Extrav excitement leads to ticketing chaos

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The selling of this year’s Extrav tickets has seen an unprecedented trend, with many of the events selling out on the first day of sales.

Lonsdale, which has a reputation for being quick to sell out, sold all its tickets for this year’s ‘Night of the Lonsdale Dead’ in just three hours. ’ The event, taking place on Tuesday Week 10, looks set to host a selection of bands from Lancaster itself such as ‘Tailored to Fit’ and Sugarhouse’s own DJ Simba, as well as The Killers tribute band, Hot Fuss.

It has, however, faced a lot of criticism for not holding back tickets for members of the college, or graduating third years, with there being reports of people buying a large number of tickets, and selling them on for a greater price than the standard £5.

Other events on the Tuesday, Furness’ ‘Full Moon Party: Thai Beach Rave’, and Grizedale’s ‘Neverland’, have also seen a run on tickets. Last year, Furness sold out of tickets, but only on the day of the event. However this year, the event had sold all but 100 tickets on the first day of sales, with the rest being sold in half an hour the following day.

Wednesday Week 10 will host the Extravs of Bowland, Fylde and Pendle. ‘The Battle of Bowland’ will see performances from DJ Simba, and will be headlined by ska band Random Hand.

Pendle’s Extrav, ‘Sounds of the Underground’, sold out of tickets in the first two hours of ticket sales on Wednesday Week Six. However, Pendle held some tickets back exclusively for Pendle third years, so that they would be able to attend their last Extrav, but sales were restricted to one ticket per person. The theme of ‘Sounds of the Underground’ will be taking students back to the nineties, converting Pendle bar into an abandoned warehouse including CCTV, scaffolding and barbed wire.

‘Fylde Galleon’ will be a pirate-themed evening, comprising of hog roasts, treasure hunts and Fylde Courtyard being transformed into a beach. Fylde staggered the release of their tickets, only selling 200 on the first day of sales, and operating a numbered system so that people did not have to queue.

The final day of Extravs on the Thursday will present Cartmel’s ‘Grease is the Word’ theme and County’s ‘Cool Britannia.’ Both these events sold out on the first day of sales, within a few hours. The queues in Cartmel bar were so long that many people purchased breakfasts from Barker House Farm, meaning that college members had to be called upon to help tidy up, including LUSU President-elect, Robbie Pickles.

Cartmel will be hosting a range of live music and the hire of The Pancake Man for the duration of the evening. County’s ‘Cool Britannia’ theme will be keeping everything as British as possible by reminiscing on British bands, British food, royalty and all the British institutions which make Britain renowned worldwide. The highlight of the evening looks set to be a Queen tribute band, evoking memories of 1980s Britain.

The queue for County’s sales was reported to have been started by people returning from the Wednesday night’s Carleton, in anticipation of sales, which opened the following day.

Lots of students were angry with the quick sales; something which has been reflected on the Facebook groups and events for the Extravs. One student commented on Pendle’s Extrav page: “Brilliant. This happens every single year and we always get sent the same old message about how unexpected the queues were. It’s ridiculous! Good luck to the final year students trying for tickets tonight because it’s going to be the same balls up it was this morning! Total piss take.”

Another student wrote on the County event’s wall: “Colleges should look after their own students! Personally I think it’s disgusting how third year County students who had also queued for four hours did not get tickets, when students from other colleges did. Extrav offers the last chance for students who have been loyal to that college their last ever university experience. Many third year County students have missed out on this at the expense of other students, many of whom will get future opportunities.”

Social and Events Group Chair, and LUSU Vice-President-elect (Finance, Events, Democracy and Societies), Matt Windsor, was keen to explain the importance of the need for JCR Execs to have some power to make decisions over the way they sell tickets within the rules and regulations set out by LUSU. He also explained that he didn’t see any need for restrictions to be implemented so that final years would be able to get tickets for their own college Extrav.

He said: “The event is for everyone, regardless of year or whether you’re in the College or not. If it was year based, then what of the 2nd year student who is good friends with the 3rd year and lives in the same flat?”

“I agree that the JCR’s should give information to their own colleges first so that they are in a primed position – as nearly all the JCRs did – but when it comes to the day people need to be proactive. You cannot deny that some people were simply too late to turn up,” he added.

He then went on to talk about the response many JCR Execs have had to the speed at which the tickets have sold out: “I am not going to let ignorant people take cheap pot-shots at the JCR just because they’re stood behind the ticket desk without any tickets left to hand out.

“If you don’t get a ticket, it’s no-one’s fault, the numbers were simply against you. It happens at every festival, gig, concert, cinema showing,” he continued.

On the evening of Thursday Week Six, members of the Extrav Committee – a group made up of all the colleges’ individual Extrav organisers – released a statement about the amount of sales in the first week of releasing the tickets, blaming “unprecedented popularity and demand” for the situation: “The upmost effort has been put into ensuring ticket sales were fair to all students and that the promotion and systems in place to deal with queues were as efficient as they could be. It is regrettable that certain circumstances arose meaning some people were not able to obtain a ticket.”

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1 Comment

  1. Although my nickname says ‘Lonsdale’ here – It’s actuall Matt Windsor (VP-FEDS Elect). For some reason I can’t change my nickname..

    Anyway – the point of this comment is to remind people that there is a much larger discussion to be had about this whole issue. For a lot of people, the issue is as clear cut as “Sell to your own college, sell to third years, then sell to the rest”. It is not. At all.

    If anyone does want to have a talk about this at length, and not just from the available quotes here (there were ten-fold more), then please contact me. I’ll be working with the next JCR’s for the Extravs next year – so if you want something changing, I need to know!

    Thanks.

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