July 15, 2008

Outage Halts Film Fest Ticket Sales

By Lindsay Vanhulle, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

Jul. 15--TRAVERSE CITY -- Early ticket sales for the Traverse City Film Festival should resume at noon today after a massive power outage hit the Canadian company that processes the event's ticket requests.

TixSys, the festival's Vancouver-based ticket vendor, went dark Monday after the outage shut down much of the city's financial district. The Vancouver Sun reported on its Web site that a failed circuit was to blame.

The impact was felt in Traverse City by about 2 p.m. Monday. It was still morning in Vancouver, three hours earlier in the Pacific time zone.

Deb Lake, the festival's executive director, said the company's Internet server handles hundreds of thousands of other Web sites.

"We're planning to be back up," she said. "Some of these things are out of our hands."

TixSys specializes in ticket sales for film festivals and other events. Lake said the vendor also contracts with the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan and the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Ticket sales started Monday for members of the Friends of the Traverse City Film Festival. Public sales are scheduled to begin Saturday, with box office sales opening at noon and Internet and telephone orders starting at 6 p.m.

The ticket line on Monday at times extended outside the door of the festival box office at 300 E. Front St. in the Art Center space. Lake said festival staff couldn't access its list of Friends to inform them of the problem because it, too, was housed on the vendor's crashed server.

All orders placed before the site crashed are completed, Lake said, and contact information was taken from anyone who stood in line Monday afternoon.

Ellen Wahi tried reserving her tickets online Monday before the site crashed. She drove to Traverse City from her home in Kewadin to place her order in person, to no avail.

"We have several that our friends are going to see, so we have to get the tickets for all of them," Wahi said. "Since noontime we've been trying, and it's been busy."


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