By Dylan Hand
Tickets for the fall concert featuring EDM artist Kygo went on sale online Wednesday, and while sales were good, long wait times and website issues made the experience not ideal for many.
The Student Committee on Popular Entertainment (SCOPE) offered a new way to get tickets for the concert: the Internet. Last spring, tickets were sold in person at the MUB. The line would stretch hundreds of people long, and those standing in it could wait for hours in the cold to get their tickets.
Amanda Chabot, the publicity director for SCOPE, explained the reason for switching methods.
“We’ve always been looking for another option besides ticket lines for the students because obviously it’s just not ideal. We don’t want to have students wait for 10 hours and not get a floor ticket or not get a ticket at all,” Chabot said, adding that the negative response to the line for last spring’s Lee Brice concert pushed SCOPE to make a change.
This time around, SCOPE and the MUB offered tickets online through mubtickets.com, hoping to provide an easier and more comfortable way to purchase tickets. There would be no long waits in a line out in the cold. Students could get tickets in bed, in their dorms, or wherever they had access to the Internet.
That is, if the website worked as was promised.
The website was powered by another ticketing site University Tickets. Decision makers from the MUB and SCOPE were assured that the website would be able to handle the high volume of traffic from all the students trying to log in at the same time.
“One of my first questions for [University Tickets] was ‘What happens when this crashes?’ I was told that it won’t crash and that the system is used in universities throughout the country and is designed to take on high levels of traffic all at once,” Chabot said.
SCOPE had plans for a backup location where students could go to get tickets in case the website failed, but they were reassured by University Tickets that the site would not fail, and no backup location was saved.
At 8 a.m. on Wednesday, the MUB ticket site opened, and from the start, people had difficulties.
“I got on the site right when it started and the page took forever to load. I probably sat there for two hours but I had class to go to so I never got a ticket,” said Brian Johnson, a senior at UNH.
Many students echoed Johnson’s frustration on social media, targeting SCOPE for being directly responsible for not getting a ticket, or even missing class trying to get tickets.
Eventually, SCOPE got reports about students being put into a virtual waiting room, and waiting for long periods of time.
We didn’t even know that [the waiting room] existed. Once the waiting room was up it really seemed to be a matter of luck I suppose,” Chabot explained.
Some people got right through the waiting room and others had to wait, which Chabot said was unfair to the students. Other students rushed to the MUB to try to get a physical ticket.
Some students however had no trouble getting tickets at all.
“I was at work when the tickets started and I had no problem getting a ticket. It wasn’t slow, it only took a few minutes for me, said Chad Livingston, a senior, who thought it may have been easy because he was not on campus Wi-Fi. SCOPE did not have information on whether being on the campus Wi-Fi was an issue.
Despite the problems with the site, Chabot says that SCOPE sold 77 percent of the tickets on the first day.
“We sold out the floor by 11:30 a.m. entirely, which is the fastest we have ever sold something in SCOPE history. In the end, we definitely sold the tickets that we meant to sell, but the damage was already done,” said Chabot.
As of Sunday night, student-bowl and non-UNH student-bowl tickets are still available for the concert.
Changes will likely be made to the ticket process for future concerts. According to Chabot, SCOPE will meet with the MUB and University Tickets and review the recent events, and look to find a solution.