Comic-Con 2013 Sells Out In 93 Minutes But Tech Glitches Frustrate Fans – Again

Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.

San Diego will again be packed to the gills with geeks of all stripes this July, as all attendee badges for San Diego Comic-Con 2013 sold out in just over an hour and a half, barely shy of the record set in 2012. But many fans came up empty-handed and feeling ripped off because of problems that plagued the convention’s complicated badge sales system for the second year in a row. Passes went on sale this morning at 9:00 AM Pacific, and as disappointed fans found out via the convention’s Twitter account, they disappeared fast. By 9:53, 4-day badges and 4-day badges with access to preview night were gone. 15 minutes later, Friday and Saturday single day badges were snapped up and by 10:36 it was all over.

Comic-Con can crow about the enormous demand for access to the July 18-21 event, but complaints about server errors and site crashes started even before this morning’s sales began. With each announcement of sold-out badges, the convention’s Twitter feed blew up with new gripes from baffled customers. Many fans reported bumping up against permanent “site over capacity” messages, while others noted noted the lack of updates unrelated to sales, and one even claimed that the wrong support phone number was posted.

This was the second year of the convention’s membership registration requirement for badge purchase, ostensibly designed to simplify the process. In 2012, the organization admitted that numerous problems occurred with the sale of badges, and a resale of 5,000 returned and refunded badges was held shortly before the start of the convention. In a message accompanying today’s announcement that badges were sold out, SDCC said they may hold another such resale at a later date.

Comments (82)

  • I’ve been going since 2003 and this is the first year I couldn’t get in. If this continues without any change of venue to grow the con I doubt I will be able to go in the future. So much for allowing the loyal attendees get a shot.

    Comment by Robb — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:10pm PST  
    • I would turn around and make the argument that if you’ve been able to attend the past 10 years, why shouldn’t someone else get a turn?

      Comment by Well — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:31pm PST  
      • Exactly. SDCC doesn’t need to worry about demand – obviously. They need to consider that even someone who can only go for one or two days will still be happy as he11 for the opportunity. Meanwhile, they have a presale to reward those who have already had the experience. Finding ways to get more people there to experience it, using the same capacity you currently have, its VERY reasonable and doable!

        Comment by Brian A. — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:35pm PST  
    • If you went last year you can prebuy your ticket before this mess. I call BS.

      Comment by Sure dude — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 11:18pm PST  
      • They changed it last year. No onsite registration for the next year. Instead they had a presale with a limited amount of tickets back in… October? for people who’d gone the year before – but obviously not everyone who went was able to snag a ticket.

        Comment by Kerry — Thursday February 21, 2013 @ 11:13am PST  
    • who cares about loyal attendees, how about people who want to experience it for the first time? i think in all fairness, it should be a lottery system because obviously something here is not working

      Comment by andrew — Saturday April 13, 2013 @ 8:52am PDT  
  • Myself and 2 friends camped out in front of my computer for the start time of badge sales. 2 of use made it to the queue, one of which had a very good number. She was in the “Epic FAILURE Room” with a higher number than people who got badges. Not cool, Comic Con. Not cool. e_e

    Comment by Kadija — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:19pm PST  
  • Great — now the badge sale process is as eff’ed up as the hotel reservation system.

    Comment by Bitch, please.. — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:26pm PST  
  • Their Facebook and Twitter pages were a blanket of complaints. The problem is not from crybabies who didn’t get a badge and just wanted to complain – it’s about the systems failures that made the purchasing process UNFAIR. Numerous people reported being in ‘line’ and following the instructions they were given, and not getting badges. At the same time people who went against what they were told to do jumped ahead of those following the rules and got badges. It’s NOT about being angry over not getting to go – it’s about an unfair process that repeatedly rewarded the rule breakers and denied the ones who did as they were instructed.

    Comment by Brian A. — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:31pm PST  
    • Thank you. EXACTLY what happened to me. Had a number and the page derped out and while I’m waiting for my waiting room page to update people are getting numbers ahead of me and the badges sold out. Way not cool.

      Comment by Steve — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 5:56pm PST  
  • Actually, the entire SDCC is so over.

    Comment by Rodney Allen Red — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 12:52pm PST  
  • So it’s 4:05 EDT, my husband is still in the “Epic waiting room”…is it pointless now?

    Comment by Sandi — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:06pm PST  
    • So that would be “Epic waiting room” FAIL


      Comment by Robert Not So Wise — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:14pm PST  
  • I don’t understand why they do not use a lottery system. Everyone who is registered by the cut off date would get an equal chance to get tickets. Works for the world cup and they have 5 million plus people trying to get tickets.

    Comment by Fmonke — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:22pm PST  
  • I’ve heard rumors of a rival Con popping up in the southland to give fans an alternative, possibly featuring first robot fighting championship a la Robot Combat League. Bout time someone did something, the crowds are out of hand and demand is too high not to.

    Comment by Dzntz — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:26pm PST  
  • 93 minutes..!!! So much for the whole “Comic Con Is Dead” Liberals were shouting about.

    Comment by Wow.. — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:27pm PST  
    • Figures a conservaturd would try to spin a story that has absolutely no political content in it whatsoever into a potshot against liberals. Get a fucking clue, no one likes you.

      Comment by Nunyabusiness — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 3:50pm PST  
  • Good. This gives a chance for those who have never experienced it to be able to go. Selfish rats!

    Comment by Jimmy — Saturday February 16, 2013 @ 1:34pm PST  
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