SINGAPORE: Irate Ed Sheeran fans did their thinking out loud when they blamed technical issues with the Singapore Sports Hub's ticketing system, after they missed out on tickets to the UK singer-songwriter's gigs in Singapore.
On Thursday (May 11) evening, the Sports Hub confirmed that its ticketing system had "operated without any technical issues and managed the high demand", its senior director of corporate communications Chin Sau Ho said in a statement to Channel NewsAsia.
Tickets to Sheeran's Singapore gig were snapped up as quickly as 10 minutes after they went on sale at 10am on Thursday. Concert organiser AEG Presents Asia swiftly announced a second show, which also sold out as early as 11.30am.
Those who had missed out in the rush for tickets said that they ran into technical issues while waiting their turn in the ticketing system's virtual "waiting room", or while they were trying to pay for their tickets online.
The ticketing issues come on the back of similar problems when fans rushed to buy tickets to Coldplay's concert, when they went on sale last November.
Once more, irate fans left comments on Singapore Sports Hub's Facebook page.
In his statement, Mr Chin said that the virtual "waiting room" was activated when the tickets went on sale. He explained that the feature is used to regulate website traffic when there is high demand, and enable patrons who are in process of purchasing tickets to complete their transaction.
However, a fan Channel NewsAsia spoke with said she ran into problems with the virtual "waiting room" as well.
Compliance executive Audrey Goh said that she managed to select tickets after logging in at 10am sharp, but that the system allotted her Category 5 tickets instead of the Category 4 ones she had chosen.
"I got to the page where they asked for my credit card details but the page wasn't fully loaded, even though I could enter my details. But when I tried to click 'next', nothing happened," she told Channel NewsAsia. "In the end, I had to go back a step and do it again, but it was too late."
Her experience mirrored that of several others who expressed their frustration on social media:
"Stuck at the virtual waiting room until all sold out!!!" said a user by the name of Jaja Bernales on concert organiser AEG Presents Asia's Facebook page.
Another user, Catriona Sutcliffe, said she had waited in the virtual waiting room for two hours.
Tickets for the gigs rapidly surfaced on platforms such as Carousell and Viagogo. A check on Viagogo showed that Category 2 tickets - ordinarily priced at S$208 - were being sold for as much as S$2,427.63 each.
There were also many resellers on Carousell, with one selling a pair of Category 1 tickets for S$4,800.
The Sports Hub warned that it does not condone the resale of tickets from non-authorised agents. "While there is no legislation in Singapore to prevent the occurrence of such incidents, our terms & conditions of sale prohibit this, and it could lead to seizure or cancellation of that ticket without refund or other compensation," it said.