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Demand causes an online sales freeze
Dozens of fans joined the queues this week as one of the country’s biggest literature festivals saw record opening-day general ticket sales.
Top names including Monty Python legend Michael Palin, Clare Balding, Jack Straw, Michael Portillo and Jeremy Vine will appear at the Ilkley Literature Festival this autumn, and demand was high for tickets, when sales began at 9am on Tuesday.
Fans were seen queuing outside Ilkley Town Hall and the Grove Bookshop more than an hour before the tickets went on general sale.
But last night, the woman in charge of the festival admitted online demand was so high, some people may have had difficulty getting tickets.
Literature Festival director Rachel Feldberg said online sales froze for the first 60 minutes, and were not running smoothly until one hour and 45 minutes after tickets went on sale.
“Anyone who has ever tried to book tickets for something like Leeds Fest or Glastonbury knows how frustrating it can be, and we entirely share that frustration,” she said.
“The ticketing company did everything they could but even with the greatly-extended server capacity their system was still overwhelmed.”
Some people had complained about major events selling out within minutes, but Ms Feldberg said there were still plenty of opportunities for people to attend other headline events at the festival.
“I only wish we were able to double the size of some events,” she said.
“A couple of really major events sold out, as usual, in the first 15 minutes and we weren’t really surprised that Clare Balding was the first to go after the fantastic job she did at London 2012, but despite another record year of opening-day sales, there are still tickets available for 95 per cent of the Festival and that’s 214 events, including almost all our big headliners.”
The festival will run across Ilkley from September 28 to October 14, when authors and poets will give an insight into their work, while more than 200 events are lined up as part of the 2012 festival.
Go to ilkleyliteraturefestival.
org.uk for more details about the festival and ticket information.