Should Glastonbury Festival tickets go to the ballot?

SeeTickets respond to the Glastonbury ticket hullabaloo

Should Glastonbury Festival tickets go to the ballot?

Photographer: Sara BowreyChris Swindells on 08 October 2013

For those left feeling rejected and dejected on Sunday morning, without a confirmation code to their name, there was the usual reaction: disbelief, frustration and conspiratory pondering.

120,000 of the full 135,000 ticket allocation sold out in a record-breaking 87 minutes. Since its introduction in 2008, the registration process for Glastonbury Festival tickets has, undoubtably, improved the situation for genuine Glastonbury Festival fans and prevented really latecomers and ticket touts trying their luck on the morning of the ticket sale.

Martin Fitzgerald, Head of Business Development at SeeTickets, responded to some of the critics live on BBC Radio Nottingham with Andy Whittaker this morning (October 8).

"It's the highest profile event that we do." Fitzgerald said. "There's something like 1,100,000 customers registered to go to Glastonbury, and they all want 135,000 tickets. It's a shame but there's nothing you can do about that."

Responding to Andy Whittaker on the question of introducing a ballot for ticket sales, Fitzgerald said: "It's an interesting question and every year it comes up. The 800,000 people that don't get to go often come up with the argument, why don't you just have a ballot, why don't we just register and a computer generated ballot just picks the winners? I think the argument against that.. is that some people prefer to make that effort because they think they can increase their chances through making that effort and I think if you just do  the names out of a hat, I think there's a sense that maybe you'd get some people who were not as committed to going to the festival.

"Ultimately it's up to the festival, we will do whatever they want us to do. Clearly people have mentioned ballots in the past and I think they've [Glastonbury] always had a view that if you're get to secure a ticket to Glastonbury there's an element of work that you have to do to achieve that and it does reward that commitment. I also think to be quite honest that if you have that kind of a bun fight on a Sunday morning between a million people that's a bit of a news story.. There's also an element of this that feeds into the hype machine."

There will be resales later on in the year for customers who don’t pay off their deposits,” Fitzgerald added. “Plenty of people will still be able to purchase - it’s not over yet.

The concept of a ticket ballot for Glastonbury seems a perennial one that dogs the annual 'ticket sale day' and has once again come back into the fore. Wimbledon, the London Olympics and, most recently, the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have all used forms of ballot to sell tickets - but could this ever work for Glastonbury Festival? Have your say below.

Those lucky enough to have tickets now have to wait until the first week of April 2014 when the remaining ticket balances of £160 plus a £5 booking fee will be due for both UK and international buyers.

Everyone else can expect the tickets which are left unpaid after that week in April to go back on sale at a re-sale date, expected to be announced in the new year. The re-sale date is usually in late April and is expected to be announced for either April 20th or 27th in 2014.


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