WoW tickets delayed after payment glitch

01:06, Feb 06 2013
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Gabrielle Gallen, right watches as fellow child performers Paris Povey, left and Poppy Voon drive onto the stage of the TSB Arena in pedal cars during the 2012 Brancott Estate World of WearableArt Awards, Mainfreight Duffy Books Children Section.
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Harpagornis, right created by Jan Ubels of Auckland and modelled by Fiu Samuela-Gibbons and Marquise Rawahi created by Beatrice Carlson of Auckland and modelled by Hope Osborne silhouetted against the sculls of extinct birds during the Air New Zealand South Pacific Section.
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Octopus's Garden created by Helen Millen of Picton, modeled by Ethan Anderson and Jennifer Maxwell.
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Dancers perform during the start of the American Express Open Section.
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Illumination Illusion Section performers on stage of the TSB Arena in Wellington.
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Illumination Illusion Section performers on stage of the TSB Arena in Wellington.
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Musicians Elena and Sebastian Soldrzynski perform with the fellow members of the Vector Wellington Orchestra during the gen-i creative excellence Visual Symphony Section.
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Bizarre Bra Section, Party Line created by Angela Leong, Wellington and Modelled by Lucy Aitchison, left, Sarah Mackenzie and Lily Delany.
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Performer Venus Star performs with a space monster during the finale of the show.
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Delight of Light created Yuru Ma and Mengyue, Donghua University, China, modelled by Halina Wolyncewicz-Russ. Wiiner of The Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award.

World of WearableArt fans eager to snap up tickets will have to wait another week.

Organisers have postponed the sale of tickets until next Monday (the 11th) after problems plagued the ticketing system over the weekend.

Tickets officially went on sale on Friday at 6am, but WOW chief executive Meg Matthews said unprecedented demand overloaded the system, when about 12,000 people tried to buy tickets in the first minute.

While some tickets had been sold, the majority of seats were still available, she said.

‘‘There’s a lot of tickets still to be sold, and the show’s not till September.’’

The problem was with the third-party payment system, which was experiencing faults which should be fixed in a week.

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‘‘We are not going to go live until we are 100 per cent confident.’’

The problem may have been exacerbated by the new time. In previous years tickets went on sale at midnight, so fewer people were awake to make the purchase. The 6am time was intended to be fairer but had instead seen unprecedented demand, she said.

‘‘Our heart was in the right place.’’

As well as the system overloading, problems arose when people were asked to provide the password for credit cards – something many people did not know, meaning they had to contact their bank to find out what their password was – causing transactions to time-out.

Ms Matthews said less than 4000 tickets had been sold to people who contacted WOW directly about the technical issue, but to ensure a fair process all sales had now been suspended until Monday.

People worried about nabbing the best seats could rest easy though – there are 47,000 tickets available in the show’s 11 day run, and there were still tickets in every price range in every show available, she said.

‘‘We’re not like the Sevens – we didn’t sell out last year until June.’’

This year’s season starts on September 26.

Traditionally only about 10 per cent of tickets sold in the first week, she said.

Tickets range from about $50 for a restricted view, to $150 for premium plus tickets, which include a programme.

Those wanting to splash out on VIP tables can still get tickets, as they are booked through a separate system. A table of 10 is $3800.

The Dominion Post