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Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

Oh God – everything is selling out

Welcome to Virtual Ticket Queue Season, we hope you like extremely stressful early-morning waits

Written by
Kate Lloyd

If you’ve bought tickets to Glastonbury in the past ten years, you’ll know the obnoxious level of admin that goes into the process. The price for that weekend of big fun is not just several hundred pounds, it’s two anxious mornings spent flicking between a Google Sheet of your friends’ addresses and a clunky online ticket queue. It’s an experience that, at best, has the toxic odour of ‘organised fun’ about it and, at worst, leads to crushing, tantrum-inducing disappointment. It’s for this reason that we’re heartbroken to break the following news to you…

Everything is Glastonbury now.

Since Boris Johnson announced his roadmap in February, restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs and festivals have revealed their return dates. And, whereas once you could just casually pick up tickets or grab a last-minute spot somewhere, now everything is selling out.

Last week the pre-sale tickets for tiny Peckham indie festival Gala sold out in a matter of minutes. Defected, an electronic weekender at the Drumsheds, sold out in 90 minutes on pre-sale yesterday. Mighty Hoopla sold out in record time. Most of Brixton Courtyard's weekend dates are already sold out and they’ve only been on sale a fortnight. In fact, a spokesperson for a ticketing platform told Time Out that they’re ‘seeing unprecedented demand for London events’, with many of them ‘selling in hours what would often take months’. It’s the same across the country. El Dorado has sold out, Wilderness has sold out, Houghton has sold out, End of the Road has sold out, even bloody Boomtown and Reading and Leeds have sold out. (Touts are already shilling tickets on Viagogo for £588 a pop.) Meanwhile, bagging a spot at a pub garden or restaurant terrace now involves entering an online war with the other Whatsapp groups of London.

Suddenly, the malaise of lockdown has been replaced with a manic scramble for fun stuff. Sure, many of us might not be 100 percent convinced that things will actually open up by the summer, but dangle the opportunity for an actual plan in front of Londoners and we’ll clamour for it like lab rats tussling over the one nice bit of lab rat food. We’re a city of people who have spent the past 12 months queueing, quite literally around the block for a Gail’s, for God’s sake. We’ve been training for these virtual lines all winter. 

The good news is that there are still events coming up which haven’t sold out yet. There are still tickets for All Points East and Field Day. There are still tickets for Junction 2. And while Cross the Tracks and Wide Awake are selling out very fast, there are still a few spots remaining. The even better news? That there really isn’t any reason to start panic-buying because we can expect more and more good stuff to reopen throughout the summer and then we’ll all have the rest of our lives to enjoy it, lockdown-free. Hopefully. Touch wood. Oh God, I shouldn’t have said that…

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