Phish fans furious at Live Nation ticket jam

Phish keep the fans happy - and angry
Phish keep the fans happy - and angry

When tickets for Phish's reunion tour went on sale on Friday, over one million fans simultaneously jammed Live Nation's new ticketing service page - causing the site to freeze and, in some cases, lose purchases altogether.

The long-awaited Phish tour was the first rest test for Live Nation's online ticket site, and depending on who you listen to, it was either a success or a disaster.

"[The demand] overwhelmed the system for a minute," a Live Nation spokesman told Rolling Stone, who added, "We sold all the tickets to all the shows. At the end of the day, it was successful."

Fans are steamed, baked and fried

"An epic fail" is how Phish fan Todd Levy sums up Live Nation's online ticketing system

Tell that to the countless fans who either experienced waiting time hassles to getting shut out of tickets completely.

Todd Levy, writing on Jamtopia, called the sale an "epic fail." In a lengthy post, he recounted, "Here's just a sampling of the painful cries your online ticketing system expelled as it crumbled under the weight of Phish ticket buyers this Friday and Saturday:

  • An error (500 Internal Server Error) has occurred in response to this request.
  • Sorry! You are not authorized to view this page. Please check the URL and try again. You may be able to find what you're looking for by visiting our home page.
  • There was a problem. An error occurred. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try again.
  • Sorry, we could not find the tickets you requested."

Finishing his tirade, Levy wrote, "While I'm all for a little competition in the marketplace, I gotta tell you the past few days made me nostalgic for my old pal Ticketmaster."

Phish apologizes

"We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support and patience" Phish, in a statement on their website

In a statement on their website, Phish responded to the ticket debacle:

"We have heard from many fans regarding this past weekend's onsales, particularly the shows that went on sale via Live Nation's website. Many of you experienced extremely long wait times, error messages, and quite simply, an inability to get through and purchase tickets.

"Clearly, the system was unable to handle the extraordinary demand. We're very sensitive to making the process of getting Phish tickets as straightforward as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued support and patience."

Fine. But do us at MusicRadar a favor then: When we go to see you this summer, play 'The White Album' in its entirety, as you've done in the past. Here's a little reminder of how it goes:

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.