The acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton is hitting Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center next year, and when tickets were released over the weekend, fans endured a “disastrous” buying process.
Tickets to the show went on sale Friday morning. While the box office was open for sales, the venue urged people to use its online system to avoid the expected lines in-person. However, things went very differently as 35,000 people were in the virtual waiting room before the 9 a.m. sales time. The site ultimately crashed and people were booted-off. Some waited for more than five hours.
Fans expressed their dismay on Twitter:
— korinne (@burnthe_witch) November 16, 2018
Dr Phillips center seems to have lost control of the online Hamilton tickets. Went from 2hrs-1hr-30min …now 2 hours again
— Jackie DelBuono-Dale (@JackieDBDale) November 16, 2018
Dr. Phillips Center: We’re VERY prepared for the rush of people trying to buy Hamilton tickets!
People trying to buy Hamilton tickets: pic.twitter.com/bDRgVVNWce
— katie (@katieschaber) November 16, 2018
When you’ve been in line for over half an hour to get #hamiltonorlando tickets and then your page freezes then turns into a 502 bad gateway page and won’t let you even get on a purchasing page. @DrPhillipsCtr #fml
— Dani (@Dani_law10) November 16, 2018
I may pass out. I got all the way down to less than 5 minutes to wait then it jumped back up to over 2 hours?!?! I dont understand this waiting room. #hamiltonorlando @DrPhillipsCtr pic.twitter.com/qaPBae8VHU
— Tasha Montei (@Altruista29) November 16, 2018
Jake Grimley, the CEO of Made Media, the company which ran the venue’s ticket-buying system, apologized for the inconvenience ticket-buyers faced on Friday.
“We are deeply sorry for the frustration this caused and want to be transparent about what happened,” he said in a statement, noting that although they were well within expected levels tested earlier that week, the “load increased exponentially, triggering a problem we had not previously seen during testing.”
While the online buyers were having trouble scoring tickets, the opposite happened at the in-person box office. A few hardcore fans camped overnight, and throughout the early morning hours, others began to show up. As the online queue began to build up, fans decided to head down to the box office. One person in line noted that people were “literally running to the ticket booth” downtown.
Nearly 800 fans turned up and were able to get tickets, spokeswoman Lorri Shaban told the Orlando Sentinel. However, by 1 p.m., the venue warned that due to high demand, the ticket inventory was becoming limited.
Grimley noted that the company would investigate “where the technology failed and also what processes could have prevented that failure.” The venue also announced that it will offer a limited number of $10 tickets at each performance, with details to be announced in the future.