YUSU website unable to cope with demand for ‘SinneD’

YUSU have been criticised today, following the failure of their website to cope with the demand for SinneD tickets, this year’s Big D event.

Tickets were due to go on sale at midday today. However, the YUSU website crashed instantly at 12.01. Since then, it has continually failed to cope with the high levels of traffic, displaying a message saying “shop capacity exceeded” or “internal server error” to many frustrated students.

The crash has also had a knock on effect on the nominations for YUSU by-elections. Although nominations were due to close this afternoon, YUSU has now extended the deadline to midday tomorrow to allow for the website difficulties.

A message was posted on the YUSU shop website this afternoon, stating: “If you are trying to purchase Big D tickets, please be patient. Repeatedly reloading our website only compounds the problem, and forces us to sell the tickets much more slowly.”

Lewis Bretts, Democracy and Services officer, has also released a statement, explaining that, “While we made some changes to the website this year to stabilise the Online Shop, the Big D publicity incorrectly stated that tickets sold out in 45 minutes which meant that a large number of people visited the homepage in the first hour. Our website is hosted by the University, and their servers could not cope with the increased load. The website has now stabilised, and tickets continue to be available. Historically Big D organisers have been quite happy when the website runs into problems on ticket sale day, and I haven’t recieved any complaints from this year’s Big D team.”

Derwent Vice-Chair Felicity Saunders apologised for the delay, assuring students that “there are still tickets left”, and said that “slowly the tickets are being issued, however unfortunately all people can do is keep trying”.

Derwent Vice-Chair Emma Warren also commented, saying that tickets were put online as “we thought it was the most accessible way for everyone”, and that she “really hopes everyone bears with us, we promise it will be worth it”.

The first tickets to SinneD were released yesterday, with 100 being sold to the first 100 guests of the SinneD launch event.


  1. 14 May ’10 at 4:51 pm

    Editorial Integrity

    Why doesn’t this article have a disclaimer stating it was written and published by the Big D Publicity Rep? Why isn’t the issue that the Big D Organisers have taken down Society Ratification and YUSU Elections for the day because they but false information on their posters?

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  2. Almost 5 hours of refreshing, still no tickets. Such a joke.

    “Stabilised” – that’s rubbish.

    Who cares how long the posters said it sold out last year, AT LEAST THEY ACTUALLY SOLD!

    Can’t believe that Brett’s did even say sorry in his quote – it might not be his fault, but as a YUSU officer he could at least apologise for the website.

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  3. 14 May ’10 at 4:59 pm

    Finally got my ticket

    What’s so wrong with selling them in shops anyway? YourShop or Derwent Porters or I dunno. I’d far rather queue up for half an hour than spend three constantly hitting F5. I think it’s a little cheeky too, charging us a £1 “online booking fee” when there’s no way we can book OFFline…

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  4. 14 May ’10 at 5:00 pm

    Derwent Student

    @Editorial Integrity, how *stupid are you?

    “Why isn’t the issue that the Big D Organisers have taken down Society Ratification and YUSU Elections for the day because they but false information on their posters?”

    The information isn’t false – YUSU provided the 45 minute figure last year. Regardless, this isn’t weapons of mass destruction launch times – whatever the posters said, the tickers went on sale at 1200, and so EVERYONE who wanted one went on the website at 1200. AND IT BROKE. If it said “tickets sold out in 3 hours last year” people still would have logged on at 1200 prompt. *.

    The issue here is that a student Union website at a Univeristy with over 12,000 students can’t cope when 1,000 of them try to access it at the same time. disgraceful.

    *Comment edited by moderator

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  5. 14 May ’10 at 5:09 pm


    Selling in shops isn\’t fair – online means everyone has the same chance, if the website works!

    Feel sorry for the organisers to be honest. and with YUSU blaming the posters and the University, I wonder who the Uni blame it on.

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  6. All I know is I’m hella pissed off! Is this literally ALL the tickets???? If so NOOOO. I’ve heard of a few people buying like 20 tickets to sell on at a higher price…

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  7. 14 May ’10 at 5:34 pm

    Sir Alan Lord Sugar

    If you want to sell anything to your classmates, sell photographic film in that playground over there and launch your own business. I did it, and you can too.

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  8. 14 May ’10 at 5:41 pm

    curiously yours

    they sold in 45mins last year because they sold them in person, in derwent dining hall, with massive queues….

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  9. With 40 connected clients the user load time of nouse.co.uk increases to an average of about 3 seconds. Assuming that scaled linearly, with 400 clients it would take about 30 seconds to load a page, which is longer than the attention span of an average student.

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  10. 14 May ’10 at 5:46 pm

    still no ticket!

    @curiosly yours…No they didn’t! That was the year before…At least with massive queues it is fairer- first come first served rather than online where it seems more of a lottery who is getting tickets!

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  11. Maybe our £1 booking fee should be going on sorting out the server problem so that we don’t have to waste our entire lives pressing refresh.

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  12. Shocking lack of communication from the organisers. These things happen but they must remember that we are essentially their customers and as such would appreciate firstly being kept informed… and ultimately receiving some sort of real apology. I assume that some sort of arrangement for those of us who have been ready and waiting since 11:59 and are now pushing 6 hours is out of the question…
    Not to worry though, I’m sure anyone with even a vague connection to any one of the committee and/or YUSU gets in free anyway right? And that’s what matters…

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  13. 14 May ’10 at 5:56 pm

    Archibald Primrose, Earl of Rosebery

    Real life ticket sales would be a nightmare!! Imagine some 1500 people (minimum!) all trying to get into Derwent at once – This would clearly be a huge disaster for the organisers and the poor building!

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  14. Everyone knows that the Big D organisers expected and wanted this to happen – it is a sign that their event is popular, it happens every year, embrace it! They’ve been overheard laughing about crashing the YUSU website to boost their publicity. And what’s more, their publicity officer (Nouse) can now create yet another negative article about YUSU.. how perfect for them is this??

    I sometimes wonder why YUSU bothers working hard to support students when they are constantly slammed for issues beyond their control.

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  15. “YUSU have been criticised today” by who? You claim that, but then do not mention anyone who did. You need a quote or evidence in there.

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  16. 14 May ’10 at 6:05 pm

    Goodricke Student

    @Anna: the problem isn’t with the server but with the massive number of students that expect to be able to turn up at once and get served. It’s not much different from being served at a bar, or a supermarket checkout.

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  17. This isn’t all that surprising. Popular event plus online booking equals refresh-splosion. If you’ve ever tried to book tickets for a sellout gig you’d know the story by now. If the website gets taken down for a day, so what? Is it really going to destroy democracy/productivity/anything else? Given the number of people complaining on Facebook about the slow loading times, the former one is unlikely to have been affected…

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  18. 14 May ’10 at 6:06 pm

    Frustrated Student

    YUSU has tried to make this situation better, but the Big D organizers just revel in the website’s failure. YUSU should force Derwent to sell at least some tickets in person, or ban them from using the YUSU website altogether. There are solutions to this problem, but it requires YUSU standing up to Derwent’s ego. The number of issues Big D causes every year, including the disruption is causes to students who still have exams, is unacceptable, and Derwent needs to start taking accountability for them.

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  19. @Tsung, not sure where you got that from but I’d take it with a big pinch of salt, there are too many differences to make that sort of comparison.

    @”Big What?” it’s up to them how much service they provide on the shop, but I’d argue that they need to learn from this and fix something, because 6 hours is quite a long time to go offline for.

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  20. I’m not angry/upset at the situation, it’s what you’d expect. All I reckon is that communication/apology goes a long way when you’re sitting in front of a computer for this long…

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  21. Have you not got better things to do with your life than complain about a voluntary service issued by yusu which they’re under no obligation to provide in the first place?

    Get over yourselves. If you didn’t create such a panic there wouldn’t be a problem. Deal with it and let them get on with their jobs doing things that *actually* matter to students.

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  22. @Ali: It’s not up to them. As the article itself says, YUSU is hosted by the university. Specifically by php.york.ac.uk. YUSU will assumedly have very little control over server load, etc..

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  23. 14 May ’10 at 6:21 pm

    Anna Claire Younger

    I really hate negativity and so I as a rule I dislike it when people leave negative comments on this website, however my absolute disgust at Lewis Bretts’ response to this matter has left me so angry, I have no choice but to respond.

    Just to clarify, the online WonDerland tickets DID sell out in 45 minutes. I put 1200 tickets online which all sold in under 45minutes. Due to the website being unable to cope, Worldpay processed payments faster than the YUSU website could handle, therefore the people that were able to buy tickets later on in the afternoon were not actually buying tickets from the 1200 put online. That day we actually sold 1298 tickets – more than was originally intended. I believe Emma and Flick put on 1200 today – the exact same amount.

    The errors did not stop there, YUSU made a further mistake last year when they released more tickets a week later without my permission.

    The committee that had spent over 25 weeks working on the event, and the stewards that worked paid for their tickets.

    Emma and Flick have done everything they can to ensure that tickets are equally accessible to ALL students on campus and they should be praised for this. To sell that amount of tickets in person would be such a huge operation, which the University would no doubt have a massive fit about, and insist on billing the college for doorsafe and/or extra duty porters (trust me the University/YUSU ARE actually this ridiculous). I also know they are taking no pleasure in the website crashing whatsoever, it is frustrating and worrying for them, especially now that all this negativity is flying around.

    YUSU knew what was coming, if they had been properly organised then they COULD have bought extra server space for the event, or advised the Big D committee to either stagger the ticket release further or NOT to put tickets online at the same day as nomination closure, which has no doubt had a huge impact. I worked closely with Matt Burton last year and although the relationship between colleges and YUSU has always been rocky, he helped me to put my tickets online and would have never let such a catastrophe happen. Emma and Flick have been constantly apologetic to everyone, despite this not being their fault and I am sure that Matt Burton would have happily come forward and done the same if he was in office this year.

    A person who admits to their mistakes is to be respected. A person who is too afraid to hold up their hands and admit they have done wrong should be ashamed of themselves, especially when they have to resort to lying and belittling the achievements of others to cover their own back.

    Please can we all remember what Big D is about. It is an event run for students and by students to raise money for fantastic charities. I am sorry if last year has contributed in any way to the frustration of people today, I understand nobody wants to be sat by a computer for hours, especially not stressed third years! I hope that the problems resolves itself and I know that those of you who have waited so long for a ticket will not be disappointed, I have every faith that Big D 2010 will be the best Big D to date and the organisers will do everything in their power to ensure this.

    Comment edited by a moderator

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  24. @Ali Clark – This happens once a year: when Big D tickets go on sale. Big D knows this happens so the costs involved in providing an extra service on the YUSU website should be factored into their event budget.

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  25. @ get over it

    Please bear in mind that YUSU are pocketing £1500 from this.

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  26. Fair enough, I wasn’t making a statement on anything else, just that I hope this issue can be solved and doesn’t happen again (as opposed to some who appear to accept this as the way it works).

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  27. 14 May ’10 at 6:37 pm

    Derwent Student

    I’m actually genuinely interested by this: Were the two organisers genuinely not warned by YUSU this might happen? If they weren’t then ‘Anna Claire Younger’ may have a point…? Either of them care to answer?

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  28. Slightly annoyed that people think SinneD Ticket Sales are the only purpose for the YUSU website. What about Society Re-Ratifications, Elections for Rag, YUSU Volunteering & 21 Plus Committee and last but not least, YORK Sport Elections.

    Servers that can support 1500 secure encrypted transactions in 1hr cost the sky for just 1 time in the year … were a charity. We have to cope with what we have ! Sorry if its not enough. The site and system works 99% of the time. This is the only time it fails.

    * Anna. Point of Fact. The £1 booking fee goes to the payment service and not YUSU. We put time and resources into designing and maintaining the ticketing service for members at our own cost. Not a penny from Big D sales will go back to supporting the system, unless we either charge for it or they wish to contribute towards the cost of having a system that can handle card payments that are safe and secure at the scale we need. Get a quote for such a service and then ask yourself whether its right that a student union spends that much money on a one off system, instead of its members or in the case of SinneD, donating it to charity.

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  29. 14 May ’10 at 6:45 pm

    Frustrated Student

    I continue to believe that this is not YUSU’s fault. It is the responsibility of the organizers to deal with issues that arise as a result of their event. YUSU shouldn’t have to warn them about the possibility of a server crash. Derwent need to take responsibility for the problems they cause.

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  30. anna claire younger = preach. i’m in total agreement.

    get over it = ents do ‘matter’ to students and form a vital part of the community spirit and social life of the university.

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  31. “YUSU knew what was coming, if they had been properly organised then they COULD have bought extra server space for the event”

    WHY should they?

    Why should YUSU spend money that could be spent on academic representation, societies, sports clubs, welfare campaigns etc which they are there to provide on expanding a server for one COLLEGE EVENT.

    Absolute joke of a comment Anna.

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  32. Also – if we’re going to argue about using Union resources on Big D – can we talk about why a Union funded “news” website had the launch of a promo video as its main news story for a whole week?

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  33. 14 May ’10 at 6:52 pm

    Emma Warren & Felicity Saunders

    Hi everyone,

    Once again, we are truly sorry for the problems today. We understand that everyone must be incredibly frustrated and we agree 6 hours isn’t acceptable. Over the past few hours we have been closely monitoring ticket sales which are slowly improving. We decided online ticket sales was the fairest way to allow everyone an equal opportunity – last year the website did not react in this way so we did not think it would be this much of a problem. We were hoping it would be popular and we carefully discussed the best option of releasing tickets and we thought this would be the best way. We did consider staggering ticket sales but there would still be the same demand and we worried it would be confusing to communicate.

    We have been in communication with the finance office all day in an attempt to help the situation. We have removed 100 tickets as we agree that the ‘pot-luck’ of whether your refresh button works is unacceptable. We will sell these at a later date which will be communicated efficiently through Nouse and the facebook event group.

    We are genuinely upset that this has happened today as we wanted this to run as seamlessly as possible to ensure your satisfaction.

    We completely agree that today has not been acceptable but we can only assure you that we have been doing everything we can to help the situation.

    We hope you are still excited for Big D and hope the high demand the website has had reflects your enthusiasm.

    Once again we apologise sincerely for events today and will keep you updated on the further ticket sales.

    Thank you for bearing with us,

    Emma & Flick

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  34. Me and David think that the Big D Committee should join forces with Nouse and try and run things and remove a Union dedicated to ALL members of the University – oh wait, it already has joined forces and that’s what you’re suggesting, fair play…

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  35. 14 May ’10 at 6:52 pm

    David Cameron

    @ Anna Claire Younger

    Did you write that piece yourself, because it reads like more like the tripe usually spouted by YUSU-hating (because his candidate didn’t win) Henry James Foy.

    Comment edited by a moderator

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  36. Why can’t all the jumped up chip on their shoulders “YUSU haters” take the mature, sensible and professional response shown by Felicity and Emma – very impressive girls.

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  37. 14 May ’10 at 6:57 pm

    David Cameron

    Ummm moderator – there was nothing offensive in my comment. Why have you not let it go through?

    More bias.

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  38. 14 May ’10 at 6:57 pm

    Derwent Student

    Lol – nice avoiding the question there Emma and Felicity. I guess you were warned then!

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  39. 14 May ’10 at 6:58 pm

    David Cameron

    What’s the best joke in the world?

    This being a genuine news story.

    Yes Nick, I did say that.

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  40. 14 May ’10 at 7:02 pm

    Anna Claire Younger

    @ David Cameron,

    Yes I did write that comment myself, hence why I had no problem claiming possession of it by using my REAL name

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  41. Tim’s just bummed that the Summer Ball will never be this popular.

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  42. @Anna – “Please bear in mind that YUSU are pocketing £1500 from this”.

    Even if that was true – and I thought Tim’s explanation believable – who / what do you think YUSU is? Do you really not know it’s a membership organisation i.e. you? Do you not know that any profits go back to membership services? Or by “pocket” did you mean the budget that pays for services like academic and welfare support, Clubs and Socs administration and the staff that provide them?

    Just out of interest, are all you people complaining about YUSU planning to opt-out of membership next year? Or put a motion to a meeting to change things? Or stand for a post?

    Thought not.

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  43. @ Humph

    And that comment signifies the entire problem behind all this.

    Big D is a great event, but it has simply got too big. People now get involved in it to try and ‘prove’ they can organise a better event than YUSU’s Summer Ball.

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  44. Good response from Tim: he’s talking about servers but it’s still sexy.

    Anna, not so much.

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  45. Obviously I have no idea how much each transaction costs, but simple Googling produced this:

    WorldPay WorldDirect

    WorldDirect is a type of WorldPay account which uses WorldPay’s Merchant ID and is suitable for individuals and small businesses.

    Account Fees – £200
    Set Up – £360
    Transaction Fees
    Credit Card – 4.5%
    Debit Card – £0.50

    I have no problem paying a quid to buy a ticket, but I’d appreciate it if the system actually worked properly.

    And by YUSU pocketing £1500 I was highlighting the fact that although YUSU claims to offer the system for free off its own back, there is a chance it could benefit from it.

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  46. To make all the angry people happy again:


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  47. You weren’t highlighting anything anna. You were making a claim that has been proven to be false.

    “a person who admits to their mistakes is to be respected”

    What beautiful hypocracy.

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  48. 14 May ’10 at 8:20 pm

    Joe Rankin, Derwent Chair 2009

    Lewis Bretts has just thoroughly disappointed me. Lewis, your quote sounds like the unfounded, veiled nastiness Alastair Campbell was so famous for.

    Most of it is untrue. Big D organisers are not happy that the website has crashed today and were not happy with the failures on YUSU’s behalf last year. Today is also the first time anyone involved in YUSU has argued against the 45 minute sell out time for the 2009 event. From Emma & Flick’s statement you can see they’re not happy with the situation and publicity. Poor form and the weakest attempt at political spin Lewis.

    More significantly, where is the YUSU apology? They are responsible for providing the service under scrutiny here. YUSU encourage societies and Colleges to utilise their online services. Moreover, they agreed to host the Big D ticket sale in full knowledge of the publicity surrounding the event and the clear evidence pointing to a sudden, significant influx of demand for the ticket service.

    It was quite obvious this would happen and yet it was never addressed by those who provide the service! How were the Big D organisers to know that the YUSU website and the capacity of the servers it utilises have declined so drastically in one year that problems would eclipse those of 2009 and be so substantial? They couldn’t possibly know unless the website administrators – YUSU – informed them of the capacities for their site and services. As far as I am aware this was never addressed.

    I think it is fair to say – don’t offer a service if you can’t provide it. There was good evidence to suggest such problems would happen and nothing was done about it. That’s what this boils down to.

    To suggest ticket sales are provided for free, or even at a loss to YUSU, is wrong. The website provides a simple portal for its membership to sell tickets via an online payment/transaction service. A transaction fee is charged and the costs of this service are covered. If the use of this service is a cost issue for the Union, why has it not been brought up at Council or in a similar forum, and why does the Union continue to promote the use of this service to its membership?

    In response to those who suggest an in-person ticket sale would be fairer and easier:

    You’re wrong frankly. The internet offers anyone, anywhere with access to a computer the chance to get a ticket. An in-person sale would mean only those able to queue up can get at ticket; and would mean some – possibly many – would queue for a long time and get nothing.

    On top of this, running such a ticket sale would be horrible. Having managed the Derwent Freshers’ ‘09 event ticket sale for a far less high-profile event with just 200 tickets, which sold out in 11 minutes seeing queues through the College, I can say with experience that it would be terribly difficult at best to fairly and safely distribute and sell so many tickets for such a popular event. The costs of doing so at this University under it’s rules, as Anna rightly points out, would be unacceptable for a charity event also.

    Critics seem to be those who do nothing at this University. You’re the ones who can’t be bothered to organise an event or get involved – and subsequently don’t know where the real responsibility lies – and you’re the first to moan and complain.

    Finally, a little perspective is in order. While this inconvenience is unacceptable today, tickets can be bought eventually and the event will be a great success.

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  49. Tim, you point to increasing the number of secure transactions being an expensive fix for this, but there’s got to be another way of improving the situation, even if it’s more low tech.

    I’m throwing this out there, and there might be a problem that I haven’t foreseen, but:

    Since the rest of the site is working fine, could we have a page which requires normal yorkshare login, and upon signing in, gives the first 1200 visitors to that page a token (very long/random, and allowable either by copy/paste or by installed cookie).

    Once these tokens have run out, the page makes it clear that no more are available for another 24 (or however many) hours.

    Those who logged in quick enough to get one of the tokens would then have an allotted time period within which the token is guaranteed to reserve them a ticket.

    Once the final token period expires (at some predefined time), the process opens up again to redistribute new tokens for any tickets that were not purchased on their initial token.

    This process should allow a fair and well managed usage of the available secure connections (one token per username per leasing time period).

    Sorry if you’ve already considered this or I’m making an invalid assumption somewhere.

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  50. @Anna – “And by YUSU pocketing £1500 I was highlighting the fact that although YUSU claims to offer the system for free off its own back, there is a chance it could benefit from it”.

    Again with the “it”!!! If YUSU made any profit, it would go straight back into services to students i.e. you and your friends – is there a problem with that?

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  51. 14 May ’10 at 8:37 pm

    Anna Claire Younger

    @ Michael Gove

    Just to clarify, I am not ‘Anna’

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  52. Back in 2006 when I was Alcuin College’s Web Officer we launched an online merchandise and ticket sale system (the booking fee was about 50 pence, I believe). YUSU at the time quickly put a stop to this and banned us (and presumably all the other colleges, although none had it at the time) from doing online sales (YUSU.org didn’t have online sales at the time).

    Perhaps if YUSU revisited this policy and let colleges sell through their own websites, rather than forcing them to use yusu.org, this would be alleviated?

    Also, @Tim: “Servers that can support 1500 secure encrypted transactions in 1hr cost the sky for just 1 time in the year” – no, it really doesn’t, it’s fairly easy to buy some more VMs, spin up a bigger EC2 instance or temporarily upgrade a Linode for a few hours. And it’s pretty cheap (perhaps like £20 or so).

    And @Tsung, I’ve no idea where you got those numbers from, but they’re not particularly accurate, and also it doesn’t scale linearly because of the caching that takes place on the Nouse servers.

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  53. 14 May ’10 at 8:39 pm

    Conor Scanlan

    Joe we all know you were chair. You’re a big deal, remember?

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  54. @Chris, that was my initial thought but seems like they’re on a server in the Uni. If they can migrate to a hosted solution like EC2 or Linode then that would be preferable to the token system.

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  55. 14 May ’10 at 8:55 pm

    Joe Rankin, Derwent Chair 2009


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  56. “Not to worry though, I’m sure anyone with even a vague connection to any one of the committee and/or YUSU gets in free anyway right? And that’s what matters…”

    Vague connection?! I’m on the committee and every single one of us has had to pay full ticket price, even though we’re working our socks off to raise money for charity and give you guys a brilliant time.

    “..this is not YUSU’s fault. It is the responsibility of the organizers to deal with issues that arise as a result of their event. YUSU shouldn’t have to warn them about the possibility of a server crash. Derwent need to take responsibility for the problems they cause.”

    Last year tickets sold far more fluidly on the YUSU website, in just 45 minutes, compared to this year where sales are ongoing even though there is still huge demand. Therefore, wouldn’t it be a fair assumption of the Committee that sales would be equally or even more fluid this time around? The fact of the matter is, YUSU are the people that know what they can and cannot handle. As Joe said, they shouldn’t offer Big D the service if they knowingly can’t accomodate such demand.

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  57. 14 May ’10 at 9:20 pm

    curiously yours

    colleges were stopped from using their own banking so that finances could be centralised….checking nothing dodgy is going on etc…

    i believe yusu is moving its bank account away from RBS and the online payment fees are much less

    if any student at all wanted to object to big D and its planning, they could have come to ents committee at the end of last term, when the planner was voted through. remember, college ents reps are representatives of their college’s students… so they are able to give their view to the committee.

    @Anna – “And by YUSU pocketing £1500 I was highlighting the fact that although YUSU claims to offer the system for free off its own back, there is a chance it could benefit from it”

    they don’t make profit from this system…and even if they did it goes back into helping the student body!

    people need to wise up and realise that yusu does far more than its given credit for, and without yusu this uni, and everyone’s experience would be a far far worse place.

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  58. officers went last year without paying…. ?

    the only ones who in theory are able to do this are the yusu ents officers, simply to check that everything is OK, lend a hand, and help sort problems…. as can the D&S officer

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  59. 14 May ’10 at 9:42 pm

    Gap Yah student

    I was on you shop trying to buy a sinne d ticket and then i just chunnnddeeeeeeerrrrrreeeeeeddddddd everywhere!!

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  60. 14 May ’10 at 9:54 pm


    It’s easier to find a fit girl in york than buy a SinnedD ticket…. Sort your lives out organisers. I’m going out on the lash.

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  61. have a great lashing, you absolute lad you. as one of the organisers with no life to speak of, i am super jealous of your wild lifestyle.

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  62. 14 May ’10 at 11:36 pm

    Frustrated Student

    @curiously yours
    “if any student at all wanted to object to big D and its planning, they could have come to ents committee at the end of last term, when the planner was voted through. remember, college ents reps are representatives of their college’s students… so they are able to give their view to the committee.”

    If YUSU publicized Ents committee meetings, I for one would certainly be there. I believe the Big D needs to be reigned it. It has become irresponsible and unwieldy. I just hope that next year YUSU, Derwent, and the University Administration take a close look at Big D to make it more reasonable.

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  63. @Frustrated Student

    Which Sabb are you? Or may be you’re from Langwith?

    Get a life. It’s not irresponsible, its a fantastic event and a great way to end the year. It’s also the culmination of a huge amount of very professional work from a wide range of students.

    It’s people like you who hinder York having a better campus social scene. Stop moaning and be more fun.

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  64. “It has become irresponsible and unwieldy”

    What a load of tosh. Whatever objections one might have to the video or the theme (as a self-confessed snob I have a fair few!), the Big D committee has, for the past two years, thought outside the box on what it is possible to do with a campus event, and as a result they have created something wildly popular. If anything, they should be encouraged. Everyone was massively annoyed today, but Emma and Flick should have never felt that they needed to apologise for their event. People have been quick to attack Anna C-Y’s comments, but in reality they broadly cohere with the experiences of many people higher up in JCRCs, and of those charged with running larger societies. Even moreso this year than last.

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  65. It’s time someone said it.

    Big D is s**t. £22 for an event in Derwent Cafe or Langwith is outrageous. It is all hype.

    I have nothing to do with the Union, Joe Rankin. All I know is this:

    Big D organisers need to grow up. 3 hours for a website crash, when the actual event is months away… Get real.

    Also, your ridiculously long post is about as interesting as you are. By this I mean not very interesting at all. Because you are the single most boring Derwent Chair for 10 years. Fact.

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  66. Derwent organisers are simply trying to hold a succesfull event and raise money for charity. The only thing they should feel accountable for is trying to do a good job. More prep on both parties would of helped, but if you want a ticket then que, or cry me a river.

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  67. Everyone knows that True Lads get into Big D via hot air balloon. Or swim across the lake. LAD.

    Oliver Lester, Derwent Chair 2008 (that’s two years ago now… What am I still doing here?! Move on!)

    P.S I always post under my real name! Damn wiggly worm!

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  68. Whay is Langwith also moving to Hes East? Ugh let’s stay here.

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  69. Quite a few people have been put off this event that I’ve spoken to.

    Not however, because it took a little longer than was ideal to buy tickets – no, more because the petty, arrogant and conceited responses by the clique of Rankin, Foy, Younger etc has put people off from spending a night in the company of such a pathetic bunch who can give it but can’t take it…

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  70. Which is a shame for Flick and Emma and the rest of the Big D Committee – all of whom have shown professionalism which their childish third year friends could learn a lot from…

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  71. Golden tickets should be hidden around campus in the weeks/months leading up to Big D. Tickets should then be sold only to people who hold a golden ticket. If you find a golden ticket but don’t want to go to Big D, leave it where it is, or take it to someone you know who does want to go.

    This is the fairest method that I can think of, and doesn’t involve the death of the internet.

    *imagines ducks walking around with golden tickets taped to them*

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  72. 15 May ’10 at 12:15 pm

    Impartial Press..

    How can Nouse say they are an impartial newspaper when their Editor is shamelessly spouting free advertising like this for a Derwent event that SHE is organising? Was I the only one to notice the ‘article’ announcing Big D in the last Nouse edition, as well as the advert (did Big D pay for that?) – funny, how the editor is the Press and Publicity Officer for Big D, right?! How can we trust a newspaper that is so publicly bias?

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  73. @Impartial Press

    “YUSU have been criticised today, following the failure of their website to cope with the demand for SinneD tickets, this year’s Big D event.”

    What about that is factually inaccurate or biased then? YUSU make colleges host their services via YUSU, then YUSU fail. YUSU know that demand for this event gets bigger every year and fail to accomodate it.

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  74. “YUSU make colleges host their services via YUSU, then YUSU fail.”

    No – YUSU offer colleges their services should they want it – that’s VERY different.

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  75. @SNOC

    “Back in 2006 when I was Alcuin College’s Web Officer we launched an online merchandise and ticket sale system (the booking fee was about 50 pence, I believe). YUSU at the time quickly put a stop to this and banned us (and presumably all the other colleges, although none had it at the time) from doing online sales (YUSU.org didn’t have online sales at the time).”

    YUSU have strongly deterred anyone from going about things like this in their own way for ages.

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  76. Just to throw in Chris Northwood’s comment here:

    “Back in 2006 when I was Alcuin College’s Web Officer we launched an online merchandise and ticket sale system (the booking fee was about 50 pence, I believe). YUSU at the time quickly put a stop to this and banned us (and presumably all the other colleges, although none had it at the time) from doing online sales (YUSU.org didn’t have online sales at the time).”

    I don’t think it’s a case of “YUSU offer colleges services should they want it”, it’s more a case of “use YUSU’s system or nothing”.

    If anything needs to be sorted out from this then it’s giving the responsibility back to the colleges. If they want to sell tickets for an event they should be able to do it from their own website which they pay for. Thus when anything goes wrong, they can take the blame for it, rather YUSU, the middle man.

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  77. As BNOC just said, faithfully supported by MNOC.

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  78. I’m sure that if BigD tickets were to be put on sale on an online system then YUSU wouldn’t complain. Colleges aren’t owned by YUSU and therefore, unlike societies, don’t have to abide by YUSU rules in the same way. I sold tickets to 13:3 on a separate system last term and YUSU had no problem with it so I’m sure that’d be fine, though it is much easier to use YUSU’s system so it just depends on whether it’s preferable to stop the crashing or otherwise.

    In terms of this problem. YUSU shouldn’t really have to apologise for the problem. The problem is with the University’s system so complain to them about it. YSTV often face similar problems and URY’s internet goes down from time to time. With so many full-time Computing Services staff and funds, I’m still amazed that the internet is so unreliable. YUSU *could* pay a large amount of money to cope with this problem but I for one would personally prefer them to pay that money directly to charity – and remember that YUSU aren’t making any money whatsoever from BigD.

    And in terms of Lewis’ quote, it’s accurate. The tickets bought on the first day were NOT all of the tickets. So, technically, the tickets didn’t sell out in 45 minutes. i.e. if you missed out on getting a ticket on the online system, you can still get one at a later date.

    But when you have the biggest campus event of the year and always sell-out quickly, you have to think about these things. I’m assuming that BigD organisers didn’t go to YUSU and ask them to make sure it doesn’t happen – if they did, I apologise. But every year people have to review the previous event and look at what can be done differently.

    Anyway, seriously, this isn’t a big deal. If anyone was stopped from being able to get tickets despite going online at midday then it’s an issue – and likewise if anyone was stopped from running for a YUSU position because of the downtime then that’s a big deal. If neither of those things happened, it shouldn’t even be an article.

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  79. > The problem is with the University’s system

    This is only a valid argument if YUSU are forced to use that service; if (as I’d assume) it’s voluntary, then outages like this can and should be avoided (in future). Edit: And even in if they have to use the Compserv resources, my solution is still a possible fix.

    > YUSU *could* pay a large amount of money

    Or YUSU could pay a small amount of money and fix the problem. Either of mine or Chris’ solutions completely fix the problem with a relatively small amount of money. It’s partly because of this false dichotomy that I fear your comment is biased.

    > YUSU aren’t making any money whatsoever from BigD

    Personally, I’m well aware of this, but one can still criticise certain failings in the midst of general success – it’s what drives improvement. No one is saying this invalidates the vast amount of good work YUSU does.

    > If anyone was stopped from being able to get tickets despite going online at midday then it’s an issue

    That is literally the entire point of the article.

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  80. > Colleges aren’t owned by YUSU and therefore, unlike societies, don’t have to abide by YUSU rules in the same way

    But colleges do hold their bank accounts with YUSU and aren’t allowed to have them elsewhere or process payments through any third party system (in the case of Alcuin College it was a PayPal account in the name of the college) because of YUSU concerns over liability.

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  81. For all those defending Nouse against being biased in regards to this event, I have just had a comment removed for suggesting that money went missing from the Big D accounts in the past, which is one of the reasons that all online transactions are now passed through YUSU.

    Nouse; the proof is in your own reporting: http://www.nouse.co.uk/2007/12/18/derwent-financial-confusion-prompts-yusu-investigation/

    Please explain why you removed this comment. It wasn’t libellous (as Jamie Tyler explains in your story), so was it that the Editor lacks the integrity required for the job?

    If so this paper really is going downhill.

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  82. Your original comment was libellous, making claims beyond those made in the linked article.

    You are free to resubmit your comment, if you can prove the claims are substantiated.

    The Editor was not involved or even aware of the deletion, nor would she delete a comment unless it was contravening the comment moderation rules.

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  83. Will you be taking Down Anna C-Ys comments about the ‘abuse’ of power by YUSU officers until they’ve been substantiated then…?

    Yeah – thought not.

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  84. 15 May ’10 at 7:25 pm

    Children, Children!

    Oh my goodness!
    Things really seem to have got out of hand here, and I don’t really understand why…

    YUSU clearly aren’t to blame for the ticket fiasco – it is not their fault that the server crashed, however it seems to me like Lewis Bretts simply coming forward and saying ‘sorry’ in the manner of Felicity and Emma would have been all that was needed here.

    I can see Anna C-Y’s frustration at Lewis, he did try and shift the blame, which really isn’t on. She can hardly be deemed a YUSU hater – did you not see the praise for Burton?

    I feel bad for ‘Anna’ too – unfortunate name-sharing there! @ Michael Gove, you are very silly and quite frankly just stirring!

    @Interesting – What a horrible remark, unfounded, childish and personal – why?!

    Also where is all this Foy stuff coming from – he hasn’t even posted a comment!

    Why is it such a problem for a student newspaper to promote a student event?? Why is this biased?

    Why is everybody getting so wound up?! And why is everyone being so mean???

    All these people are volunteers – I hope they don’t take it too much to heart and keep giving up their time and energy trying to make a difference on campus!

    Well done Felicity and Emma, you are doing a great job, don’t take anything personally.

    Why can’t everyone just get along and recognise the efforts of BOTH colleges and YUSU???

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  85. At the rate of comments to this site, mistakes in moderation do happen.

    Both the recently deleted comment and the ACY comment are examples of this.

    To address this problem, any reporting of comments on this site are taken seriously and acted upon in a timely fashion.

    Moderation happens on grounds of legal and welfare concerns. Any biased moderation would be quickly spotted by other moderators. Additionally, complaints on moderation can be addressed via email to [email protected]

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  86. I think closing the comment facility on this story might be a good idea.

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  87. I’m with suggestion – I think all that people have wanted to say has been said, and it’s becoming a very boring, very cylical argument that’s degenerating into mudslinging, name calling and personal abuse in much the same way as the recent Cheerleaders story.

    “All these people are volunteers – I hope they don’t take it too much to heart and keep giving up their time and energy trying to make a difference on campus!”

    Is really what people need to bear in mind.

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  88. Get a fucking life, the lot of you. There are far worse things happening in this world to far braver and more meaningful people than yourselves that involve an awful lot more than whether or not you can get a Big-D ticket.

    Shut up.

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  89. @frustratedstudent
    “If YUSU publicized Ents committee meetings, I for one would certainly be there.”

    I publicised Ents Committee on the events section of the YUSU website, and on Facebook events every week! If fact, it is also permanently on the YUSU website ents section… http://www.yusu.org/ents/info

    “The Ents committee meets every wednesday at 1.15pm, in G/020.”

    It is a meeting where any one is welcome to turn up…. in fact I would encourage that!

    If you couldn’t find details of the meeting… the Ents email address was pretty simple and you could have written and asked… [email protected]… that detail was also on the website, and on facebook.

    Also, you could ask your college ents reps, the college chair, or pop into the YUSU office and ask any of the staff there!

    Minutes are also available from the YUSU office or by asking the current Ents Officers, or asking the Ents Co-Ordinator the YUSU office.

    Don’t complain that you haven’t been able to attend, when you haven’t been bothered found out when the meetings were…. they were definitely publicised… even more so when the planner was being formulated.


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  90. Looking back through this thread, there are a LOT of personal jibes which are pretty unacceptable.

    Maybe it’s time for Nouse to adopt a similar comment system to Vision or The Yorker where posters have less freedom to adopt different identities.

    Some of the abuse written about members of YUSU and of Derwent under various guises wouldn’t be written by the cowards who write it if they were forced to use their own names…

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  91. Tickets should be made available to buy in physical form, from some sort of University Outlet, i propose either Your Shop or the nice, full bodied woman behind the library who makes you pay fines. Many students would rather wait in a queue or walk instead of get frustrated at a computer screen, to get tickets.

    Maybe whilst we are at it YUSU could investigate acts which are actually popular for their Summer Ball (and Fresher’s ball). Big D appears to be popular because of it’s big names, Chase and Status and Audiobullys, rather than N-Dubz, who remind me of a council estate litter bin and some other person who i’ve already forgotten. Many of York’s upper middle class student population will hardly know what a council estate is, let alone pay to go see the remnants of one on stage. YUSU needs to wise up. They are possible the weakest student union in the country.

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  92. “YUSU needs to wise up. They are possible the weakest student union in the country.”

    Absolute horseshit comment from someone who clearly knows nothing about what a Student Union actually is there to do…

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  93. It seems that moderation on this site is only to protect the editorial team and their friends and vested interests.

    Anyone else seems fair game.

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  94. 16 May ’10 at 4:22 pm

    Not the moderator

    I’m pretty sure the above doesn’t apply to ALL the editorial and moderation team at Nouse. Perhaps just one or two…

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  95. Hi, just to be clear, the vast majority of comments on this site are moderated by myself, so I find that accusation quite offensive.

    If you have any actual complaints over the moderation or anything else on the site, address them to [email protected] as mentioned earlier, and you’ll find they get resolved quickly.

    On a side note, there is no need to ask for others to stop commenting or to ask for comments to be closed – this will happen naturally if you leave it be.

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  96. 16 May ’10 at 6:17 pm

    The Famous Computer Room Crew

    We, the Vanbrugh Computer Room Crew believe the following:

    1 – That servers inevitably crash when they are overloaded. It’s a sad fact of life.

    2 – That this is nobody’s fault in particular – apart from people clicking refresh a ludicrous amount of times for an event they were always going to get tickets to.

    3 – That the level of personal abuse is abhorrent.

    4 – That, knowing the Nouse editorial team personally, they are highly unlikely to compromise themselves and their integrity. Ditto moderation.

    5 – As much fun as we have personally had with posting under various anonymous names of C-List celebrities, perhaps a less anonymous comment site may work to prevent such personal attacks as we’ve seen in this comment thread, or at least force people to do so with the consequences attatched to them and not fictional witty names.

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  97. Point 5 is a ludicrous, pathetic idea, and perhaps one of the worst Vanbrugh Computer Room posts I have ever seen. Amateurish, and you’re out of the competition.

    Having said that, I think myself, Louis and Danni agree with points 3 and 4. Cheyrl is unavailable for comment.

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  98. I completely disagree with Simon.

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  99. What do YUSU do anyways and does anyone care?

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  100. They know the event is popular, why don’t they just make it bigger so less people end up disappointed. Also although the acts are good, £22 a ticket is still alot of money.

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  101. 17 May ’10 at 1:06 am

    Tony Richards

    I think its really important to remember we are lucky, really lucky to have an online ticket function which we can all use for running events and buying tickets for events. In some University Colleges their Summer Balls have students camping overnight outside the students union which is nothing compared to a mere hour of frantic clicking. Websites crashing from sheer demand is common place in the world of entertainment as is the case in Reading or Leeds fest. Normally high demand on launch day is a credit to the event organisers and their publicity team and that most certainly should be the case this time.

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  102. @ Tony Richards

    There should be a physical chance to buy a ticket too.

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  103. @ Cockney Lad

    There was, at the launch party night.

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  104. for 100 tickets out of 1500. even distribution. om nom nom nom.

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  105. @ Cockney Lad

    Were you there then? Did you queue and miss out? Everyone who went to the launch party who wanted a ticket got a ticket. I would understand if people moaned if they paid to go to the launch party and still missed out on getting one on the night, but as I assume those moaning about the difficulties in getting a ticket didn’t go to the launch party, they hardly have a right to be upset that there was not a chance to physically buy a ticket at another point, as they didn’t bother turning up in to the place where there WERE physical tickets available.

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  106. I pressed F5 repeatedly on YUSU’s website just to crash it. Owni

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  107. I pressed F5 repeatedly on YUSU’s website just to crash it. Taking the Bullet LAD.

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  108. To one of the above comments. Chase and Status have had one top 10 UK hit. N-Dubz has had three. Chase and Status won Best Album at the 2009 UK Drum And Bass Awards. N-Dubz won Best UK Act and Best Album at the 2009 MOBO Awards. I have no idea what any of this means but at least to me it looks like N-Dubz are marginally bigger but not substantially so. BigD is, however, cheaper and for charity. But N-Dubz can’t really be criticised?

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  109. ~J or Jason Rose, What is it about YUSU that you find so irresistible?

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  110. Summer Ball would be cheaper if students had accepted Matt Burton’s (excellent) proposal to bring Summer Ball onto campus….

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  111. I failed at writing a comment on Nouse. Trolling LAD.

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  113. n of us are unhappy with personal attacks in comments.
    n of us have some recommendations:
    1 – grow up. All of you.

    2 – YUSU will never bother to sort out website loading, it’s just one of those things

    3 – It is a proven fact that hitting F5 or variants thereof is addictive if a website fails.

    4 – CAPITALS ARE SO ANNOYING. IT’S LIKE SHOUTING ON THE INTERWEBS. Please use lower case letters, these are accessible by turning off cpas-lock, which we assume you have left on since 1/1/2000 – or after you realised the millennium bug was so very overrated.

    n of us also have some questions:
    1 – ~J , everyone knows you are Jason Rose, please explain why you have an aversion to using your name. Our excuse is that there are many of us, n to be precise (an integer above 2).

    2 – light humour breaks up the barrage of unhappy commenters. Can we have more please?

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  114. 1 Jun ’10 at 1:29 pm

    Felicity Saunders and Emma Warren

    Hello Sinners,

    Just to let you know any of you who weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket (or their re-fresh button hated them!) the LAST Big D tickets will be going on sale on Friday 4th June (week 6) at 8p.m from Derwent JCR.

    To be able to purchase a ticket you must bring your York Uni student card (or some other form of I.D.) and £22 in cash or a cheque made payable to YUSU.

    The tickets will be sold on a first come first served basis and each person will only be able to purchase one ticket so make sure you get down their early to avoid disappointment.

    Hope to see you all there,

    Big D committee

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