.”

Who are the members of Blur?

Blur’s frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, and drummer Dave Rowntree all grew up in Colchester, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School.

Gazette: Star - Damon Albarn recently performed at CoachellaStar - Damon Albarn recently performed at Coachella (Image: PA)

Graham later introduced Dave to Damon and bassist Alex James, and together they formed Blur, releasing their debut album, Leisure, in 1991.

Since then, they went on to have five successive UK number-one albums and a string of top ten singles, including Country House and Beetlebum which reached the top spot.

Together they’ve collected ten NME awards, six Q awards, five BRIT awards, and an Ivor Novello award.

Their London show on July 8 sold out in minutes with fans faring to see the band come together again to perform their iconic and much-loved songs at their first-ever Wembley Stadium appearance.