Wednesday, March 02, 2005

GLASTONBURY: FLOPPING OVER ALREADY: Hopes that Glasto might have learned and grown since last year's ticket selling disaster are looking to be a bit misplaced: yesterday, details of how tickets would be sold this year went online, and their server fell over. That's before anyone needed to put in any data or credit card numbers. The Inquirer reports:

The catch is that the server is already overloaded. The INQ managed to get on once @ 7.25 am but no information had bee loaded. Since then the server is complaining that it can't cope with the traffic it is receiving.

Uh-oh... But at least the information is now available, if you all just log-on one at a time. They sound very confident about their abilities this year, but it seems to be mainly that they've got a widget to keep people out when they get swamped - which isn't fixing the store, it's just getting a couple of extra guys in for security.

Anyway, Eavis writes: Last year buying Festival tickets was very difficult and a lot of people were disappointed. The same number of tickets will be available for us to sell this year - so if the worldwide demand for tickets is similar to 2004 unfortunately there will again be more people disappointed than successful.

"If" seems to be an almost insanely hopefull - "who knows, maybe everyone would rather go to V instead, I hear they have Prodigy playing..."

We have spent a lot of time looking at different ways of selling Festival tickets to reduce the problems that people had last year. We considered many radical options, but have decided that improving our existing system is the best way forward.

If there had been a few problems last year, that would make sense - but to be honest, last year was such a shambles, the radical option would have been to keep the system. The sensible thing to do would be to talk to other people and find someone with a sturdy system.

What I can promise you is that we will have tested and retested the improved online system, so people should not be left in limbo this year. You will be informed if you cannot enter the system, if it is too busy, and you will receive confirmation when the sale goes through. By having the sale on Sunday, I am assured the problems that the telephone exchange faced last year will not be repeated. I have arranged more than twice the number of operators to be there to take your calls.

I'm not so sure about this - moving to a Sunday won't actually do anything to manage the demand; I suspect BT pushed this so there would less disruption to other telephone subscribers on the exchange rather than because it would suddenly increase capacity.

Last year we attempted to tackle the number of people selling-on tickets for profit by requiring you to show some ID at the turnstiles. It was very successful, so we are taking the next step and requiring you to provide photo ID this year – but don’t worry - it need not cost you anything as we can arrange a free card for you. I really think this is a positive move forward to stop unscrupulous people and companies touting tickets.

"Free card" - in other words, something everyone is paying for as part of the more-expensive-than-ever ticket. And since when did a festival start issuing ID? How is this actually going to work? What's to stop me buying a ticket of Junky Mears, and then sending in my picture? Or will Michael Eavis require anyone sending in a picture to have it endorsed on the back by a pillar of the community? This is just lets pretend land, but its interesting that Eavis - who once stood as an MP for Blair's Labour Party - is touting the same won't work solution for what ails him. Doubtless if you turn up with a ticket from Ebay, you'll be put under tent arrest.

Please do not be tempted to try to buy from any unofficial ticket sites – you could easily find that you have paid out money and they do not have a ticket for you – and if the name printed on the ticket they provide does not tie up with your ID you will not get into the Festival, as happened to many people last year.

So be vareful if your cousin gets married instead and gives you his ticket...

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