I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time booking things recently.
Tickets for Neil Innes (Monty Python, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and The Rutles) at North Berwick, campsites for a weekend away in August and a hill climb in a week or two, Grandaddy at the ABC in Glasgow August 30th, the roofer to repair our roof, the bathroom people to give an estimate for a new shower room, a meeting with the people who are developing the old Job Centre along the road, the Beach Boys show at the Royal Albert Hall (there’s a Google Play: The Beach Boys Interview available on YouTube, and if you want a laugh, check out the section from about 13.50 to 14.25 to watch a previously semi-catatonic Brian Wilson make a very funny joke to show that he’s still got it), a flight and hotel for that trip, and tickets for Gus Casely-Hayford & Alastair Hazell at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
As we all know, it can take a little time, sometimes, to make bookings online, but the only problem I had with any of the above was with the Book Festival. Their booking system sucked!
OK, so they have a busy site. And they send out a pre-booking date message saying “You will be able to buy tickets online from 8.30am on Friday 29 June. Please note: our opening day of ticket sales is always extremely busy and you may not be able to access online booking immediately.” But it should not take hours and hours to buy a ticket for something.
At first I was put in a queue for a basket. Some people didn’t get that far, I believe. I was 1820 in the queue, and nothing happened for a long time. Someone on Facebook suggested refreshing the browser, which I did, and nothing happened. There were no instructions that I could see. So I logged off and logged in again, and was given another, higher, basket queue number. Then this number started to go up, rather than down. Then I was thrown off the queue and had to start again. Some shows started to sell out even before I could get a basket (according to their Twitter account).
Whoever was manning their Twitter account was very busy. At one stage there was a tweet:
Hi, the queue numbers going up rather than down is connected to the issue where numbers aren’t moving. We’re investigating both.
After more than an hour I gave up.
Fortunately, later that day I tried again, there was no queue and I bought tickets.