May 3, 2016

High Demand for Summer Breeze Tickets Crashes Server

Update (May 3): MAB posted on Facebook that the Logan Box Office is in the process of reviewing purchases and sending email confirmations. 

"Logan Box Office staff are currently reviewing transactions from Sunday. They are now in the process of securing tickets for those who attempted to buy them, and issuing refunds for those with multiple charges. If you have not received an email confirmation for your ticket order, expect one by tomorrow evening at the latest. We thank you for your patience and understanding," the Facebook post read.

Tickets for the Major Activities Board’s (MAB) Summer Breeze concert went for sale online for the first time on Sunday at 5 p.m. By 5:05 p.m., the Logan Box Office server was down.

In a Facebook post at 5:05 p.m., MAB announced that the server crashed due to “high demand,” and promised to follow with an update. At 5:42 p.m., MAB said in another post that the Logan Box Office was closed through Monday, but that it would provide another update after it reopened. MAB Chair Ryder Scott attributed the problem to the Logan Box Office in an e-mail to The Maroon.

“Given our status as an RSO, we are bound by University policy to solely use the Logan Box Office for online sales. As a professional full-service box office, the Logan Center should have been fully prepared for the sales. Leading up to the sale on May 1st, we made sure to check with the staff of the box office if the high volume of students looking to buy tickets would be an issue. The staff did not anticipate any complications or errors, and expected sales to run smoothly, with MAB members receiving sales updates every hour once sales began,” he said.

“This was not the case. Many students received an error message when they attempted to purchase tickets,” he added. “Since the box office is closed Sunday and Monday, we had no way of reaching out to the staff to address the error. The updates that were supposed to be sent did not come. MAB did its best to address student concerns and tried to collect information from everyone who experienced an error.”

In comments on the first Facebook post, students reported that they received error messages and were charged multiple times for tickets.

“While we don’t know the complete circumstances of the crash, it appears that students were charged multiple times because they attempted multiple purchases upon seeing the error message,” Scott said.

In the second post, MAB provided a link to a Google Form asking students who were charged to report the number of tickets they purchased and the number of times they were charged. The post stated that MAB will work with the Logan Box Office to ensure that students receive their tickets and are charged the correct amount.

Scott said that anyone who was charged in error will be reimbursed, but he did not respond to a request for comment on whether all students who were charged will get tickets to the concert. Yesterday at 5:21 p.m., one Facebook commenter shared what he said was a response from MAB: “We should know around 6 p.m. today if orders placed between 5 and 6 were processed.” MAB did not release a follow-up clarifying this situation.

According to an earlier post, more tickets will be available today in-person at noon at the UChicago Arts Box Office in the Logan Center.

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