“It’s no longer about the fans, it’s only about the money”
4 years+ ago you could hesitate for months before getting you tickets to comic-con (and a 4-day at that). Getting there was easy, attending was very little stress and you could get into just about any panel you needed to.
Now? Within the last few years the convention has become horrible. The tickets sell out fast, the location of the convention is way over a comfortable/reasonable capacity, price went through the roof, there is no room to breath or move and most of the panels are pretty much impossible to get into unless you come 3+ panels early into a room and sit there the rest of the day (and some people do this which is why its impossible to see anything). Don’t get me started on the badge pickup line….WOW was that a hike in 2009 winding all over and then around the building down to the back hitting the docks and following them all the way down through to the hotel. I could just imagine what it was like last year or will be like this year. Then if you want to attend any “good” panel, you have to jump right back into a line just as long almost (Hall H…).
For 2011, the registration has been a nightmare since EVERYONE knows registration is going to be a problem, so EVERYONE jumps on all at once to get their tickets. I have seen this happen for concerts and small local events that are considered “limited time only”…but one of the west coast’s largest conventions….server crashes, failed registration dates, and now that the tickets have finally gone on sale via their final attempt…..sold out in ONE DAY.
An entire convention (of that size), sold out in one day. That’s pretty amazing….however, what’s not amazing..is that I ( as well as so many others ), should have been part of that crowd. Instead, I received nothing but “Website is over capacity” error messages from “TicketLeap” and it remained like that for hours.
Finally, it let me through and I chose my 4-day pass and entered all of my information (including payment information) and made it as far as the screen to confirm the information and ……….website is over capacity. Going back to try it again, it claimed it couldn’t complete the process because 4-day tickets were no longer available (sold out).
So much for you having “15 minutes” from the time you add them to your cart. You would think that means you have a guaranteed ticket in your cart (for 15 minutes)..kind of like how TicketMaster works, and the server would prioritize you in it’s load since you have an active sale. Nope….even though you have gotten your cart filled, your no one special.
So after many screens of over capacity warnings, I finally got back to the start and the day by day passes were still there. I chose Thurs, Fri and Sat (no point in adding Sunday since I’m already being forced to spend more than I was with the 4-day passes). I once again made it far into the checkout process and……oh look…….over capacity warning. Going back to try and submit it again…..error…..tickets no longer available. Both Fri and Sat was sold out. Of course, the moment of time spent in shock sitting there wondering “wow…did that really happen”….the remaining tickets sell out and *poof*….another year without the con.
Now I feel not only have they gone out of their way to really wreck this convention into the mess that it is and make it very difficult on you from registration to the end of the event, but they have to kick you where it hurts a few times and leave you on the side of the street with nothing.
I used to go every year, and when I was a real young boy, I remember the El Cortez. Now however I have missed last year and this year. Meanwhile, they keep piling more and more people into that building without expanding (preferred) or moving to a larger location, they continue to raise the price, and they use what’s obviously the lowest bidder for ticket sales/registration partners (i.e., TicketLeap)…even though we pay so much. It’s no longer about the fans, its only about the money.
I don’t think I have ever been so disappointed in something. A long-time tradition officially squashed.Tweet