Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ticketmaster or Ticketdisaster? GABF sales hit snag

2012 Great American Beer FestivalOOPS false start! Ticket sales for the AHA-BA members only session of the 2012 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) hit a temporary but highly visible snag today during the first hour a and still managed to sell out in less than two hours. The social media sites like Twitter and Facebook were a buzz over the apparent bugs with the "terms & conditions" check-box feature that refused to work and caused many people to fail or having to retry their purchases repeatedly to get tickets.

GABF tickets for the popular Members-Only tasting session for Saturday, October 13th went on sale at 10:00am MDT and within minutes the complaints started piling up on the Internet. Some ticket buyers resorted to using Ticketmaster's mobile site and had better luck but soon found out that the mobile site didn't ask for the AHA-BA membership number that was required in order to purchase tickets. Soon after that was discovered, the GABF officials and Ticketmaster shut down the mobile site for ticket sales for that event as that may have allowed non-members and scalpers to get a hold of tickets.

Over 12,000 people can reportedly attend this session and they ran out of tickets within the first two hours. This left several people who had issues trying to get tickets earlier shut-out and mad about the whole process and wondering about how Thursday morning's sales will turn out coming up on August 2nd at 10:00am MDT for the other three General sessions of the GABF.

Even tickets to the Friday Farm to Table Pavilion are now sold out and almost all Thursday Farm to Table Pavilion tickets are gone by 1:00pm MDT.

During the issue, the GABF updated these statuses on Facebook:

"American Homebrewers Association and BA members, Ticketmaster reports that they have fixed the "terms & conditions" issue. Please give it another shot if you haven't been able to purchase your pre-sale tickets yet." - although many claimed after this statement came out that ticket sales were still not working properly. Several people reported missing out after multiple attempts to complete their buying form online.

"Some of you have asked about the Members Only Entrance (the separate line reserved for members of the Brewers Association & the American Homebrewers Association). These tickets are offered during the pre-sale and are limited to four tickets per AHA member/individual BA member. Capacity is limited to the first 2,000 member purchases. Tickets will indicate if they are for the Members Only Entrance." - this was also a source of concern as this fact was not well known leaving many to wonder if their tickets allowed them access into the members only entrance.

"Friends, Saturday afternoon Members-Only session tickets are now sold out. We look forward to sampling some award-winning beers at the festival with you on Saturday afternoon, October 13!" - just before 12 noon.

If you want to read all of the buzz that happened on Twitter this morning, check out the hashtag #GABF on Twitter and read what others had to say. Facebook messages and updates from the official GABF Facebook page also had many Followers leaving frustrated and angry comments - some calling for the dismissal of Ticketmaster.

The Great American Beer Festival has grown tremendously in popularity and is one of the Fall's biggest events in Colorado each year for the last 30 years. Counting volunteers, press, organizers and attendees, the GABF draws in over 100,000 into Denver each year and with it millions of dollars of business for the state. The event also coincides with Denver Beer Fest that spans October 5th through the 13th this year.

Related articles:
- Ticketdisaster: Brewers Association’s GABF Ticket Pre-Sale a chaotic mess. (Beerpulse.com)
- Ticketmaster snafu angers GABF lovers. (Denver Post)
- Beer lovers frothy over ticket sales mess. (9News coverage)
- Plans revealed for 2012 Denver Beer Fest.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com - a Colorado beer blog.
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