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back to article Edinburgh Fringe ticketing chaos continues

The Edinburgh Fringe festival gets underway a week on Saturday (3-25 August) but ever since tickets went on sale the box office system has suffered several major technical cock-ups. As we previously reported, tickets were supposed to be generally available to punters on 9 June, but festival organisers admitted that they had been …

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Bloody shambles.

We tried, without luck, to get tickets for several days. In the end my Mrs ended up going direct to the Venue's website to get them.

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Alert

Morons

Why on earth are they printing tickets on a JIT system. There is not much wastage to save and it limits the rate that orders can be processed.

They should have started printing tickets for each and every show, and filed them away. When an order comes in someone goes to the file with that shows tickets, puts it in the envelope and sends it away, when that file has been emptied print another batch.

They KNOW the show schedule. They KNOW the Venues capacity. They know the average seat fills and the likely to sell-out shows. With all of this information they could have put it to some good use.

I am not suggesting they print ALL the tickets for ALL the shows. but maybe 10% batch of each show, and 50% batches for the most likely to be popular.

Anyway, I buy on the night anyway at the ticket office so I am not fussed. Just awed by their stupidity

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Happy

I recieved my Fringe tickets in the post yesterday!

So it does seem to be up and running now.

I still blame the contractors myself....

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Pirate

Scenario

The software was installed on Vista and no one had bothered to check to see if there was a Printer Driver for the old Ticket machines....

:-)

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Unhappy

@Morons

I worked there as a summer job as a student in 1991 and 1992.

1991 had a purely manual system that worked exactly as you specify. The fringe office was given a quota of actual paper tickets by venues and we went around picking them out of little boxes on the wall. The only snag was we could not be 100% sure that tickets were available when we took telephone orders (although we did have sold out sheets and pretty good local knowledge).

1992 it was computerised with an in-house system (don't know what it was based on but all the windows were text based and looked like those old NetWare management screens)

Again worked very well with very high uptime. No online booking in those days obviously. Database also produced the programme and the "Daily Diary" which was printed JIT.

Fantastically fun job though - long days and brilliant nights.

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Paris Hilton

Edinburgh in the Fringe

Is a nightmare if you have to get to work.

It get pretty tiring having to tell oxbridge types that, no, you aren't interested in their show, that you are late for work, and could you please GET OUT OF MY FUCKING WAY!!

ah, that's better.

anyway, I've had enough this year, I'm renting the house out for a small fortune, packing my bags and heading off to Iceland for a week. The prices will probably be the same, less wankers, and they all look like Paris! :P

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Bronze badge

I'm not taking bets on how many ticket jokes will be told on the Fringe.

The people responsible for this will be remembered.

And laughed at.

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I am not going to be in town this year

Thankfully I will be abroad for most of the month.

The festival & fringe are not for the locals. It's for tourists and wankers.

I really hate my commute at the moment - and it's not even festival month.

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Anonymous Coward

Wankers

For those of you who live in Edinburgh and "hate" the festival. Get a life. Maybe try getting out and join in and you know "have some fun". Its only "not for locals" if you have no concept of how to enjoy yourself.

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I can't see the problem, the system seems to be working

"The Fringe launched its new Liquid Box Office electronic system, supplied by Glasgow-based Pivotal Integration Ltd, in June. However, it failed to cope with customer demand for the festival’s 2,088 shows."

If they are taking bookings that far ahead then I think they must have a cracking system. Planning for ticket sales 80 years ahead is pretty clever.

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Got mine

I used the edfest.com site for booking comedy show tickets. It's pretty rubbish too but it seemed to work OK. Even though you sign up you don't get a schedule like you do on edfringe.com which is pretty rubbish. And the free BBC shows that I wanted to catch seemed totally unbookable on edfest and I usually enjoy those ones (turns out there are sold out now :()

Not sure how related the two systems are but one's PHP and the other is ASPX. So clearly not just a different skin on the same system.

Also, as an Edinburgher born and bred, I went through a phase of hating the festival... then one year I just took a shake to myself and realised how much fun it was (not to mention how many pretty girls turn up in town!) Now it's my fav time of year and I never go away during August if I can help it. Friends come to visit and crash on sofa/spare rooms, late nights, plenty booze and lots of random conversations! Can't beat it!

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Fringe Benefits?

With the usual Glasgow - Edinburgh rivalries, the blame for this should be running backwards and forwards across the M8 even longer than the Olympics.

No doubt the system was recommended by their Auditors.

T

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Anonymous Coward

glezgae kissis tae yez a', ye feeshin' bambots

Original system worked fairly well - operators noticed possibility of there being a lack of tickets but adequate workaround in effect - minimal distruption. Room for minor improvement.

Along comes the accountant, the resources manager, the events organiser, the shareholders and half a dozen quango wannabies and before you know it there's an enormous white elephant of a computer system at the heart of the mother and father of all fuckups...

Any clues there for HMRC, tax office, DVLC, NHS Direct, Family tax Credit, Olympics Committee ???

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Coat

Could have done better

The system these chaps use had the major promise, I saw this tech when in VC mode, i.e. seeking grants, funding etc. I believe the guys that run it got too far away from the coal face and didn't deliver, or delivered against the contract obligations which probably wasn't designed for this. Shame, could have been a good win for these guys. Sounds like someone has a new coat. Perhaps the technicolour one didn't suit.

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