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U2 concert ticket chaos

2010-10-25 11:21
Cape Town - As fans clamoured for U2 concert tickets, frustration has been growing in some quarters as the Computicket website crashed and was unavailable for bookings.

"It was impossible to secure U2 tickets online yesterday as the website crashed as sales opened at 09:00 and at no stage during the day was it working properly," said News24 user Christopher Rawbone-Viljoen.

Shoprite, parent company of Computicket, denied that the site was down, but said that high demand caused significant slowdowns.

"Everybody was trying to get on the site - over 20 000 people," said Amiena Phoplonker, before adding that she could not to speak to the media on website issues.

The most expensive tickets are the Red Zone tickets which sell for R2 568 each, according to promoter BIG Concerts, but they were for sale on the classified ads website Gumtree on Monday for R7 500.


According to the BIG Concerts website, these tickets are exclusively available from Computicket.

"Only 800 Red Zone tickets are available from Computicket which cost R 2 568.00. U2 is donating their net proceeds from Red Zone tickets to support the Global Fund to help eliminate Aids in Africa," said the statement on the website.

BIG Concerts said that tickets could not be used for commercial purposes without permission, nor should fans buy tickets from third parties.

"We haven't given permission for tickets to be sold on Gumtree and it breaches the terms of sale," BIG Concerts CEO John Langford told News24.

"We tried to contact Gumtree, but they're base in England so we've been mailing each seller, and advising them that what they're doing is illegal," he added.

Langford said that they were comfortable with what Computicket had promised in terms of its ticketing capacity for the concert, but that demand was high.

"We were very comfortable with what Computicket advised us but there were about 30 000 people on the website at the same time buying the same class of ticket. No system in the world can cope with that. We anticipated huge demand, but it's about 10% higher than we estimated."

Shoprite said they would release a statement later on Monday.

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