We should be praising not criticising JCRs for organising sell-out events

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Extrav ticket sales have been ‘the’ talking point for the last few weeks, with everyone asking ‘Did you get a ticket?’ There has been great upset as many were turned away empty-handed and disappointed having queued for hours. Some are pointing the finger at the JCRs, others at those wishing to make a quick buck from selling on those sought after tickets. But one important thing is being forgotten in all the debate of who is to blame; the hard work of the JCRs and all those working to make Extrav 2010 the best yet.

Many have questioned the way in which JCRs dealt with the massive influx of students intending on getting tickets, issues such as ticket limits and priority for your own college have been discussed. However, as far as I am aware being a first year student, these issues have never needed to be discussed before, with stories such as just strolling into county bar on the day of sales with little more than six people in front in the queue. I, and many of the first year students who stood in that queue that was around county quad by 9am, two hours before tickets went on sale, would find this very hard to imagine, but I am told that was the case. Therefore the JCRs were simply not prepared for such a huge response and cannot be blamed, as this was a complete change from previous years.

The members of the Extrav committees and the JCR work on an entirely voluntary basis, and they have worked non-stop behind the scenes to make sure the rest of us (those who got a ticket) have an amazing night to finish off our academic year.  They have been booking bands to entertain throughout the night, some colleges going all out to get some big names in alongside campus bands. Some college line-ups are more than impressive, no wonder they sold out so quickly.  There is the all-important choosing of the theme, the announcement of which so many of you eagerly waited for via Facebook and posters. The announcements were an art in themselves, thinking particularly of Lonsdale’s Hitler spoof and County compilation of all that is British. And at this moment Extrav committees all over campus will being painting and decorating away to transform their bars into their chosen theme for just one night, and all in the height of exam period and for nothing but the satisfaction that you all have a good night.

It is undeniable that many missed out on Extrav tickets unfairly due to no clear plan being in place, as it was previously thought that one was not needed. However I believe that the colleges tried the best they could in the circumstances to be fair to all. Lonsdale, being the first to be hit with hype, imposed an emergency ticket limit to stop all those at the front buying up tickets to sell on, although this also caused mass confusion as everyone scrambled for their friends purple card numbers. Fylde had the innovative idea of handing out raffle tickets to those in the queue so that if you weren’t going to get a ticket you could go home, disappointed but at least you hadn’t wasted an afternoon of precious revision time. County and Pendle made the controversial choice to save the last hundred tickets for their college students only, giving them priority. Many disagreed with this aggressively confronting the JCR members as tempers frayed, however I am told in previous years that all tickets went on sale at the same time so most students only went to their own college Extrav anyway.

The massive queues even before tickets went on sale, although frustrating to those who were unlucky, were a huge compliment to the organisers of Extrav. To see that many people wanting to come to an event they have carefully pieced together must be reassuring that they have done extremely well. This years sales took us all by surprise and changes do need to be made to the process however amidst all this chaos we should take a moment to appreciate all the hard work and effort put in by the JCR.

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