Letter: Fringe tickets

I deeply regret that Andrew Bradley, Chris Nicholson and Doug Watson (Letters, 13 June) had an unsatisfactory experience while trying to purchase tickets on the first day of sales for the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Doug Watson asks why the sale of Fringe tickets are not staggered as they are for events such as T in the Park. The structural difference between T in the Park and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is that at T in the Park the tickets belong to the promoter while at the Fringe the tickets belong to the companies and venues who are staging the shows.

The Fringe Society sells tickets to the shows on behalf of those companies and venues, and has a responsibility to sell all 41,689 performances simultaneously.

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Last Friday, our website, www.edfringe.com, was incredibly busy, as you would expect on the first day of sales, and therefore some customers regrettably found it slow. In addition, the procedure of website redirection to the 3D secure confirmation page, prevented some customers from completing their transactions, but this problem was quickly rectified, having been brought to our attention by customers.

Most customers were able to purchase tickets successfully, but this makes it no less unfortunate that some customers experienced difficulties. By midnight on Friday we had issued 23 per cent more tickets than the same period last year.

Unfortunately, as there is limited capacity for the BBC comedy shows, and they are free, they are always amongst the most popular tickets that traditionally always go shortly after going on sale. In every year, there are going to be customers who are disappointed not to receive these tickets.

When the Fringe Society was established in the 1950s it was clear that our role was to organise a central box office for the Fringe, publish listings about the content of the Fringe and promote the Edinburgh Festival Fringe both at home and abroad. Those are still our core functions and we strive to ensure they are carried out to the very highest of standards.

I regret any unsatisfactory experience any customer has with the services we provide but your readers can rest assured that everything is working well, and that there are still tickets available for the vast majority of Fringe shows.

Kath M Mainland

Festival Fringe Society

High Street


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