For non-seniors this year, Grasshopper tickets went on sale at 5:45 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. I went to George Washington Hall (GW) 15 minutes early to stand in line for tickets, but upon arrival, I quickly realized that 15 minutes early was not early enough. The line stretched from the box office, all the way to the back of Steinbach Lobby, and looped back around again. At the back of the line, I stood next to people who had been sitting in line for nearly two hours.
When the ticket office opened, the line crept along slowly. Soon, however, people took advantage of the disordered line and cut, as described in an article published in The Phillipian last week by Diana Ding ’16. Tickets were sold out in less than half an hour. Some students who had been waiting in line for more than an hour left GW without any tickets at all.
The process of getting Grasshopper tickets is unreasonable, disorganized and stressful. Students should not have to waste hours of their time just to get tickets, especially when many end up waiting in line for nothing. The lack of monitoring makes it easy for students to cut and allows chaos to ensue. Furthermore, the tickets were distributed at a time that was both brief and inconvenient, forcing students to skip their prior commitments.
In the future, the school should use an online platform such as Google Forms to manage Grasshopper ticket distribution. This would allow students to obtain their tickets online without needing to stand in a physical line. Using any of their electronic devices, everyone would have a way to try and get tickets without disrupting their day. It would save students time, and give administrators a live, accurate count of ticket sales and enable them to shut down shows as they sold out in real time. They could create a digital waitlist that would allow students to be notified electronically when seats have been made available, instead of standing in a line for an hour to find out.
I understand that the school has tried to move ticket sales online before — between 2007 and 2009 — but the Andover server malfunctioned for some students and came close to crashing. But after seeing the chaos in GW on Monday, I think that students would agree that the positive potential of moving the tickets online outweighs the potential technical difficulties. Having tickets online would save students time in their already busy lives and would reduce Family Weekend stress.