52,000 People Try to Buy 1000 Comic-Con Passes… Fight!


If you’ve been following the news at all, you might now that the organizers of San-Diego Comic-Con International 2011 (or whatever they want to call it this year), have been having a hell of a time getting a ticket system up and running. The first two attempts ended up in the site crashing almost instantly, so they then came up with a new system which uses two different sites, whereby applicants pre-register to buy a ticket, then confirm the sale (see here for more info).

To test out this new system, they put 1000 passes on sale, in order to see what happened. Well, according to the always excellent comic site, The Beat, those 1000 tickets sold out within the first 60 seconds, leaving most people with the message “Checkout failed: Not enough tickets remain for the event to fulfill your purchase”.

According to Ticketleap, the company who were handling ticket sales, 51, 658 people tried to register for the trial sale! However, while there were a few bugs with the process, they are pretty confident that their server will be able to handle the load, when all tickets go on sale after the New Year.

TicketLeap used eight super powered servers on our Amazon service to handle the volume for this test. Within the first two minutes a majority of tickets were sold successfully. Those who came afterward swamped the servers and caused a “502 Bad Gateway” error message. After two minutes, our system’s auto scaling kicked in and doubled the number of servers. After this the site responded normally but the remaining tickets were still on hold. At that point, any remaining tickets were on ‘hold’ status until our system released them back into inventory. At that time they were sold without problems until all 1,000 tickets were sold out.

We are preparing a detailed report for Comic-Con which they will review over the next couple of weeks. What we can say is that we received over 844 page requests per second from 51,658 people during our peak time.  This test allowed us to estimate the load so that we will be better prepared for the full on-sale date.

Thank you again for helping us with this test. We realize that only 1,000 tickets have left many people disappointed, but this valuable information will help us to have a more smooth running process when all tickets go on sale after the New Year.

Related posts:

  1. 1000 Comic-Con 2011 Tickets to go on Sale, to Test New Registration System
  2. San Diego Comic-Con International 2010 Sells Out of Four-Day Passes!
  3. Shel Dorf, Founder of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, Passes Away at Age 76
  4. More on the Steve Niles Fight
  5. Registration for Comic-Con 2011 Halted Due to Technical Difficulties!

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