"How did the tickets sell out so fast for that show?"

HOW SHOWS SELL OUT SO FAST

The Forum is a small venue with a maximum capacity of 250 people. We normally sell less tickets than this maximum capacity for shows, to allow for bands guestlists. We never oversell.

Occasionally we are offered special shows from artists that would normally play venues many, many times bigger than us. These shows create a lot of interest from not only fans from the local area, but also from the artists biggest fans nationally and even internationally. Most are aware of the significance of that artist playing a small venue – some are not (understandably) aware of the size of our venue.

The processing of tickets is done automatically through a large ticket companies computer server, however we do have two people monitoring the email and social media accounts – there is no actual box office or ticket phone line at the venue. TICKET SALES ARE ONLINE ONLY.


For the following example we are assuming there are 250 tickets available for a show.

1. People log onto website and look for correct link to the show they want

This can be 1000’s of people in the case of some shows.
Some people, desperate to secure tickets, will often ask friends and family to help out. They arrange to have the same link open across several devices to increase their chances of getting through to the purchase process.

2. Tickets go on sale, a buyer adds tickets to their basket and then continues to the check out process.

The ticket companies’ computer ticketing server accepts the first 250 people connecting to the website. Those 250 people add tickets to their ‘basket’ and then continue with the checkout process. This tells the system someone is about to try and purchase those tickets - it now doesn’t allow anyone else to add those tickets into their basket. The show is marked as sold out automatically by the system. This is to protect the venue from over selling the show.

Every online purchase for anything on any website requires you to fill in details into online forms. The tickets are held in a persons basket during this time – other people can still not attempt to buy the same tickets.

3. The transaction is completed

The fan receives the tickets in their email. There are less tickets to sell on the ticket companies system.

Or…

3. The Transaction is cancelled

A fan decides not to continue with the payment process eg. their friend got through to the payment process first and they no longer need to purchase any themselves. The cancelled ticket is now back on sale. The website will no longer say SOLD OUT – those tickets go back on sale on the ticket companies system.


If you know a show is popular and you get a SOLD OUT message, try refreshing the webpage. There may be a chance to connect to the computer server the same time tickets have been returned from someone else’s basket that they didn’t purchase.

Remember, if you are trying to buy tickets for an artist you know is popular, you won’t be the only one trying to buy tickets.

Recently for a show we had over 1500 trying to buy some of 125 tickets, at the exact same second.

There is nothing personal, no discrimination, no conspiracy – the first people to get one or more of the finite number of tickets into their basket, then buy the tickets, will get the tickets.

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