Time seemed to stretch endlessly; hour after hour passed by, the events of the day blurring into irrelevancy. The sun beat down upon the necks of the poor souls forced to wait in the scorching summer sun with seemingly no end to their mission. It seemed like days passed by with no conclusion reached. All hope was now lost.
They were of course waiting for County Extrav tickets. Or standing in line at Lonsdale. Or at a whole host of other college extravs that were scarred by a mixture of ridiculous queuing and poor handling of the situation that arose. Whilst many JCR members were no doubt thrilled to see the extrav tickets sell so quickly, the question to be asked surely is whether it is fair, especially during a busy exam period, that people can buy grotesque numbers of tickets, meaning tickets sold out before many could reach the desk and ensured some individuals waited for over four hours to gain tickets. Has campus lost its mind?
With people waiting for so long to get tickets, couldn’t a better system have seen queues reduced and a fairer chance for college members to be able to attend? After all these are the people who have voted in their JCRs with part of their remit being the organisation of the college extrav. How can this be a college event if its members cannot receive tickets due to queues or being unfortunate enough to have an exam on the day tickets are sold?
[pull]Imagine the outrage if Glastonbury allowed people to buy 17 tickets at a time?![/pull]
The JCRs have to be better prepared for the influx of students wanting extrav tickets. Some colleges dealt admirably with the demand: Fylde, for example, used a raffle system to prevent long queues and ensure that people did not needlessly waste their day in line for a ticket that they would never receive. Others did not. The question is why had so many other extravs, many that knew there would be a high demand, not prepared for the circumstances that arose? Allowing there to be formidably large queues, a majority of non-college students and, in some cases, people buying astonishing amounts of tickets at the time have allowed the extravs to descend into farce. Not even Chaplin could have prepared a better comedy than the extrav spectacular we have witnessed in the last few weeks.
The colleges need to prepare better for next year’s extravs and make sure a repeat of this year’s events do not return. Firstly, reserving half of the tickets on sale for members of the college would be an admirable step towards realising that the JCRs work for their college; they have no responsibility to other colleges and their students. News of particular individuals harassing JCR members who restricted ticket sales at the end to college members is disgusting but these events could have been prevented had college tickets been sold at an earlier date for college members to allow them to attend their own extrav. If I vote for a JCR member, I expect them to serve the interests of myself and my fellow college electors.
There must also be a better attempt to restrict the amount of tickets that can be bought by a single individual. News of students buying handfuls of tickets whilst queues stretched outside the bars is abysmal. Whilst some may argue that music festivals and other large-scale events have similar problems with demand, they also place restrictions on the amount of tickets that can be bought at any one time by any one individual. Imagine the outrage if Glastonbury allowed people to buy 17 tickets at a time?! Adding this to the raffle system formulated by Fylde College’s JCR would reduce the need for time-consuming queuing and leave a system that was fairer, quicker and more efficient in dealing with the demand for tickets.
The problems with this year’s extravs have highlighted a whole host of problems with the way they have been organised. Whilst all the colleges involved have had flaws exposed in the system they have formulated to sell tickets, some have been able to adapt magnificently to the circumstances. One can now only hope that the extravs themselves prove to be worth braving the ticket queues for.