[Update: 22 Nov] Organisers Lushington announced that they have voided “a number of tickets” to the Coldplay concert found on the resale market.
Even if you’re not a fan of Coldplay, you’ve probably heard about the ‘Coldplay concert ticket angst’ epidemic that has been afflicting not only your colleagues, but the whole of Singapore as well.
This morning at 10am, the figurative floodgates for booking tickets to the one-night only concert opened, and many were greeted with slow loading times for pages – mostly due to the high web traffic the site was experiencing.
Trust us, we were one of the many waiting with bated breath in front of our screens.
The flurry for a chance to get up-close-and-personal (enough) with the popular British band was not the first, and 12,000 of these tickets were sold out in an hour during the pre-sale special for Citibank cardholders last Thursday (17 Nov).
Said Michael Roche, managing director of Lushington, the gig’s organiser, 80% of the tickets were sold out within the first 30 minutes, and “5 to 6,000 users were trying to make transactions at any time”.
The speed of its sale was also “unprecedented”, and “the only other time this happened was when Michael Jackson played in Singapore for the Dangerous Tour in 1993”.
The black market for these tickets soon emerged on Carousell and Viagogo, and Roche and team have assured that they’re aware of the practice, and will get the resellers to take down the listings.
In a worst-case scenario, they were also “prepared to bar people with resale tickets from entering the concert grounds”.
Given that today’s sale was open to the public, we can imagine that the situation this morning was even more chaotic.
By 11:20am or so, my friend PM-ed me to say that her hopes for clinching a ticket were dashed when her loading page displayed the message: “The system is currently under maintenance. Please come back soon.”
As a confirmation to our fears, Lushington soon issued a Facebook status update on the concert’s event page at around 11:40am:
System Problems, Black Market Sellers, Unsatisfactory Statement
Inevitably, the post was soon flooded with reactions from angry fans – especially towards those (to put it very nicely) enterprising souls who have bought a bulk of tickets to later sell for profit on other channels.
Some have also lashed out at the organisers, many understandably frustrated with the unstable site, and false hope that came in the form of forever-loading pages and waiting rooms:
And one basically said what all of us were thinking:
What was even more infuriating to some was the content of the message meted out by the organisers:
$6,293.23 For A Coldplay Ticket
A quick check on Viagogo, a site that has been popping up in the comments as a haven for unscrupulous resellers, reveals tickets starting from a whopping $675:
Via official means, the most expensive ticket category would have only set fans back $298.
A pop-up at the side of the concert’s page also revealed that an average of over 90,000 users are on the page at one time:
At time of writing (1:20pm), there are also 128 tickets up for grabs:
And the kicker? The most expensive listed ticket is currently going at $6,293.23!
Someone Has Even Started A Petition For A Second Day
While the organising team has come forward to assure the mob that they are “also [continuing] to curtail the secondary tickets being sold at inflated prices” and “have since voided a number of tickets found on the resale market” to prevent access to the venue, there are some who have their own theories about the entire situation:
Regardless, to quote the X Files, “the truth is out there”, and those still holding out a flicker of hope can wait for the team’s potential announcement of their plans to “open up a little more inventory in the coming days to cope with the very significant demand” come Wednesday or Thursday.
For those of you who prefer to take action immediately and use the power of the crowd to get the band to perform another day, someone has created a petition on Change.org.
Whether or not you choose to resign to your fate, or wait in hope for the extra inventory tickets, remember that the black market can only thrive when there’s demand, and it’s up to us to report these activities – as tempting as it is to just fork out the cash.
Feature Image Credit: Says.com