U2 fans render Ticketek site inaccessible

Ticketek was effectively knocked offline for "thousands" of music fans this morning as 200,000 tickets for a U2 tour went on sale. Ticketek, which is one of Australia's most popular online ticket booking sites, takes precautions to limit the number of people that can access its Web site on a "Hot Show Day", which is when an unusual rush of visitors is expected due to popular tickets going on sale.

Ticketek was effectively knocked offline for "thousands" of music fans this morning as 200,000 tickets for a U2 tour went on sale.

Ticketek, which is one of Australia's most popular online ticket booking sites, takes precautions to limit the number of people that can access its Web site on a "Hot Show Day", which is when an unusual rush of visitors is expected due to popular tickets going on sale.

A Ticketek spokesperson told ZDNet Australia that access to the site was throttled on purpose to ensure that the lucky ones that did manage to access the site would be able to complete their transaction reliably.

"We sold out really quickly so nothing was actually down, it was just a matter of massive demand. We also have a call centre and the agency network but all of those were at full capacity trying to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people that want to go to see U2," the spokesperson said.

The last time Ticketek's site experienced such a rush was the day Kylie Minogue tickets went on sale at the end of January.

"We can't have an infinite number of people making their transactions. Kylie was massive and U2 is a huge band and has huge public appeal,' said the spokesperson, who pointed out that to aid the throughput of visitors on the Web site during busy days, the site only allows each user 15 minutes to complete their transaction.

"[The time limit] is to ensure that people are not on the site on a hot show day just to browse. They go through the transaction so someone else can come on," the spokesperson said.

Fans that were unable to purchase their tickets through Ticketek who are considering buying them from online auction house eBay could be in for a shock. The massive demand has led to hundreds of tickets being offered on eBay at highly inflated prices.

Within hours of the U2 tickets going on sale, eBay had sellers offering show tickets at many times their face value.

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