In response to Dr Clive Gee’s letter (‘Not throwing bricks at you’, SN 22/3/16) highlighting the issues he experienced when trying to order Shetland Folk Festival tickets on Monday 21 March at 6pm, I would just like to take this opportunity to apologise to him and the many other customers who possibly experienced frustration and stress during this process.
As he has correctly highlighted, the server capacity proved insufficient for the highest peaks of demand, and this did undoubtedly cause some temporary frustrations for our customers. Last year, exactly the same server set up worked with almost no problems at all, in line with the predictions of our load testing.
This year, ticket sales have been exceptional, but as we have increased overall capacity there is still availability for all but five of our concerts at this point in time (afternoon of 22nd March). Last night, almost everyone who wanted tickets at 6pm, were able to secure them by 7pm.
We are extremely grateful for the patience shown by our early members and for their many positive comments received through email, text and Facebook exchange.
The Shetland Folk Festival website and booking system is managed by a small IT team working on an entirely voluntary basis, with essentially no budget for servers and such like.
Indeed, the entire festival continues to be operated exclusively by volunteers and faced with ongoing cuts in funding, it is increasingly challenging to operate all aspects of the Festival in a way that we would ideally like.
Nevertheless, we hope our customers will be reassured that we do have plans in place to increase our server capacity significantly for the opening night of ticket sales in 2017. This should allow us to cater for the ever growing demand.
Thanks again to the community of Shetland (and our many visitors) for your ongoing support of this annual event.
Mhari Pottinger (on behalf of the Shetland Folk Festival Committee)
2 Greenfield Place
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