FrightFest ticketing 2015

Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, August 27th - 31st 2015
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iomega
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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by iomega » Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:40 pm

You are so right, this year we are not going to please everyone and in the end, may not please anyone.

I'm pulling out all the stops to make things work so there will be a Sleepy Queue as in previous years. However, and let me be very clear about this, if I can't be sure that I can make the queue work delivering the ticketing experience required, that is people can turn up, get tickets and pay for them with cash and cards there won't be.

We have never run a box office before, let me repeat that fact, we have never run a box office before. Our host cinemas have always done this for us and look at the pickles they got into some years.

I'm not worried about the online this year. The ticketing company that we are looking into using handles much larger events than FrightFest without blinking an eye. To set up a pop-up box office for one morning, do it on that morning and then expect it to go without a hitch, is just plain silly. We are for us in uncharted waters. We are doing our best here, so bear with us.

As I said a the top of this, we are not going to please everyone and in the end, may not please anyone if we get it wrong and that would be a shame cause we are bit by bit pulling together a great line up.

On the plus side, the online system we are using this year will allow all festival and day pass holders to choose discovery screen tickets from home. You will be able to choose films, print out tickets and bring them with you, so no more mad foyer crush.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by benj » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:48 am

As others have said, it's such a shame the cinema is unable to provide the ticket sales especially as (from what I recall) it went swimmingly last year. I'm guessing from what you're saying, the possibility of another venue such as the BFI Southbank selling the tickets has been ruled out now?

I have to say the idea of choosing the Discovery screen tickets at home and printing them off ourselves sounds great- a massive step forward from the hassle of previous years.

That being said, I'm hoping we won't be printing off the festival passes ourselves. I've been proudly collecting these over the years to frame (sad, I know) and having a crappy home-printed copy of Mr Humphreys' art just won't be the same.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by iomega » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:46 am

There never was any possibility of another cinema taking over our ticket sales. That suggestion came from this form and was never realistic.

You are correct, the tickets sales at the cinema went swimmingly last year. It was the online sales of festival and day passes that caused the problem. VUE's ticket system is not set up to handle sales the way FrightFesters want to get them online; that's all at the same time and for one location. Look what happened in Glasgow this year. They beefed up their system and allowed FrightFesters an exclusive window, and it still fell over. Frankly, I think they are wise not to try again this year and risk the same thing happening.

You will still get your nice Mr Humphreys' art festival and day passes. We will be working a similar system to last year. Any tickets printed at the cinema or at home will be exchanged.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Stevey K » Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:21 am

It seems to me that the "issue" is twofold in order to go ahead with any kind of Sleepy Queue this year

1. Having a place to actually have the Sleepy Queue itself - shame the Vue can't let you have the bar area over night and each arrivee gets a numbered ticket which is the order they will be served once ticket sales go live in person

2. The actual system in place to enable you to do both card and cash sales in person rather than online. I am sure you are going over every possibility to try and make it happen.

From what I am reading it seems you are happy that the online system by the ticketing agents is robust enough to handle the online sales. Can you not tap into that for the Sleepy Queue? Can they not give you some kind of passworded access for the in person sales which uses the self same system - preferably with you using computers that are hard wired to the internet not via wifi - which you can then use to sell the tickets to the Sleepy Queue. Then you can print out a confirmation and send an email confirmation perhaps. Of course with this being your first time perhaps you would need to open the Sleepy Queue sales a tad earlier than previous years and you could even hold the online sales until you give the ticket agents the nod.

Just an idea...

As much as they like having us around, Vue isn't going to keep the cinema open all night. Just think how much that will cost for staffing and security plus the rest.

We are working on all of the above, however, keep in mind that online ticket systems are just that. Online ticketing systems. They are not set up to be used to sell tickets manually.

FrightFest is the only film festival that I know anywhere in the world that has a similar event as the Sleepy Queue, so we can't have an off of the shelf system. The ticketing company is looking at our unique requirements. I have now had three meetings with them. They are trying very hard and view our "problem" as a bit of a challenge. In the end, it will all boil down to costs. If they can be kept reasonable, we can make this all happen, if not then I'm afraid online sales it is.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Critter Egg » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:31 pm

I may be wrong, but I get the feeling sleepy queue attendees fall into 1 of 3 categories:

1. Those who go to meet their FF friends and get seats together
2. Those who queue to make sure they get specific seats
3. Those who queue because they don't trust the online system

For 2 and 3, if the online system is now so much more improved this should negate the needs of a queue (ok, you might not get the exact seat you want, but that's not guaranteed ever, unless you are first in the sleepy queue. If there could be a code for FF email list members to get advance tickets this would make things even better...)

For 1, the idea of a launch event on the Friday night, as others have suggested on this forum, should surely sort this. People can meet up, give all their money to one person in their group who can then buy all their seats together when the tickets go on sale on the Saturday. It just means the person buying the tickets needs to be organised enough to put the money into their bank account and maybe alert their bank of a big purchase going through.

And surely in this day and age people can't really be saying they can only pay for their FF tickets in cash? We are film fans, surely everyone must buy some things off the internet, which require cards or PayPal!

By the way, any chance of paying with PayPal?

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Stevey K » Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:36 pm

Always pay with cash in person - and am organised enough to get the money from my compatriots for whom I buy tickets beforehand. It's just easier and quicker and no problem with banks, credit card companies etc etc.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by zappa fan » Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:03 pm

iomega wrote:On the plus side, the online system we are using this year will allow all festival and day pass holders to choose discovery screen tickets from home. You will be able to choose films, print out tickets and bring them with you, so no more mad foyer crush.
Now that is some great news.
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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by MalJutley » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:21 pm

Agreed the ability to choose discovery tickets from home and print out saves lots of time and makes things easier.

I don't mind either way to be honest...if the queue goes ahead, great..if not then so be it...as long as I'm at frightfest that's the main thing.

You did allude earlier that for those wishing to purchase more than one festival pass they can online, so that will help those that need to sit with friends together.

The confidence you have in the online system should go some way to give us all confidence as well that ticketing will be sorted.

Just need it to be Sleepy Queue/ Ticket buying day now!

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by Creepshow11 » Tue May 05, 2015 2:13 pm

All I know is that the FrightFest team are working their butts off to ensure things run smoothly and I am sure we are all grateful for their efforts. I bloody love Frightfest me. :twisted:

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by husky1 » Thu May 07, 2015 10:53 am

yes its me again and another set of thoughts....I have been reading the posts since I last commented and as always it is obvious that frightfesters are passionate about their festival, as am I.

I have always said that online ticketing may well be a problem as both the Empire and Vue had major problems. Not with the in person "sleepy Q " festival/day passes but online. My concern is that by putting everything online means that there will be even more people wanting tickets than ever and could blow up in everyone's faces. However if we are talking about say Ticketmaster or someone like that, it should work, in theory.

I think and correct me if i'm wrong but, most festival goers like the idea of getting seats they want, either together as a group or because of needs like aisle seats, and this cant be guaranteed on line. ok the same applies to the SQ but that has gone well in all the years I have been going. I know the guys, especially Ian are doing their best to appease everyone, and being aware of the old adage, you can please some of the people most of the time but can never please all of the people all of the time. something like that.
Having thought through the problems, it is clear that whatever happens there will always be some sort of problem, be it ticketing, venue, timings, you cant fix everything.

I gather that the SQ is not completely dead but assuming it is, lets help the guys out and try to be positive rather than negative, ok ok this coming from a SQ fan, but im being practical here..do I want a ticket, of course do I want to queue, yes, online not really, but if its the only way Ill give it a go. I did something similar for a large event last year and although I was logged on from around 5am ( tkts went on sale from 9am ) I was still in a queue at 6pm and didn't get all the tickets I wanted, either by seat or they were sold out. I am tking Ians word for it, and I trust his judgement ) that everyone will get a ticket, and it will be a proper pass as like most I keep mine every year, I also like the idea of getting the discovery screens etc at the same time rather than the rush at the box office.

ok rant over, lets give the guys a chance, everyone may still get what they want, and there will still be the odd problem but that's part of the Frightfest experience.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by zappa fan » Thu May 07, 2015 11:34 am

Glad to see this is still a topic for discussion. With only 56 days still passes go on sale, I for one would like to hear an update. Maybe before the boys head off to Cannes?
If there is no SQ, info about how the online booking would work etc.
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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by iomega » Sun May 10, 2015 9:38 am

Thanks for your comments.

We aren't using Ticketmaster, but we will be using a similar sized company who handle much larger events than FrightFest, so while you may have to wait in a queue if buying thickets online, you won't have to wait all day. I have been told several tens of FrightFesters can be on the site getting tickets at the same time, so with the number of tickets available and the number of FrightFesters that can access the system, we should be able to clear everything in a couple of hours.

I'm confident as I can be that any FrightFester who wants tickets, with a bit of patience, will get them.

I've just this morning had a play with a dummy ticket site set up for us to test the process. On the face of it it looks super simple. You will have to add a user name and password, which I know is a pain, but will help with us finding lost tickets and the like. This will also be needed for pass holders getting Discovery Screen tickets online. I'm looking into the possibility of being able to do this in advance of the tickets going on sale to speed things up on the day.

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by sherbetbizarre » Sun May 10, 2015 12:08 pm

iomega wrote:You will have to add a user name and password, which I know is a pain, but will help with us finding lost tickets and the like. This will also be needed for pass holders getting Discovery Screen tickets online. I'm looking into the possibility of being able to do this in advance of the tickets going on sale to speed things up on the day.
Obvious one this - let's say my mate buys my ticket so we can sit together, I can still log in and create an account to use for Discovery Screen tickets, even though I didn't sign in and buy a weekend ticket?

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by MalJutley » Mon May 11, 2015 1:43 pm

Seems straightforward enough...I assume we will be able to select seats within the screen of our choosing and not be allocated "best available". Also With Discovery tickets would there be a chance to use an email confirmation of the purchase as the ticket (QR or barcode on email) rather than having to print the ticket out?

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Re: FrightFest ticketing 2015

Post by iomega » Tue May 12, 2015 5:21 pm

You will be able to choose seats and each seat will have a unique code which will be used to get discovery screen tickets.

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