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Dover Post
  • The highs and lows of Firefly 2013 ticket sales

  • Tickets for the second Firefly Festival went on sale yesterday, with some price points quickly selling out. However, with so many fans clamoring for the three-day passes, the sales experience was not perfect for everybody.
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  • Following Tuesday's Firefly Festival 2013 line-up release (including headliners like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Red Hot Chili Peppers), tickets for the three-day outdoor indie music extravaganza went on sale yesterday at noon selling out more quickly than anyone expected.
    According to festival officials, this year's sales surpassed 2012 numbers within an hour of release. The first pre-sale tickets actually went on sale within days of the conclusion of last year's festival at an early-bird rate of $148. As tickets quickly sold out, the price rose to $198. Yesterday's early bird prices (first $218, then $238) are gone and the only general admission tickets left are the $258 three-day event passes.
    VIP packages are available for $798 and include access to climate-controlled a VIP Hospitality Lounge, access to The Loft (Firefly's viewing deck located just off the main stage, giving fans a bird's eye view that doesn't involve mingling with the masses), complimentary catered meals, shortcuts to stages, air-conditioned restrooms, preferred viewing at all stages, arcade gaming in the VIP Lounge, private VIP bars, a private VIP festival entrance, preferred parking and private cell phone charging stations.
    Super VIP packages, which sell for $1,998 include VIP perks plus backstage access to Firefly's guest hospitality lounge, artist-level access to viewing platforms at the main stage, golf cart concierge throughout the festival and exclusive Super VIP access throughout the VIP areas.
    Firefly Director Greg Bostrom said in a statement yesterday that he and the company are grateful for the enthusiasm shown during yesterday's ticket sales.
    "Today's response in sales has exceeded our expectations," Bostrom said. "We're working hard until June to bring Firefly back to The Woodlands on an even grander scale than our inaugural year."
    The sales process was not without its hiccups and criticisms yesterday, though. Within minutes of tickets going on sale, the overwhelming response seemed to cause problems with servers that had many fans complaining on Firefly's Facebook page. Some of the complaints included that the "buy now" button simply looped back to the main page of the website while others couldn't seem to get the website to load. Festival organizers quickly took to their own Facebook page as well, trying to keep fans updated.
    The first update occurred almost immediately and said, "Hey everyone, tons of people are on the site right now and we understand you are experiencing challenges. Our servers are catching up and if you keep at it you'll get though. Thanks for all the excitement!"
    As the minutes ticked on and fans became increasing frustrated, the Firefly Facebook page then said, "We've gotten word from our Amazon servers that they've identified the deeper issue beyond the servers capacity. We'll post updates as they come in."
    Page 2 of 2 - Updates did post at a regular interval and the problem had something to do with the "load capacity" and the "queue system." Finally, Firefly updated and said, "Our queue system is up and running. If you are still experiencing issues, please hard refresh."
    Of course, many fans did get tickets but the comments seen of the Firefly Facebook page seems to indicate that just as many were disappointed at the price they had to pay or the length of time it took to get tickets.
    Still more tickets will be released at a later date when single-day tickets are made available. No word yet on when those tickets will be released or how much they will be.
    The Firefly Festival will kick off Friday, June 21 with the first of 71 bands that will perform through Sunday, June 23.
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