Monday, April 02, 2007

Glasto fine? April Fool!

Just when we were congratulating ourselves for having made it through poisson d'avril without falling for any made-up news stories, it turns out we fell for the oldest one in the book: Glastonbury's annual claim that its ticketing sale had run smoothly.

This year, though, with a potential market of just 400,000 instead of the millions and millions, it did seem plausible when they cheered how well they'd done:

Michael Eavis, who owns the farm where the festival is based, said: "We had a quarter of a million of people queuing up to get through. It's probably the fastest time we have ever sold out.

"We had coach package tickets as well and people were forced to buy those at the tail end of the sale."

He was also pleased the system of registering and then using a reference number had worked well.

"Its a great system. It's the first time it's ever been done - it's just gone so well it's just unbelievable. The system has worked really, really well and it's a first.

"Unfortunately there will be a lot of people that will be disappointed. Only two in three get through, but such is the demand of the festival - but that is in itself great after 37 years of trying to get it right."

Except... it wasn't really like that.

Dennis emails us from California:
You posted a report today on Glastonbury 2007 that tickets had sold out “without any meltdown of the equipment.” Maybe you didn’t experience any, but in trying to get to www.seetickets.com or the specific Glastonbuy URL there, I tried from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. UK time and never got to the site once. I just got “can’t find this address” or “Service Unavailable” or other problem responses – and I kept testing other URLs, and was able to get to other Web addresses with no problem whatsoever, so it was the seetickets site, not my computer or browser. I’m in California USA right now on a business trip, so my trying was from 1:00 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. local time. Finally I went to bed, took a short nap, got up and tried again – and this time got directly through to www.seetickets.com – only to be told the concert was sold out.


So from my point of view, there was indeed a total meltdown of the equipment.

And Dennis wasn't alone - The BBC's Fiona Pryor managed to get tickets, but the system doesn't sound like one working properly. Although not quite the disasters of previous Glastonburys, it still didn't work as it should, surely?

There were always going to be disappointed people, but making people spend the first lovely Spring Saturday inside for four hours just to be disappointed seems cruel. Ninja-Badger is still reeling:
i can still hear that fuckgin engaged tone from spending 4+ hours trying ang failign to get Tickets for glastonbury on sunday morning. /wrists

The question, of course, is why - when someone held the details of the only 400,000 people who could have bought tickets - there was this system in place at all? Why not take those 400,000 names, put them into some sort of cyberhat, and then email 30,000 at random with an offer to purchase; say, within 48 hours? Then take any tickets unsold, and draw again. The system in place this year was just bemusing - like the Harrods sale giving everyone a ticket with a number on, and then opening the doors and starting the rush anyway.


1 comment:

Franco said...

More details on "the Glastonbury ticket fiasco"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/02/glastonbury/

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