Ticketmaster took it on the chin yesterday, as hundreds of thousands of Adele's fans stormed the company's virtual gates hoping to secure one of the 750,000 available seats for the superstar's North American tour, which kicks off July 5 in St. Paul, Minn. Fans took to social media to hammer the ticket retailer for its slow website, which the company maintains did not crash. To give some context to the consternation, a source told Billboard yesterday that four million people in New York alone were in the digital line at the same time -- those six shows sold out in less than an hour. Yesterday's backlash came on the heels of a similar-on-the-surface snafu across the pond, when pre-sale tickets were made available last week.
It's nigh impossible that any digital company outside of Google could handle with aplomb the traffic interplay of many millions seeking seat assignments, dates, venues and payment processing at the same time. It's equally unlikely that millions of netizens would want something, not receive it (preferably in a convenient, expedient manner) and then not complain about it.
To that end, Ticketmaster president, North America Jared Smith sent a memo to his staff applauding their thankless toil and (again) refuting claims that their systems experienced any downtime or significant failures. "Please know that your progress in the area of site stability and abuse prevention are making an indelible mark on our company’s position as the global leader in live entertainment," writes Smith.
I know it must be frustrating to read or see in the news that we crashed during Adele’s onsale and that fans are upset with Tm because they couldn’t get tickets. I want you all to know that [Live Nation CEO] Michael [Rapino] and I, and more importantly our partners, know just how well the systems (and you all) performed yesterday. Thanks to your efforts -- even with what I’m told was easily an all-time record of 10 million + fans rushing to our site -- we delivered a good experience for as many fans as possible.
Unfortunately, when there is such a exceptional artist with unprecedented demand against short supply, there are inevitably going to be disappointed fans. As you know, artists are the center of Live Nation and we work side by side with them to meet their goals. In this case, we worked with Adele’s team to help achieve their goal of having a consistent set-up across all the different ticketing companies that were selling dates on her North American tour. Although that has clearly created confusion with fans and ultimately the media on what happened on which sites, we wanted to make sure you know just how much we appreciate your incredible preparation and that we are pleased with how we did.
As we reflect on another amazing year, please know that your progress in the area of site stability and abuse prevention are making an indelible mark on our company’s position as the global leader in live entertainment. I am appreciative and proud of your efforts.
Thanks as always for your dedication to our partners and fans!