Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I hope this fits into the expanse of serverfault. Apologies if it doesn't.

Why do ticket websites selling tickets for major concerts/events still crash when they make the tickets available? Surely, they know there is going to be huge demand and can ensure they have capacity to deal with that?

May seem like a very simple question so sorry for those who understand!


share|improve this question
It's more likely to be poor programing than inadequate servers. – John Gardeniers Apr 1 '10 at 11:49
up vote 5 down vote accepted

A cynical guess:

Ticket numbers are limited, and if the demand is high enough to crash the site then it's also high enough for them to sell out whether it crashes or not.

The significant cost associated with adding enough capacity to meet those kinds of sudden traffic spikes vs the benefit to their business (which is...... a slightly improved reputation I guess)... it doesn't stack up. Plus, ticketek and their ilk tend to have exclusive rights over many events, hence there's no competitive incentive for them to keep the site running when demand peaks.

share|improve this answer
Sadly, you are probably right. – Antoine Benkemoun Apr 1 '10 at 10:53
Add to that that illegal resellers aer basically trying to get tickejts as fast as possible (to resell them at a later stage for a higher price) and basically you can not add enough capacity - they will suck up every new server you add. – TomTom Apr 1 '10 at 11:37
So it's not going to make any difference to them, because they're going to sell them anyway. Seems to make sense; cynical, but probably true. Thanks. – Soloman Smart Apr 1 '10 at 11:38

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.