The chief executive of the British Film Institute (BFI) has apologised after the London Film Festival ticketing website suffered multiple crashes.
Film fans were left disappointed on Wednesday after tickets for the festival went on sale to BFI members. Users struggled for several hours trying to secure tickets to see films such as The Whale, Decision to Leave and Glass Onion: A Knives Out mystery.
The BFI eventually announced that they had suspended all booking for the day and also closed down booking tickets through the box office.
A message from the BFI read: “Please accept our apologise but, due to technical difficulties, members’ booking for the BFI London Film Festival has been suspended to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at securing tickets.”
Booking re-opened for members yesterday (Thursday) with the BFI tweeting: “We’re experiencing heavy traffic on the BFI London Film Festival website at the moment, but bookings are going through and there’s plenty of tickets left across the line-up – so please stay in the queue.”
On Wednesday evening, BFI members received an email from Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI.
He said: “We really do understand the justified frustration and disappointment from so many people. We value our members enormously and realise this day is an important and exciting moment for so many of you, so it really is not good enough that we’re having these catastrophic members’ booking day issues again this year.
“We expect higher standards of ourselves and our systems, and we will be revising how this is delivered next year.
“We feel you deserve an explanation. The technical issue we encountered today was not the same as any in previous years – all of which we had successfully addressed. Unfortunately, the nature of this new issue meant it wasn’t detected through simulated tests and only came to light as members began booking.”
More tickets will be released September 29 if members missed out the first time round.
The London Film Festival will take place October 5 to 16.