Megan Cloherty, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Thousands hoping to buy tickets to the Tony Award-winning musical "The Book of Mormon" were disappointed when they were met with an error on the Kennedy Center's website and a busy signal on the ticket line.
"We have had, I guess the best word is historic demand for tickets. The on-sale date happened at 10 o'clock and at that moment, we had thousands and thousands and thousands of people trying to buy tickets all at once," says John Dow, spokesman for the Kennedy Center.
While demand remains high, tickets are still available for the show, he says. As the day continues, that number will dwindle.
The presale Wednesday morning was only open to members of the Kennedy Center, however the 30,000 person group is far from exclusive, including anyone who has donated to the performing arts center.
Many people encountered an error when the online ticket queue was flooded with interested buyers. As of 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, the Kennedy Center website was unresponsive.
"We had so many people trying to buy tickets at the same time and refreshing on the website that it slowed down an amazing amount. It slowed down a lot. So the website still worked, it was very slow, to the point that some people got kicked out," Dow says.
We are working to address issues due to the high demand as quickly as possible. We thank you for your patience.— Kennedy Center (@kencen) February 27, 2013
The rush forced the Kennedy Center to reset its server and that meant some people in line got kicked out, Dow says.
Unhappy customers flooded both the Kennedy Center's Facebook page and sounded off on Twitter about their inability to get tickets to the "Book of Mormon."
@kencen I love all of your programming, but am so disappointed by your ticket service & customer service today.— Rachel Wolf (@RachelWolfDC) February 27, 2013
The show runs for six weeks, from July 9 to Aug. 15, in the center's Opera House, its largest venue. It seats 2,100 attendees per show.
A block of tickets are being held back for the American Express card member presale on March 6. Tickets for the show go on sale to the public on March 14.
The Kennedy Center box office is open until 9 p.m. Wednesday and plans to sell tickets to the show without a hitch both online and over the phone from here on out, Dow says.
"I think the important thing is for people to remain patient, keep trying, and their patience will be rewarded," he says.
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