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Carling Weekend festival goers get the blues

Thousands of online ticket orders cancelled

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Live music giant Mean Fiddler has said it may review its relationship with ticketing system websites after a booking mix-up led to thousands of music festival orders being rejected.

More than 3,000 music fans received emails confirming they had secured tickets for the Reading and Leeds Carling weekend festivals only to later discover that their payment had been cancelled, either due to insufficient funds or because they had entered their details incorrectly on the website's payment form.

Tickets for the music festivals for the weekend of 24-26 August went on sale on 19 March at 7pm and sold out within hours as fans rushed to bag their spot to see the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Razorlight and Arcade Fire.

A spokesperson for the event's organiser Mean Fiddler told The Reg that due to an overwhelming demand for tickets the credit card payments did not authorise immediately.

Explaining what had caused so many people to have their credit card details rejected by the booking system, he said: "It all boils down to the fact the transaction is not immediately authorised on the booking websites which presents a wider question as to how ticketing systems work across the board."

He also pointed out that the small-print on the booking forms states that authorisation can take up to three hours to complete especially during busy usage times.

When asked if the Mean Fiddler will be reviewing the websites it uses - which includes Ticketweb, Ticketmaster, and Stargreen - for selling tickets for such events, the spokesperson said:

"It is not for me to say, but I would imagine that it will be looked at. But I have to stress that we have gone the extra mile to make sure that allocations have been made available."

He added: "When we realised there was a problem we contacted everyone."

Coach package tickets had been reserved until 7.30pm yesterday for those fans affected. ®

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