|Image from GABF Facebook Page|
Once again, I used my standing as an AHA member to take part in the members-only presale and was able to get all the tickets I wanted. Everyone that I know in the office who tried also got everything they wanted (including two co-workers who purchased an AHA membership JUST to get GABF tickets).
Lots of members got stuck with the Saturday evening session, though. Personally, if my choice is to go to the Saturday evening session or to not go, I would pick to stay away.
For me personally, things went much smoother than last year (see #GABF #TicketMasterFail), but the TicketMaster process was far from flawless. I got my Friday night tickets no problem, but when I went to try to get the Saturday afternoon tickets, TicketMaster was not recognizing my Membership Number.
It appears they fixed the bug pretty quickly, and I was able to get the Saturday afternoon tickets, but just like last year, I don't understand how a company whose sole purpose is an outlet for tickets can have this kind of glitch.... especially after the public beating they got last year for similar issues.
As far as I can tell, the only complaint from the general public sale was that everything sold out so quickly (20 minutes this year) that several people were left out. For what it is worth, several breweries this year didn't make it into the festival this year either.
And of course, tons of GABF tickets are ending up on secondary ticket outlets. Again.
I'm a little nervous publishing this post, because there is a lot of hate out there towards Great American Beer Fest organizers. Even poor Eric Gorski was attacked for the way he reported the issue (see the comment from "Jack" at the end of Gorski's "First Drafts" blog post Great American Beer Festival tickets sell out in record time – again. I am sure there are people who will be pissed at me because I was able to get my tickets. I'm not going to apologize, though. Just for the record, I don't have any special connections other than the AHA membership I purchase every year.
To me, the number of conspirator theorists out there is downright comical. The GABF is not in criminal cahoots with TicketMaster and StubHub to jack up the prices. Apparently, a bunch of loons out there believe that, though.
The reality of the situation is that there is more demand for GABF tickets than the supply can accommodate. Some people (and breweries) are going to get left out because there is no more room in the convention center.
Anyway, you know where I'll be while the festival is going on. Like always, I'll be letting you know how it goes (see http://blog.ericshepard.com/search/label/GABF for the latest)
---- By the way ---- did you know it is #IPADay tomorrow? Well it is. Check out http://blog.ericshepard.com/search/label/%23IPADay tomorrow for my contribution to the craziness.