Ask any loyal Bruce Springsteen fan in the Tri-State Area how their Friday afternoon went and you’ll likely be met with the same story: “I went on Ticketmaster to purchase tickets for the upcoming (Madison Square Garden/Prudential Center/IZOD) show. Instead of taking me to the checkout page where I can buy my tickets, I got a screen that said ‘Working…your wait time is approximately 15 minutes or more.’ Fast forward to two hours later and I was still waiting.” As one Twitter user commented, trying to buy tickets today was (as Springsteen sings) like “Working on a dream.”
Frustration with Ticketmaster isn’t unfamiliar to anyone who has tried to buy tickets for Bruce’s shows in the recent past. Back in 2009, Ticketmaster was criticized by Springsteen for redirecting fans to a secondary site that resells tickets at a much higher price (TicketsNow), even though there were still tickets remaining that could have been purchased at face value. Today’s scenario saw at least 400 tickets pop up immediately on reseller StubHub’s site for the 2012 Springsteen shows even though fans were finding it impossible to make any progress with their own purchases (StubHub is not affiliated with Ticketmaster).
As for the long waits to get through to the checkout screen, this is pretty standard when trying to order tickets for popular events. Especially on days like today, when other high-demand shows are also being put on sale (today’s on-sales also included Roger Waters’ “The Wall” and Florence And The Machine). Though the in-between screen claimed a 15 minute wait that threatened a lost place in their virtual “line” should you navigate away from that page, it eventually turned into a 2-hour wait. Adding to the pain, those who stuck the wait out were ultimately greeted with an error screen that lead to nowhere, leaving them feeling hopeless after wasting two hours of their life. Even music fans who were trying to purchase tickets for non-Springsteen shows weren’t able to buy until the online traffic jam loosened up.
Springsteen’s Facebook page acknowledge the ensuing fiasco and posted: “We know that many of you have been having trouble purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster’s website this morning. Here is an official update from them: ‘We have been experiencing highly abnormal traffic patterns on our site this morning that have impacted the fan buying experience for some customers. We are investigating the source of the problem and are working to resolve it as quickly as possible, but tickets are selling so please stay patient. We will update fans as we know more.'”
After hours of trying, many fans logged out defeated, opening up the connection enough that those who toughed it out eventually got through. However the tickets that were left were very limited, forcing groups to split up among scattered seats, while families hoping to attend together simply gave up. To those who snagged tickets today: consider yourself among the lucky!
UPDATE: NJ.Com has reported that a “scalper attack” on Ticketmaster’s site was the reason for the massive errors during this afternoon’s ticket sales.
For additional official Bruce Springsteen info, follow him at @springsteen. You can follow me on Twitter at @concertexaminer.