Edinburgh Fringe website suffers logon wobbles
But doesn't fall down
Edinburgh Festival Fringe organisers have reassured customers that its ticketing system and website are robust enough to cope with demand following last year’s chaotic box office snafu.
However, a small number of people have complained that the online service for booking tickets still isn’t entirely up to scratch.
Some have grumbled on the outfit’s message board about difficulties they’ve experienced when attempting to logon to the Fringe’s official website in order to book tickets for this year’s event.
“Why is booking tickets using the website so difficult? The My Fringe option disappears when I choose to buy one set of tickets and put them in the basket,” asked one exasperated user.
“Frustrating to say the least - I thought ticket booking difficulties could have been solved after last year's fiasco! There seems little point in making a wish-list if it can't be accessed to book tickets.”
The organisation’s general manager Tim Hawkins has given a canned response to several would be customers apologising for the problems they’ve been having with the site.
“In terms of buying tickets, whilst a small proportion of ticket buyers have had problems, overall the site has been very successful - selling over 150,000 tickets for a value in excess of £1m in less than a month,” claimed Hawkins.
“We do realise that the website does need updating but our focus this year was to ensure our box office was fully functional. We plan to rebuild our site for next year.”
In June 2008 the group’s box office system collapse led to a 10 per cent drop in takings, claimed the scalp of Pivotal Integration Ltd - the software company that developed the system - and eventually saw the Fringe’s director, Jon Morgan, walk.
The Register contacted Fringe spokesman Neil MacKinnon to find out what lessons had been learned from last year’s major technical cockup.
While a very small number of people had indeed been experiencing trouble logging onto the Fringe’s website this year, “no systematic problem” has reared its ugly head this time around, said MacKinnon.
He added that it was to be expected that some people, at busy times, might be temporarily locked out of the website. The system, which was developed by Red61, can handle up to 550 users at a time.
Fringe organisers plan to get the organisation's website revamped once all the acts from this year's event have packed up and gone home.
The festival, which claims to be "the number-one tourist attraction in the whole of Britain", runs from 7-31 August in Edinburgh. ®
Politics politics politics
Small minded provincial politics prevail with anything Fringe. Failing to book tickets is likely be a gain to the punter, who typically pays over-the-odds to see literally abysmal performances by the most ego-fuelled, talentless, amateur individuals ever to grace the stage.
Oh, and I'm led to believe that last-year's fiasco was largely down to Fringe faffing about so much in agreeing a contract that the poor guys at Pivotal had around 6 weeks to develop the system, which wasn't even long enough to cover the lead-time on the card-payment merchant account. Scapegoating by slimy maneuverers I think!
Who cares - it's all crap anyway...
Why are people worrying about the Fringe so much. For much less money, tickets are available for official Festival shows with real, international stars and artists, and a mix of music, dance, theatre and so on. Personally, if the so-called Fringe disappeared, I wouldn't be upset at loss of the English public school types who come here to "put on a show" so they can say to their lawyer friends, "when I was at Oxford (or substitute another University name), i got a few pals together and we did a show at the Edinburgh Festival. Didn't win the Perrier but were a close second and SO many people loved us. It was SUCH fun, six of us in a new town flat, getting drunk every night after the show, disturbing the neighbours when we came back. Daddy had to pay one off after we painted his door for him - black, red and green stripes - he was SO upset for some reason. We thought it was an improvement on the boring white but not him. He was SUCH a bore, complaining about having to work the next day when we woke him up at 4am, and objecting to our party. I mean, only a couple of people were sick on the stairs and the stair cleaners cleaned it up the next week. He expected US to do it there and then. Of course, I couldn't, my butler was taking a holiday while I was doing the show and I just don't do that sort of thing".
Thousands of talentless English students
denied their rightful place in theatrical history.
Oh FriNge! I thought it said fridge, I was confused by why this made it onto the Register.