When tickets for Phish's reunion tour went on sale Friday, the event became the first major test for Live Nation's new ticketing service — and according to reports across the Internet, the concert giant failed to deliver as countless fans encountered a system unready for the throng of Phishheads scrambling for tickets to one of the year's most anticipated tours. Massive traffic to the Live Nation page caused the site to freeze up, often during purchases, resulting in users losing the tickets they were in the process of buying.
"At the moment of the onsale, there were 1 million people trying to buy tickets, and that overwhelmed the system for a minute," a Live Nation spokesman tells Rolling Stone (for more on Live Nation's ticketing launch, see the next issue, on newsstands this Wednesday). "We sold all the tickets to all the shows. At the end of the day, it was successful."
From a customer satisfaction perspective, however, it's hard to argue the Phish sale went well. Fans on message boards have reported numerous technical glitches, ranging from a message that read "There was a problem. An error occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again" to unreadable CAPTCHAs (the random words you type in to confirm you're a person and not a scalping machine) that ultimately resulted in no tickets. And we thought those $13.50 service fees were the service's biggest drawback.
A post on Jamptopia calls the sale an "epic fail." "While I'm all for a little competition in the marketplace, I gotta tell you the past few days made me nostalgic for my old pal Ticketmaster," added Todd Levy in his post.
Rock Daily was also stung by Live Nation's ticketing problems during attempts to purchase Phish tickets. We had to enter and reenter our credit card information three times while trying to get tickets to the band's June 5th show in Wantagh, New York, and all three times after we went to check out, we were greeted by a Error 404 page and another long stay in the so-called "waiting room." We were already signed into our Live Nation account, but when it came time to buy the tickets we had to sign in again, which resulted in another long loading time while the countdown clock kept ticking down. Ultimately, the purchases weren't completed in time and our tickets went back into the pool. Phone calls to Live Nation during the ticket buying process were greeted with one ring, 40 seconds of silence and a disconnection.
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