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Last Updated: Friday, 2 April, 2004, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Fan fury over Glastonbury tickets
Glastonbury's Pyramid Stage
Tickets for this year's festival are strictly limited to 112,000
The sale of tickets for this year's Glastonbury Festival has left many people disappointed and frustrated with a new secure ticketing system.

Demand for 112,000 tickets put a huge strain on phone lines and a website.

Event organiser Michael Eavis said: "Just too many people want to come, it's very difficult for all of it to run smoothly."

A stricter system has been put in place in a bid to stamp out touts, with the majority of tickets sold by Friday.

BBC News Online has been inundated with e-mails from would-be festival goers who have been unable to obtain tickets.

Despite having to stay up all night, in some cases until 5:30am this morning, me and all my friends bar one have tickets
Matt Strong, Newport

Many spoke of their frustration of being unable to access the website and getting a constant engaged tone on the phone line.

They said they felt the new system, handled by a single ticket agency, Aloud, was simply unable to cope with demand.

The agency said it "can only apologise" to those who have failed to get through, and urged them to be patient and keep trying.

"We couldn't have predicted this demand," an Aloud spokeswoman told BBC News Online.

"The website got two million impressions in the first five minutes, with 2,500 people on the phone lines every minute," she said.

The new limit of two tickets per transaction meant many more people were chasing tickets than previous years.

Michael Eavis
We could have sold them out last night in five minutes, but is that a good thing?
Michael Eavis
Glastonbury organiser
Mr Eavis also admitted they have been overwhelmed with demand, but pledged improvements for the festival in 2005.

"The internet site went down in the night - the system overloaded. So we will need more equipment there next year," he said.

But he told BBC Radio Five Live that it was not necessarily desirable to sell the tickets as fast as possible.

"We can improve the software, definitely - but is it a good thing to sell them all out in one hour?

"We could have sold them out last night in five minutes, but is that a good thing? I don't think it is you know, I'd rather string it out a bit."

He blamed the heavy demand on the fact that details of headline acts - including Oasis and Sir Paul McCartney - had been leaked.

The evening opening was an attempt to dissuade touts and allow people who are at school or at work to buy tickets.

Tickets have to be bought by debit card because organisers thought touts bought multiple tickets by credit card last year.

ID checks

But tickets are already being offered for inflated prices on internet auction site eBay, with one pair priced at 620.

Every ticket will carry the name of the person who bought it. Identity checks may be carried out at the festival gates to ensure people have not bought tickets from touts.

Mr Eavis added that people who did not buy tickets from official outlets would not get in - but if anyone bought tickets but could not use them, they could let him know at his Worthy Farm base and he would re-sell them.

In the last few years, Mr Eavis - who has run the event since its birth in 1970 - has invested more and more money into preventing gate-crashers and drug dealers entering the site.

In 2002, he spent more than 2m on new fencing to keep out people who had not bought tickets.

Last year, he pleaded for people to stay at home if they did not have tickets. This year's festival takes place between 25-27 June.


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Read your comments on buying tickets for Glastonbury below.

I've been trying since 8pm. I cannot get through, I've taken the day off work to do this and it's winding me up. Got up four times in the night to call!
Andrew Malden, Milton Keynes

13 hours later, I still cannot get on the website and despite being on the phone all night I have not reached the operators there either! Perhaps contingency for the huge demand this year should have been built in.
Ginger, Leamington Spa, UK

Despite having to stay up all night, in some cases until 5:30am this morning, me and all my friends bar one have tickets. Of course the website was going to crash and the phone lines were going to be engaged. Roll on June.
Matt Strong, Newport, South Wales

I got tickets on the dot of 8pm on the net - no problem at all - but my mates have been trying to get back in ever since and haven't managed yet! The messages on the internet site when you don't get through aren't very helpful - we've completed the order form several times and don't know whether the orders went through or not so have to keep trying.
James Berry, Bristol, UK

Six hours' solid calling. Then set alarms for two-hourly periods to try again through from 2 till 7.30. Now at work in serious danger of getting fired. Good luck to us all.
Helena, Sheffield

I'm very fed up about this. I was online from 8pm to 2am and then from 6am onwards and I'm not getting through to the website. How can it be so badly organised?
Rachel Mills, Reading

Getting a ticket was hopeless. I'd love to know how 60,000 people have managed to get one. I filled out my address details so many times only to get "page cannot be displayed" when I tried to order.
David Pinnock, Swindon UK

Up until 3.30am ringing on mobile, land line, and attempting to access the online ordering form. Total nightmare but perseverance paid off. Tip - when submitting the completed form if you don't see progress, refresh the page using re-posted data.
Chris, Andover

Absolute nightmare. Me and my girlfriend rang and tried online from 8pm on the dot until midnight, but still no luck. Looks like they don't have a big enough system to cope with a first come first serve basis.
Simon, London

Been trying to buy tickets on the phone and web for 13 hours now, no joy. This will be my 10th Glastonbury Festival (assuming I get a ticket). Never been this hard before.
Andrew Johnson, Kent

I know of around 30 people who have been trying to buy tickets. As of this morning, only one person had succeeded, and he was ringing constantly until after 2am. Frankly I can't be bothered any more. I agree with preventing touts, but this is ridiculous - last year I got through at the second attempt!
Michael Riddell, London

I had finally got the web form submitted when I was informed that they has run out of tickets. This was about 6.30 this morning.
Daniel Ling, Hitchin

Between myself and several friends, phoning constantly since 8pm, the closest any of us have got, on internet or telephone, is a message stating that all lines are busy and automatically hanging us up. That's 13 hours and counting...
Kat, Folkestone, Kent

It appears to be a complete shambles. The web crashed constantly, whatever the bandwidth, and the phone lines are permanently engaged. I personally don't believe they have sold 60,000 so far.
John McNeil, London

We waited for 3.5 hours until the server came back on - this is with 2 computers both on broadband. What it must have been like for someone on a normal connection I shudder to think. What is the point in relying on the Net if it doesn't work?
Giles Copeman, London

I appreciate what Michael Eavis is trying to do, but surely there should be more than one ticket outlet? It's just impossible to get through! I will be very disappointed if I don't get a ticket.
Mark Bell, Preston, England

I tried to order two adult and a child ticket. After three hours I finally got through on the internet to be given only a child's ticket, which I cannot use unless I get an adult ticket.
Jessica Flower, Bath

It's a total nightmare - why just have one web site? Isn't there an easier way of doing this?
Nishani Karunaratne, Cambridge, UK

A few of my friends have received e-mails saying that they have got tickets, without even realising that the transaction was complete over the website. This is an absolute joke. I hope you're ashamed.
James Stanier, Surrey

Only the very lucky have found it trouble-free. After 10hours' hassle it came through. Just keep trying!
Jim, Yorkshire

The process has been a complete nightmare. I finally got an e-mail confirmation at 4am, my brother is still trying 12 hrs later and still no luck. Many people have reported getting multiple confirmations. The computer system is just a joke. This 20-year Glasto veteran is very, very disappointed
Huw Reddick, Oxford

I managed to get a couple of tickets, confirmed by e-mail this morning, but I never got a confirmation from the website, just "this page cannot be displayed". A colleague has had the same problem, but has received three e-mail confirmations for two tickets each, even though he too did not receive the confirmation message when ordering.
Carl Cookson, Basingstoke

I was helping my sister try to get tickets last night, and I had to take over from her just so she could eat her dinner. You would have thought the organizers would have some sort of phone queuing system in place. I eventually had to stop because the BT announcement was giving me a headache. I went to work this morning and she had been up all night trying to get through. It's a mess!
Natalie, Fakenham, Norfolk

It all just seems like pot luck - I rang at 7:59pm, was put in a queue and was speaking to an agent within 5 minutes. A friend did the same and finally gave up at 2am (and is still without a ticket). In comparison to the website this was paradise - nobody I know managed to get tickets that way.
Paul McLoughlin, Cambridge, UK

Been trying since 2am Bangkok time! Finding a Internet place at this time of the morning here was to say the least unnerving. Have been trying for 13 hours solid and still going. Phone and web jammed solid and it's 41 degrees here!
Joolz, Thailand

This is terrible. I have been attempting to buy tickets since 8pm and now at one pm the next day, I need some sleep. Why is this task so impossible? I can't stop until it's done.
Rob Caisey, Minehead, Somerset

Absolutely the most frustrating thing I've ever done - despite what they say, this system does not work.
Jo, Birmingham

How could something so brilliant gambled their reputation on one ticketing agency? Unfortunately for many punters, the enduring memory of Glastonbury this year will be: the Service is currently very busy, please try again a little later....
Leo, Dublin, Ireland

The only way to solve this would be to have a lottery system where people can apply throughout the year, and at a certain date applications are picked at random. This year's system is awful, the infrastructure is clearly not in place. To waste people's time by the not having the right infrastructure is not acceptable. Please change the system for next year, so that there isn't a mad rush to buy a ticket. I can foresee many many people jumping the fence this year regardless.
Paul , Amsterdam, Netherlands

After a marathon on the internet and phone (my head is buzzing) I've secured a pair of tickets! Keep trying - allow the website to load even if it looks like it will time out - refresh if it gives 'page cannot..'.
Scott Murphy, Stirling, Scotland

I've been trying since the start with a few hours off to sleep (when I dreamt I was trying). Completed many web forms but all rejected. Continuing at work now but not even a form. Phone number says service is no longer available! Exhausted and totally, totally fed up - haven't missed one for 10 years. I don't think I'm going this year.
Mike Meddemmen, Brighton

I received two e-mail conformations for tickets that I didn't even know I'd booked because the page wouldn't display - I read on the website that anyone trying to order more than two tickets on the same card will be declined - I hope they haven't declined both of my ticket attempts! this is an absolute farce and for any improvement to be made next year is an absolute disgrace - we want it in the here and now.
Ellie, Cheshire

If I see the page saying "the service is currently very busy, Please try again a little later" again, I will scream!
Jeanette Doyle, London

I logged onto the internet at 7.30 last night and eventually bought a ticket 18 hours later. And now I'm worried that they are going to all sell out before my friends get a chance to buy any! I do understand the problem with ticket touts but surely there is a simpler way to address the issue?
Sophie, Kent

Having been trying since 8pm last night with no success, I checked my e-mail this afternoon only to find four confirmation e-mails regarding the eight tickets I've purchased. Wasn't even aware I'd purchased any as never got as far as a confirmation screen...
Stephanie Dix, Essex

Try the website now. I have been trying since 8pm last night, and today I have had the phone on automatic redial, to no avail, until I finally got the page up a few minutes ago. It's slow, and there's no immediate confirmation that you have been successful. But it worked at last. Keep trying!
Dave Hall, London

Started at 7:59 last night, up all night, finally managed to get through on the international residents' number (0115-9934170). My Friend has just informed me that he did the same - seems to be the only way to go, guys!
Andy Sykes, Leicester, UK

Absolute nightmare! We stayed up till 5:30am only to get to the page that said they had run out. We had three mobiles, one land line and broadband internet and still couldn't get through. When the phone did ring it just kept on ringing for 4-6 minutes and cut off! Got them finally at 12:45pm!
Lorraine Hughes, Hertfordshire




SEE ALSO:
Row over Darkness festival 'snub'
31 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
McCartney to headline Glastonbury
27 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
No credit cards at Glastonbury
19 Feb 04  |  Somerset
Festival plans to beat touts
25 Jan 04  |  Somerset
Glastonbury 2004 gets go-ahead
27 Nov 03  |  Somerset


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