HUGE demand caused Henley Literary Festival's website to crash as tickets went on sale.
Instead 2,000 tickets were purchased over the phone by 'friends' of the festival between 2pm and 5pm on Monday while the problem was fixed.
A total of 4,300 were sold on the first day with 1,800 at an official launch at Hotel du Vin in New Street that evening.
The festival, which takes place at venues across the town, runs from September 28 to October 4. Tickets go on general sale on Tuesday (July 21).
Festival founder and director Sue Ryan said: "We have got our biggest programme ever with 170 events over the seven days. It's very varied and probably the broadest programme we have ever had. It appears to be going very well."
Actors Brian Blessed, Virginia McKenna and Glynis Barber have joined the line-up for this year?s festival.
Other new names include Not Going Out actress Katy Wix, award-winning comedian Tim Key, MPs Vince Cable, Caroline Lucas and Kwasi Kwarteng and former Home Secretary Charles Clarke.
Mrs Ryan said that for the first time there would be a full children's festival with 50 performances and workshops for youngsters aged two and up.
She added: "The things about our festival is that we have fabulous names and a really good programme. We have small venues, which makes it a lovely experience, but means it sells out.
"We had 12 people at the launch selling tickets in order to make it a more pleasant experience rather than big queues. The first couple of days on sale are always busy. We're very grateful to Hotel Du Vin for hosting the launch."
For more information visit http://henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk
and for tickets call the box office on (01491) 575948.