Sunday, October 03, 2010

Glastonbury tickets: there is a better way...

After 4 hours of trying, on 2 computers and a phone, we got our Glastonbury tickets today, 2 off, at the very last moment.

Getting Glastonbury tickets at present is a huge cyber queuing event, with 200,000 tickets to sell, and so I reckon 400-600,000 peeps were there trying, which would mean about 800,000 hours spent in trying to get through, and many KWh of electrons being agitated. It is a random event, getting through - your machine has to log in at the very moment someone else logs out.

So I have a better idea. Register at leisure in the months before the tickets are divvied out, as you do at the moment. You are given an index number, which are stored on database. On the day, a random number programme crawls through the database, picking lucky winners, who are then emailed to prompt a transaction completion.

That should work, shouldn't it?


Anonymous said...

No, because you might only get 1 and none of your companions would get any. The current system is fair, they just need to use a company that can handle the demand more quickly

Its all part of the fun of glastonbury really

Keith Ramsey said...

It seems obvious, doesn't it, and it ought to work, but will it get taken up?

The present system is an enormous waste of effort and energy, and it would be interesting to know exactly how much.

Of course it must also generate a lot of revenue for the phone and internet companies...


How about you get 80,000 people to turn up and then throw all the tickets into a mud bath to wrestle for them - oh - my mistake - that is Glastonbury.

ceedee said...

@Richard: Even better, the "random picker" process could be weighted towards those who'd been unsuccessful in previous years.

@Anon: Your description of the "you get one but none of your companions" is exactly what happens with the *current* system.
In fact, using Richard's method it would be simple to link several "accounts" together into one ticket application.

I'm afraid Michael permits the ticketing fiasco as it creates the huge media attention he's always felt is necessary to ensure a sell-out.

DocRichard said...

Thanks Chris

The random picker could indeed be positively biased as you say. I'm not sure it is like this on purpose. I guess they could have more bandwidth, maybe?

I will try suggesting it to Michael. Along with more composting loos. He knows they are good, but they are v expensive, because of the staffing requirements.

Michael is very open to suggestions, I always find.

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DocRichard said...

Jacqueline you are a spammer, but I will let your spam rest as it boosts my comment numbers, which is of course the whole idea of this post, as WorldFuCup can see.

Yes Glastonbury is too big, and has aspects of commercialisation. Some bits I prefer to others.

Thing is, nothing is perfect. Humanity, from individuals to society to all its institutions, is a complex system of positive and negative aspects. On balance, I and 200000 others get a net pleasure out of it. I like the fact that we can erect a small city on a farm in a few days, and that people can be friendly to each other by default. That's my experinece. A paranoid or critical person will not have that experience.

If you don't like it, you don't have to go. Period.

Censored by Doctor Richard said...

I cannot understand why you have censored my comment.

If you don't like it you don't have to go is as much of a cop-out as saying if you don't like environmental destruction you don't have to look.

DocRichard said...

I don't know what you mean by "censored my comment". Which comment?

Censored by Doctor Richard said...

Which comment? Er, the one you unmistakeably referred to at 11am when you wrote - Jacqueline - I will let your spam rest as it boosts my comment numbers, which is of course the whole idea of this post, as WorldFuCup can see.

DocRichard said...

Ah. I was thinking of deleting Jacqueline's spam, and may have deleted yours instead by accident.

I find it in my email feed.

"World FuCup
Ceedees comment that, I'm afraid Michael permits the ticketing fiasco as it creates the huge media attention he's always felt is necessary to ensure a sell-out, says it all.

Don't then wonder why you straightway get spam comments like jaqueline's. With this post you just bring it on yourself.

Glastonbury, World FuCup, different punters, same mass delusions, hypermobility and consumerism".

I see what you are getting at. I prefer small venues myself. Even so, I still enjoy Glastonbury. There is no point in arguing about taste.

World FuCup Sell out said...

You clearly don't wish to see what I'm getting at.

It's not about taste.

It is about the damage these jamborees generate, and the resources they consume.

DocRichard said...


That's up to Michael. He gets problems with tent pegs, hence the experiment with biodegradable pegs the time before last. There was a big problem with ring pulls in the past, but that has been re-designed.

Resources. Yes, peeps use petrol/diesel to get there. For many Glastonbury is their annual holiday, and some might travel further for their holiday. Some might travel less.

While there, peeps probably use less water than they would at home. And maybe less electricity, though the music would make up for that. More petrol at home, since peeps spend 5 days walking about rather than driving.

Food is about the same. Waste - Michael is continually trying to improve things - hence wooden knives and forks instead of plastic.

Much is learned there. Hundreds of people are educated in the glories of composting loos.

Thing is, that social animals like to amass periodically. Starlings &c flock - there was a beautiful TV programme about this a few months ago. Humans have always flocked - see country markets and fairs tradition, and look at Carnac in Brittany, where people brought stones to their gatherings. I see Glastonbury in that tradition.

There is a real liking for Glastonbury among many. Not everyone. The police and Mendip district council have done everything they could in the past to stop it, and failed. Maybe that's why they turned to bullying the smaller Big Green Gathering.

Hope this helps


World FuCup said...

No, I'm still not convinced Doctor.

When I hear about all the Tarquins and Jemimas off to Glastonbury and the middle-aged parents I simply do not believe that Glastonbury is their only holiday. It's just another "dahling, must go to Glasto" piece of consumption in their merry round of driving and flying, using up and throwing away.

It would be interesting to actually do an audit on just how much of these fossil fuels that you keep agonising about are burnt by people going to Glastonbury. Of course we're not going to get consumption down with things like this being encouraged by people who call themselves Green.

As for education and learning, it would be far better if people learnt by object lesson that their own local area can provide their needs.

If we are going to cut CO2 by 90%, as we are being told we need to, then mass motorised transit to these sort of events will have to become a thing of the past.

DocRichard said...

I'm not out to convince you, because I can see that is impossible.

I said "some might travel further for their holiday. Some might travel less".

The amount of oil burnt going to Glastonbury is infinitesimal as part of the whole. But you are right, in that we all need to cut all consumption. It's a case of picking targets; we should start with unnecessary, endemic waste, not start by picking on things that mean inordinate pleasure to many.

Chris Keene, a GP climate activist, is organising a zero carbon concert.
Would that be oK with you?

I sed to do gate+traffic at Galsonbury many years ago. It was very noticable that cars came filled with grumpy frustrated people, whereas biciclists and horsedrawn vehicles arrived in a very positive mood.

It was my suggestion, among others, that cars should be kept off the site.

The difference between us is that between an absolute rejection of the event because it is not perfect, and and acceptance that the event is not perfect, but that there is a net gain in general happiness, and a willingness to try to improve it incrementally.

Starting with the way the tickets are doled out.

Thanks for commenting

World FuCup said...

I'm far from being beyond convincing as you make out - if a good argument is put forward.

But it seems to be your argument that is based on taste, not mine. Remember: one person's "unnecessary, endemic waste" is another's "inordinate pleasure."

If these Glasto people are so eco-friendly they should be leading by example and living the "acting locally" and "small is beautiful" ethic every single day, not haring around to gargantuan spectacles like Glastonbury.

After all, why should Jeremy Clarkson and his ilk give up their "inordinate pleasures" when the high and mighty of Glasto won't.

DocRichard said...


Glaston does not pretend to be green in the sense that the Big green Gathering tires to be. However, over the years it has made steady attempts to improve, and that's what I respect.

Nothing is perfect. Everything in the system that we live in is tainted with unsustainability.

Greens will make no progress if we inveigh against every pleasurable thing. We have to choose our battles.

I enjoy the sheer experience of Glaston, the extremes, some of the music, the dancing, meeting old friends and new - the friendliness of strangers is amazing - the donations to Oxfam Water Aid and Greenpeace, and the Green Fields. The last thing I want to do is to persuade anyone else to attend. 200k is more than enough.

I take your point that it involves burning oil, but question whether there is a net addition to oil that would be burnt anyway in the absence of the Festival.

Over to you - you can have the last word...

World FuCup said...

Very clever, but no need. You've left so many questions unanswered, and internal contradictions in what you've written that the job is done.