Backlash from fans after West Fest presale causes Ticketmaster website to crash


Members of the Westminster community are outraged after high demand for tickets to the annual outdoor music festival West Fest caused the Ticketmaster website to crash.

Ticketmaster and its “mother company,” Live Nation, will head to court on April 1, 2023 to face off against West Fest fans following the company’s inappropriate management of the large demand for tickets this year. 

The annual music festival is hosted by the Westminster Schools and gives students and members of the community an opportunity to showcase their musical talent. Typically hosted on Broyles field, the event also features delicious food and fun games.

Thousands of “Westies,” as the music festival’s fans are called, flocked to the Ticketmaster website this past weekend to buy tickets for the annual event. This large amount of traffic caused the site to crash on Friday, angering fans and prompting Westminster’s dean of students, Brooks Batchellor, to launch an investigation questioning the validity of the website. 

Head of school Keith Evans is concerned about the amount of customer complaints related to Ticketmaster’s presale of West Fest tickets.

 “Westminster will partner with Ticketmaster and its customer protection team and use every resource available to ensure that going forward, customer protection laws are mandated,” says Evans.

The investigation and court hearing will also take into consideration what many students, parents, and teachers consider to be “subpar” customer support during the snafu. 

Ticketmaster responded to backlash with a tweet over the weekend. 

 “Tickets for this year’s West Fest caused an unprecedented amount of demand, with thousands showing up to buy tickets for the pre-sale. Historically, we have had the capability to manage a huge volume of ticket sales coming into the site, so fans have a smooth shopping process. However, this time the staggering number of bot attacks as well as fans who didn’t have codes drove unprecedented traffic on our site, resulting in 1.5 million total system requests –3x our previous peak.”

Aspiring festival goers who weren’t able to purchase tickets this week turned to social media to share their frustrations. 

“At this point, the tickets should be free. I should not be forced to wait this long and go through this much pain to stand on muddy Broyles field for a stupid music festival,” one student tweeted. 

“Y’all knew what type of traffic to expect and you failed. I had a math lab appointment at 3:30 today but skipped it for the presale, and now I’m not going to be able to get tickets and I’m gonna fail my math test. You have failed us all @Ticketmaster,” tweeted another.

The West Fest fiasco has certainly brought into question the validity of the monopolized company. Going forward, students hope for more proactivity from Ticketmaster, which they feel has truly failed them. Aside from the disappointments and sleepless nights the company has caused for many, other members of the community were able to acquire tickets and look forward to seeing Mrs. Harless perform “Ice Ice Baby” as the main act at this year’s West Fest.