Sonatribe tickets and the brighton scam..

So this week there’s been a pretty rancid story evolve about a kid from Brighton (where I’m from) who roped about 1000 people into buying discounted Bestival tickets.

Now I don’t want to get into this too much – it’s a mine field and the guy is recieving death threats. I hope everything gets ironed out and that he didn’t mislead these people intentionally.

Bestival have been really sympathetic and offered the people who lost out a ticket each upon showing their crime reference.

The reason this all stirred me to want to blog about it is because this situation is frustrating. Ticketing is a mess. I blogged about it 5 years ago (all be it for different reasons):

To be fair SeeTickets have improved since then – but not enough…

Since then I’ve always wanted to put my architecture into practice. It’s been a long standing dream of mine to create a genuine social network and ticketing platform for festival fans.

And since then we’ve been busy hacking away bit by bit at this dream!

So how can we make this situation any better?

For me there are a number of ways ticketing can be improved, they suck because:

– ticketing platforms crash under stress – how is that even acceptable?
– most are paper based – this leads to ticketing touts, fake tickets and all sorts of issues.
– sometimes you can’t transfer them to a mate. When you can it often means posting them to a site 5x their face value
– they aren’t re-usable! wot…

So – we’ve built this ticketing system that uses queues and all of the goodness mentioned in the post above – all be it a more mature and resilient architecture – 5 years in tech is a long, long, long time!

We’re cloud hosted, we can handle 30,000 requests a second while sleeping… Blah, Blah, Blah…

All well and good – but then there’s these little things called NFC wrist bands – the same technology you use for contactless payments.
When you purchase a ticket through sonatribe you get one and it’s re-usable – all of your tickets are stored on it. You can pay a little extra and get a super cool silicone one. It’s ridic.

Also, because we manage the whole lot you can transfer your ticket to someone else – it must be at face value – it’s fair to the organisers and the artists and staff work at and perform there.

If you’re taking kids to an event – they get one too – so if (perish the thought – it happened to me at glasto 1986 so it does happen!) they get lost – a member of staff just needs to scan their wristband and they can send a direct message to your phone to notify you where they are!

There are no fakes – there are no toutes. End of.