Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Reading Festival - Prologue

Not a festival celebrating literature (as at least two people I know have thought it was when typed) but a music festival held in Reading.

My first comment really has to be a "fuck you" to SeeTickets or Festival Republic who whoever the fuck's idea it was to still be sending tickets out this late. The festival starts on Thursday, I was planning on getting the train down tomorrow (Wednesday), and yesterday (Monday) at 7am was when I got my email saying my tickets had been dispatched.

I paid for these tickets in September last year. I ordered them and gave them money over eleven months in advance of the festival, and I get my ticket literally less than 48 hours before the event. If I'd been planning to get leave any earlier than the day before I'd have been fucked.

What made it even more of a pain in the arse is that Seetickets dispatch it with Royal Mail Special Delivery, which is completely trackable, except they don't give you the tracking number for it. They give you their tracking number, but it's not the same, and all it actually tells you is whether it's been dispatched or not, so is almost entirely useless given they send you an email telling you when it's dispatched.

And out of those who didn't get theirs weeks ago, I'm one of the fairly lucky ones. Some aren't going to get theirs until "before 1pm Wednesday" according to the email they sent out this afternoon.

I understand how sending out the tickets late helps prevent touting, but there's definitely a limit as to how late you can acceptably send them out. It would only take Royal Mail to have a problem for a day or two and hundreds, possibly thousands of people wouldn't get their tickets in time for the event. Two weeks in advance (which is what it was for the Muse gig, also booked with SeeTickets) would have been perfectly fine. There's absolutely no fucking reason to leave it so late.

It just caused me stress for most of the day because I knew from my sister that they'd neither delivered it to my house, nor left a note saying they'd delivered it and I wasn't in to sign for it. So I went to the RM delivery office on my way home from work, but they can't give it to me from there unless I've got the note saying nobody was home when they delivered it. Which is fair enough, because it stops people fraudulently intercepting mail before it's even attempted to be delivered to the house. Except when I asked if they could check if it was there, the woman (who was very helpful) said she could, and then she did, and it wasn't there. Nor was there any record of saying it was delivered.

So I got home without my ticket, my ticket wasn't at home, I fume for 20 minutes or so and start making preparations for calling up SeeTickets and trying to find out what the fuck I should do and when I'm getting my damn ticket. Then the doorbell rings and it's our next door neighbour saying that he's got a letter for us that he had to sign for, and it's my tickets, and suddenly there's a fuckton of relief.

And also a fair bit of annoyance with Royal Mail, for taking something that's special delivery, and either delivering it to the wrong address by mistake, or establishing that nobody is home to sign at the correct address, and delivering it to the wrong address on purpose. On some levels it's reasonable to expect neighbours to sign for packages, but on another level it completely isn't. It's lucky that they handed it over to a neighbour who is a pretty nice old man, and who brought it round. It could easily have been the students a few doors away and they'd have forgotten to bring it round (because, as I know better than anyone, students are absent-minded and lazy). Or the woman who died last month but was our next-door neighbour on the other side to the one they picked, and who was so damn batshit crazy that she once went out shopping in the car with her kid, left the kid in the car while she went shopping, and then got a taxi home and completely forgot she'd left the kid locked in the car in the car park until her husband got home in the evening and asked where the fuck their child was. If I'd had potentially important post going to her, I'd have potentially never fucking seen it again.

But primary rant aside, I have my ticket now, I can go, I'm expecting it to be awesome. The line-up isn't as good as it could be, and I'd say that Arcade Fire aren't really a headline band, and Guns 'n' Roses would be if they were the true GNR, but now they're just Axl Rose and randomers, so they're not the best of headliners either. Blink-182 are decent though.

My main bitch about the line-up is actually that the bands I like are pretty much entirely on the Friday. I'd be pretty happy spending the entire Friday at the Main Stage or the Lock-Up stage, and there's about two day's worth of entertainment for me there, half of which I can't see. Then Saturday and Sunday are pretty barren, and I spent most of last weekend on Spotify just listening to all these bands that I don't really know and deciding which ones would at least be worth checking out.

So I now have this, which you'll have to click to enlarge to a size that's actually readable:

There are still a few clashes on there, but I think I'm just going to have to call it at the time. Bad Religion v Ash is probably the worse one, because I want to see both of them really badly and I have no idea which one I'll pick. It's actually a three-way clash with Pendulum as well, but I'm almost certainly going to see one of the other two so I've not bothered highlighting it on there. QotSA v Against Me! is probably going to go to QotSA just because it's them, and because it'll require less frantic stage hopping.

So yeah, possibly a post tomorrow night while I'm at Will's, but most likely nothing until Tuesday, because I'll be knackered when I get back on Monday.

Also, last half-day of work tomorrow. Which means I'm free all of September if people have ideas for doing stuff ;)

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