Turmoil as festival site crashes after multiple fan charging

Thousands have been locked out after rushing to secure early tickets to one of Australia’s biggest alternative music festivals.

Online chaos has erupted after a frenzied rush to get festival tickets, causing a hosting website to crash, leaving hopeful festival-goers without passes despite paying for them – some more than once.

Presale tickets for the rock, metal, punk and emo festival Good Things – headlined by Bring Me The Horizon – set to take place in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in December, became available on Tuesday at 10am.

Shortly after, however, fans complained that the booking website Oztix had taken their money but crashed before it could confirm that the tickets had been successfully purchased.

Floods of angry people were quick to express their disappointment at the technical problem, and many were alarmed at having to pay up to seven times for tickets they weren’t sure they had.

An irate customer claimed they were paid nearly $3,000.

“It seems to be standard at Oztix. My credit card has been charged seven times, I have not received any confirmation or tickets yet. I have no idea whether I have 0 tickets or 14 tickets.

“Oztix has turned off their phones and is not responding to emails and I have $2,800 left,” they wrote in a comment on the festival’s Facebook page.

“Could not confirm ticket sales on the pre-sales website. But I just found out that my card has been charged multiple times without any confirmation of purchase. Pretty awful,” wrote another annoyed person.

“It seems like this happens to many of us. When we buy tickets for Good Things Festival, there will be a timeout, but it still costs us money. I assume this means that at some point we will receive tickets by email or post. Damn annoying,” said another.

“I tried for two hours to get tickets and it just kept running out. I didn’t know, it took money out of our bank account seven times and I’m now somehow trying to get it back like crazy… and still no tickets. Are the organizers aware of the problems with the website?” said a third.

The company took to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon to respond to customer concerns, promising frustrated Oztix users that they would be refunded for any duplicate tickets purchased as a result of the mistake.

“Good Things Festival would like to acknowledge the issues surrounding our presale this morning. Oztix, our ticketing partner, apologizes unconditionally to all affected fans. We are absolutely blown away by the demand for our festival and can’t wait to see you all in the pits in December,” the company said in a statement.

Oztix blamed “unprecedented demand” for the crash.

“While this is exciting in many ways, there were some technical issues. The ticketing system functioned as expected, but payment processing caused significant delays in response time between the system, payment gateway, banks and back again.

“This delay in receiving confirmation from the bank meant that some customers had multiple attempts to purchase tickets and were charged multiple times. All order slips are currently being sent to customers and any customer who has multiple orders will be refunded this afternoon and will receive a refund receipt.”

Oztix confirmed that those charged would eventually get their tickets.

“If you’ve been charged more than once, you’ll get your money back. We will advise you once this process is complete and if you have any questions at that point, please contact us and we will assist you,” it reads.

While many said they were triggered by the company’s use of the term “unprecedented” given how heavily it was used during the Covid pandemic, others said the site’s crash was inexcusable.

“Unprecedented should not be a word in the vocabulary of OzTix apologies. Big and fast traffic should be the expectation for any event like this. Instant sell-offs are not new, and with the rapid proliferation of services like AWS (which can accommodate rising demand and accommodate with the appropriate rescaling of resources), things like this should never happen,” said one comment.

“I’m sorry, but honestly not good enough. How often will ticketing agents “underestimate” demand because they refuse to have adequate servers online for major events?” said another.

Others were more forgiving and appreciated the company’s explanations and work to resolve the issue.

“I am looking forward to my refund of the extra order of tickets that I did not need. Thank you for working on this so quickly,” said one person.

“Thanks for the update. I had a heart attack with the number of tickets I bought,” wrote another.

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