Updated at 11pm with additional ticket information
While some fans of singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran were celebrating after securing newly-released tickets for his upcoming Qatar concert, others voiced their frustration after they went on sale an hour earlier than advertised.
Due to high demand for his concert in Doha on March 3, the event organizers announced last week that additional tickets would go on sale online from 10am today.
However, just after 9am today, fans reported on Facebook that they had already successfully bought tickets. Many other fans trying to access the ticket website closer to 10am complained that the site kept freezing.
Tickets for the silver (QR250) and gold (QR350) sections had already sold out before 10am, some residents said. By approximately 10:25am, all online tickets appeared to have been snapped up.
Iconic Advertising & Events, which is the local company managing the performance, advised fans to keep trying the website as it was receiving a high volume of traffic.
However, the website message had been triggered by an automatic timer on the ticket system, which reserves tickets for a period to enable the user to put in their card details and make the transaction.
This was resolved after the initial rush, and as of this evening, there were still 300 tickets available to buy online, according to ILoveQatar (ILQ), which managed the ticket sales website for the event organizers.
By mid-afternoon, some fans reported the glitch had been resolved and they had been able to book more tickets through the online system.
Khalifa Al Haroon, Founder and CEO of ILQ, told Doha News: “We are sorry that some fans had issues trying to book their tickets earlier today. We hope everyone who wanted tickets has managed to get them after the system updated itself and released the reserved tickets.”
Just before 10am, Iconic issued a statement on its Facebook page advising fans that tickets could also be bought in person at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where the first phase of tickets were sold.
It also confirmed that the concert had moved halls within Qatar National Convention Center and, to increase capacity, would be mostly standing, with a limited number of seats available for those who had bought tickets in the first batch which went on sale last November.
However, these will be restricted “on a first come, first served basis with a priority to less able bodied people, families with children under 12 years old, pregnant woman and OAP’s,” the company said.
It also advises that tickets can be upgraded at the Grand Hyatt from 10am today until Feb. 4. Refunds on original tickets will be available from Feb. 4 to Feb. 7, 10am to 6pm at the Grand Hyatt ticket sales point.
A hotel spokesman told Doha News that tickets went on sale from 10:30am.
The situation caused confusion and frustration among fans, who complained on Iconic Qatar’s Facebook page for the event.
Michelle Arscott Njuguna said: “It is a shame that you didn’t publicise earlier re tickets also being vailable at grand hyatt! Also fact tickets have been pen before 10!”
John Hill said: ” 10:23am sold out already? are u kidding me? how many tickets were sold? the info said selling time starts at 10am, what happened?”
However, others were delighted to have secured their place to see the singer perform.
— Abdulla (@AbdullaAlsuliti) February 2, 2015
Did you buy tickets today? Thoughts?