Demetri Martin tickets sell out in 5 minutes

Alexandra Finkel

At 10:31 a.m. Monday morning, Sam Gutelle was poised to purchase two Demetri Martin tickets. He logged on to the Norris Box Office Web site and was able to hold them. But when he pressed “Buy Now,” an error message appeared. When he tried again, there were no tickets left.

Tickets to Demetri Martin’s Feb. 26 show at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall sold out at approximately 10:35 a.m., just five minutes after they went on sale, said Barry McCardel, A&O Productions co-director of promotion and public relations.

Northwestern students were required to create online profiles for the site before purchasing up to two tickets per Net ID. Although some buyers reported online complications, the system worked exactly as planned, the Communication sophomore said.

“There’s no reason to believe the system messed up or was overloaded,” he said. “The only thing we did hear was a very small number of tickets were caught in limbo because tickets are held for 20 minutes while credit cards are being processed. So the Web site reported it was sold out before it actually was.”

Norris Box Office co-supervisor Lyberti Nelson said she received many e-mail complaints about the online ticketing process.

“A few people who had placed tickets in their shopping carts received an error message,” the Medill sophomore said. “We have already called some of these people and will give them tickets along with anyone who was in that position.”

Although Gutelle managed to secure a ticket from a friend, he said he doesn’t feel it was an efficient process.

“If they could work the system out so there weren’t any errors, it would be great,” he said. “But it just didn’t work this time.”

Gutelle said the process should be changed in the future.

“Maybe next time they could put half of the tickets online and half at the box office,” he said.

But other students weren’t as lucky as Gutelle. Weinberg freshman Shaayak Sen logged in at 10:38 a.m. and was also unable to get a ticket.

“I really wanted to go and I’m still going to try to get tickets,” Sen said. “But I probably won’t pay more than $20.”

A&O did not anticipate that tickets would sell out this quickly, McCardel said.

“We knew that there were a lot of Demetri Martin fans here, and the Facebook group turnout was very impressive,” he said. “But a sold-out message in four to five minutes is obviously record time.”

It’s often difficult to match ticket availability to the high demand, McCardel said.

“With the venues we have available and the popular acts we bring to campus, it’s hard to accommodate a lot of students,” he said. “We wish we could sell as many tickets as possible.”

Tickets will be available for pickup Feb. 18 at noon.

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