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Is Dr Who clogging up the BBC Proms lines?

We’ve received a modest battery of complaints from readers who have been waiting fruitless hours in their attempt to book tickets for this summer’s Proms. The queuing system is inconsistent, with some customers being shunted back and forth in the waiting room, and the general impression is that, while the site carried record traffic this weekend, it did not function well under the strain. Some blame Dr Who.

If you had difficulties over the weekend, share them here.


UPDATE: 11 concerts sold out in the first two days – including the Proms debut of Valentina Listsa in Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto.

UPDATE2: The Mail blames Dr Who and his touts, here.

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  1. On Saturday morning, I hit buy tickets on the second it turned 9am. I was already something like 200 in the queue which compared to last year’s 2300 ( same 9am second click ) was a considerable improvement.

    I had bought my tickets by 9.20. Last year I was still queuing at 11am. After purchasing, I checked back to the buy tickets page and it was already showing full.

    But was this a fluke or something else? Or was it that most people were still in bed at 9am on Saturday morning? Is there something in the booking system that allows for a small number to get through if they click the second it turns 9am?

  2. Nick Joy says:

    I too tried at 9:00am. Kept refreshing over and over until let in to waiting room at position 2,500 at 9:45. Half hour layer some restricted view tickets were all I could get. I guess it’s how lucky you are at grabbing a place in the queue. Yes, it was for the Doctor Who Proms.

  3. Peter Lewis says:

    I was ready by 9 with my three browsers. It took me till 9.20 to get into a queue and then, over the next 25 minutes, my other browsers go it in a strange race. I eventually got into my planner by 10.30 when I bought what I was after, including Doctor Who. Yes, patience and luck. The system did work as far as I am concerned.

  4. I was in the physical queue by 7.30am. The 1st man in the queue had slept out overnight. Quite wise, in the event. At 8.30am, the queue stretched past the Students Union bar, & was nearly to the church: heaven knows what time those poor people reached the ticket office. By 11.45am, I was still @50 from the Box Office door; and, with a ticket for a Globe matinee, was beginning to fret. Luckily a friend was 15 ahead of me, and very generously said she’d look after my booking. All I wanted was a Proms Season, a Chamber Season, & the two Sat. matinees. Thanks to her, I got the last ticket of the 2nd Sat matinee.

    I have been told by old hands that the BBC used to open for season ticket bookings a week ahead of ‘normal booking’: why can this not be reinstated? The two gentlemen in front of me wanted only tickets for The Ring.

    Fellow Prommers who were booking online had varying rates of success: one completed within 17 minutes of 9am; another took 4 hours.

    I am not relishing leaving the house by 5am next year…but at least I’ll remember to wear a vest, 2 jumpers, a pair of gloves, a body-warmer, and possibly a hat…

  5. Nigel Dodd says:

    Started at 9am, took about 20 minutes to get into the waiting room, and was @ 3800 or so in the queue. 75 minutes later I had my ticket, a proms pass for Week 2. No complaints. Biggest fear was the Internet connection going down while waiting.

  6. Stanley says:

    At 9.00am plus 2 seconds…waiting room full. Eventually got into waiting room at 1105, number 5979,repeat,5979!!! Tickets purchased around 1230 for all I wanted (Wagner and Tippett) but not the seats I preferred (who wants back of the choir for a Wagner opera….any chance of an upgrade?) There must be a better way

    • back of choir is a very good place for concert Wagner. you get to hear the lovely brass writing.

  7. I hit the ‘submit Proms Plan’ at exactly 9am and finally got in at number 6693 at 9.45.

    The double seating capacity for both Dr Who Proms must be in the region of 10,000.

    The message came up on screen that the Dr Who Proms had sold out appeared at 10.30 before I had even left the waiting room, but once on I got all the tickets I wanted. This does strongly suggest to me that hordes of Dr Who fans and assorted ticket touts and e-bay sellers were making hay with their multiple computers and laptops while your ordinary music lpver is made to wait.

  8. Marcus Crompton says:

    It’s not the first time that Wagner has been defeated by Dr Who:

  9. sam evans says:

    We got Dr Who prom tickets after queing for over 1 hour but after some perseverance by my husband, we managed to get seats for 5 of us in 2 different parts of the RAH, perhsaps I people gave up when they couldn’t get the tickets they wanted. We didn’t get the seats in our prom plan for the morning performance as it was sold out by the time I got out of the queue but I think we got better seats for the evening performance! My 11 year old son is such an avid fan, playing and composing his own music and Murray Gold is his hero. I think it is fantastic we can hear such wonderful music being perfomed. I’m just a bit worried I’ll start crying if they play Song of the OOD!

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