Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Tomorrowland ticketing system: what you should keep in mind when trying to get in

Perhaps you've heard about it. Tomorrowland, an amazing music festival in Belgium. Here's a quote taken from Wikipedia:
Tomorrowland is a large electronic music festival held in Belgium. It used to be organized as a joint venture by the original founders, the brothers Beers together with ID&T, subsidiary of SFX Entertainment. The festival takes place in the town of Boom, Belgium (16 kilometers (10 miles) south of Antwerp, 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Brussels), and has been organized since 2005. It has since become one of the most notable global music festivals.

Last Saturday, the 8th of February, me and Michaël were focused on our computers. We initially didn't plan on ordering tickets for Tomorrowland at all, let alone go there, but a friend of ours was on a vacation and he asked us if we would order four tickets for him and some friends. So we, kind as we are, accepted.

It began around 10:55 in the morning. Michaël had set his alarm so that we wouldn't be too late. We clicked on the link we received in our e-mail (we were pre-registered for weeks first) and then we saw a page saying the ticketing system would open at 11. So we waited. Patiently. I started looking around in the source code, see if I could find anything interesting. While still waiting patiently, ofcourse.

Actually. I wasn't that patiently. I couldn't wait.
I refreshed the page at 11:59. And immediately, I was in a waiting line. It wasn't even 11 o'clock yet! Michaël refreshed the page at exactly 11 o'clock, and he too ended up in the waiting line.

Now here's the fun part. 

While he refreshed just a mere 30 seconds later than me, I got out of the line and into the ticketing system at 11:02 while he didn't get any further than the waiting line. At all.

I managed to purchase four tickets for our friend. At that time I was on Skype with him, and he was sitting somewhere outside on a mountain, in the snow, with his laptop. It was a miracle that he even had internet connection.
While our friend was giving me his credentials and credit card details over a Skype call, Michaël was checking out our lasagne. On his computer, we were still in the waiting line for tickets, so there was no use in just sitting there watching a dull screen.

At about 11:22, I finished ordering the tickets for our friend and he got a confirmation e-mail saying he successfully purchased 4 tickets. He and his friends will be going for the full first weekend; three days of joy and a pass to Dreamville for everyone.
Around noon, we were eating our lasagne while watching a movie. The screen from Michaël his computer was just a turn to the left of us, so we could check it whenever we wanted. And shortly after, the screen gave us a less pleasant message than before.  
"The tickets for Tomorrowland - Belgian sale are sold out."

So sadly, we didn't manage to purchase tickets for our selves. But hey, we didn't originally intend to go to Tomorrowland. We just thought that while we were in the line for the ticketing system, we might as well buy some tickets, since they are so hard to get.

So! How should we explain this?

Today I've read that three guys from this blog (it is in Dutch, click here for the English version) had discovered the secret behind the ticketing system, and the key to get in. They noticed that the page refreshed automatically every two minutes, and that it had a response time of 6 seconds.
So, by refreshing their page at exactly 10:57:54, they were automatically first in line! Smart thinking guys, I should have paid more attention to the source code.
Also, to our foreign readers out there, it might be useless to try this technique to get tickets for the global sale this weekend since Paylogic (the company that manages the ticketing system) might change the code in order to prevent people from using this technique.

I would just strongly recommend you all visit that blog, translate it to English, and learn how to inspect the upcoming ticketing system on the evening of Valentines day. ;) Good luck to all of you who still want to purchase a ticket!

On a side note, I might try to obtain another ticket this weekend. Just try, and if I get in, then I guess we'll go to Tomorrowland for a day. I do however need to ask Michaël if he's still up for this. These tickets aren't particularly cheap you know.


  1. Since I'm the lucky person that was hoping to get tickets. I need to thank both of you for the effort & maybe that tiny bit of luck :D ! If I can ever return the favour, don't hesitate to ask ! And for everyone else still trying to get tickets, GOOD LUCK !

    1. You are welcome! ^_^ You can cook a meal for us in return, that would be nice. :P