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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2007, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Facing Glastonbury ticket torture
By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Fiona Pryor on the phone
The Glastonbury phone lines were constantly engaged
Glastonbury tickets went on sale 1 April at 0900 BST, with a brand new registration system, designed to stamp out touts, but did it make it any easier to buy them?

With five friends, I had managed to provide the details and photograph the organisers demanded in exchange for a code number - but it did not guarantee a spot in those green Somerset fields.

And with 400,000 people registering for only 137,000 tickets, it was not going to be easy.

So, once we got the numbers through, all six of us devised Operation Glastonbury.

Each person would try to get tickets for the whole group. The first person to succeed would ring the others. Surely the odds were now on our side?

A flurry of e-mails containing registration numbers, postcodes and bank card details were sent back and forth.
The busy message on the Glastonbury ticket website
The ticket website was constantly blocked

I agreed to make the 65-mile journey from my house in Northampton to London, to use all the computers in my Dad's office.

My boyfriend, Rob, stayed at home to use both his phones, the home computer and his laptop.

Paul and Jimmy, friends who live in London and work from home, assured me they would be logging onto both their desktop computers, all six laptops, as well as the five phones they have access to.

The remaining two, Jonny and Iain, also promised to get up early and phone-bash.

My day began at 0630. I was out of the door half an hour later making the journey down the M1. Once I got into the office I started ringing round everyone to make sure they were up.

Of course not one of them answered.

Busy phones

I knew three of them had been out the night before and they could be anywhere. I logged onto five computers - but as the minutes ticked by I was starting to worry.

Fiona Pryor at Glastonbury 2005
Glastonbury 2005 was memorable because of the mud
At 0830 I tried the phone line just to see what happened. I got the engaged tone. Online I got the message "The service is currently busy". The tickets were not even on sale at this point.

Ten minutes later I made contact with Iain. At least he was awake. He told me not to panic about the busy websites and to keep trying.

At 0842 I eventually got hold of Jonny who was in London with Paul and Jimmy. They only got to bed three hours ago and it was a miracle they were up.

A minute later Paul rang me. He sounded dreadful but at least everyone was accounted for.

The butterflies set in with just 12 minutes to go until kick-off. This could make or break my summer, depending on whether I got tickets.

Heart flutters

With just two minutes to go I realised I needed the toilet but ignored it.

As the clock on the right-hand side of my screen moved round to 0900 I hit the phones. Engaged. Then engaged again. Then engaged some more.

I refreshed the computer screens to try to get on the website, but they too were busy.

The state of our boots, Glastonbury 2005
Wellies, the most important item to take to Glastonbury

At 0909 Paul rang, neither of us had got through, and we joked about not wanting to go anymore, but we both knew that we did - desperately.

By 0920 I had had enough. I had learnt the phone number off by heart, and my forefinger ached from dialling so much.

At 0923 Paul rang to tell me we had tickets! My heart skipped a beat and relief kicked in.

"What day is it?" he asked me.

"Sunday, it is 1st April," I replied.

"April Fool!" he said.

Great. Thanks for that.

At 0946 I heard from another friend, not part of Operation Glastonbury, who informed me she had got a ticket.

That made me panic - what if they had all gone? I tried to dial the number even faster.

Glastonbury camping site
We are now set to go to the festival in June

'Ecstatic'

At 1004 Iain called to say he was booking our tickets online. I asked him to repeat that please. It wasn't a joke!

"I've had the most random day," he told me. "I was wandering back from McDonalds with a mate and went into this internet cafe in Clapham.

"There were a couple of girls in there who had just managed to buy some tickets and they let me on and I got straight through."

I rang Paul to check he had heard the good news. He had already sloped off to bed to sleep off last night and I asked him how he felt.

"Putting aside the drink I consumed last night - I feel ecstatic," he said.

I whooped, I punched the air. I wondered where I had left my wellies.


SEE ALSO
Glastonbury tickets snapped up
01 Apr 07 |  Entertainment
Bassey confirmed for Glastonbury
27 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Glastonbury wins licence to 2010
27 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
395,000 register for Glastonbury
06 Mar 07 |  Entertainment

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