If you were hoping to buy tickets to "The Book of Mormon" at the Kennedy Center when tickets went on sale to members at 10 a.m. today, odds are you're among the scores of very unhappy would-be ticket buyers right now, as the center's Web site is thoroughly down.
"The service is unavailable," reads a message on what would normally be the Kennedy Center's homepage. Repeat attempts to access other parts of the center's site ultimately produced a message citing "unusually high demand for tickets." The center's phone lines are nothing but busy signals.
Who could have seen this coming? Well, anyone who remembers what happened when "Wicked" tickets went on sale in 2011. In fact, the Kennedy Center produced a sort-of "what to expect if you're expecting to buy tickets" tip sheet for members anticipating a "Book of Mormon" nightmare.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tickets are already available on secondary sites like StubHub. Naturally, would-be customers have been venting their frustration through social media:
Update: The Kennedy Center's John Dow said by e-mail that while the box office is experiencing "historic demand" ticket orders are being processed through the site. "Tickets are selling quickly, but they are still available," he said. Regardless of today's demand, tickets will be held for the general public sale, which begins March 14. (American Express card members have a pre-sale of their own on March 6.)
We are working to address issues due to the high demand as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience.
— Kennedy Center (@kencen) February 27, 2013
@kencen Process transactions? How about displaying a web page...
— Mark Rolufs (@MarkRolufs) February 27, 2013
I appreciated @kencen's tips about how the presale would work, but it was apparently for naught
— Adam Kovacevich (@adamkovac) February 27, 2013
Biggest @kencen fail is that their own members can't get online to buy Book of Mormon tickets, yet Stub Hub already has some for sale.
— Sarah Kogod (@SarahKogod) February 27, 2013