I queued at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast last Thursday to buy tickets for the Bruce Springsteen concert which went on sale at 9am.
When I arrived at 6am I was given a wrist-tag (number 68 in the queue) and a photocopied sheet which suggested that, as demand for tickets was expected to be heavy, I should ring the Odyssey box office as well and ask friends or family to try and buy tickets on the internet.
At 9.04am Ticketmaster announced on their website that online tickets were sold out. The Odyssey box office telephone was engaged before 9am and never became 'unengaged'.
When I asked why the Odyssey had not reserved, say, 400 tickets so that the first 100 people queuing would have got some reward, I was told that this wasn't possible due to 'rules of fairness'.
What's 'fair' about the current system?
I find it strange that the venue should go to the trouble of providing staff to hand out wrist-bands and information knowing that there was little likelihood that the majority of those queuing would get tickets.
The Odyssey would better serve customers by not offering counter or telephone sales at all.
Michael Blair Holywood