Ticket dramas for Sister Act

Tickets still available: Invercargill Musical Theatre office administrator Anne Lindsay with tickets for Sister Act, a ...
John Hawkins/Stuff

Tickets still available: Invercargill Musical Theatre office administrator Anne Lindsay with tickets for Sister Act, a musical being performed at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill this month.

The show goes on, despite what online ticketing sites might say.

The Invercargill Musical Theatre Company is frustrated some people may be staying away from its major production for the year, Sister Act, due to problems they are having booking tickets online.

Invercargill Musical Theatre vice president Bernadette Gourley said the official Ticketdirect site had been having "glitches" in the past six days, and some people had been unable to buy tickets for Sister Act on the site, when there were still plenty of seats available.

The glitches were intermittent, she said.

Gourley encouraged people who wanted to see the show to purchase their tickets from the ICC [Invercargill City Council] booking office or get door sales, if experiencing problems with buying the tickets on the Ticketdirect site.

Ticketdirect, which did not respond to questions, was trying to fix the problem on Monday, she said.

Adding to the online ticketing woes,  Invercargill Musical Theatre president Fergus More said another online ticketing site was incorrectly saying most of the tickets for the remainder of the Sister Act shows were sold out; and the tickets were also being sold for inflated prices on that site, he said. 

Truth is, there are ample tickets available for the remaining shows this week, he confirmed.

"The mixed messages frustrate us because we are potentially losing custom," More said. 

The ticket resale website Viagogo says tickets to Sister Act in Invercargill are sold out on all but one day this week, which is incorrect.

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Emailed questions to Viagogo, which has come to the attention of Consumer New Zealand in the past, were not answered on Monday.

​The Sister Act show has five more nights to run at the Civic Theatre in Invercargill - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, starting at 7.30pm each night.

"We want to make sure no-one's turned away," More said.

Sister Act, with a cast of 33 and backstage crew of 80, was the Invercargill Musical Theatre's main show of the year and the ticket problems were hurting its chances of breaking even, More said.

"There will be people saying, 'we want to see it but you are sold out', and that's gut wrenching because we aren't making money on this show.

The Sister Act musical is based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film and fitted with about 19 musical numbers written by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken.

​Consumer Protection manager Mark Hollingsworth said there was no specific legislation in New Zealand against reselling tickets unless it was a major event protected under the Major Event Management Act, and in those cases tickets could not be sold for more than the purchased price. 

Buyers should check with the event organiser for the face value of the tickets to ensure they were getting a fair deal and whether the ticket would be valid to gain entry to the event.

If tickets were being resold online the buyers should read the terms and conditions carefully, Hollingsworth said. 

If unhappy with the service, buyers should go to the seller directly and if still unhappy go to the the Disputes Tribunal, which the seller could also do.

 

 

 - The Southland Times

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