I’ve never seen such gross incompetence, especially for people trying to organize something that should run itself. When ads ran for the sneak screening of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” at Isla Vista Theater, they said tickets could be picked up at the A.S. window OR at www.uberduzi.com. Several hundred people went to the Web site, it seems, but the fine folks running the event – in their infinite wisdom – decided not to honor these perfectly valid tickets. Why? Well, no one could seem to give a valid answer. No one who stood up to any test of logic, at least. And people were pissed.
An orderly line to get in wrapped around the building by 7:15 p.m. When they began letting people in, they started shouting only people with blue tickets would be admitted. Well, half the people in line had tickets they printed at home. They claimed the blue tickets were the only way to ensure everyone was a student. But the tickets said student ID was required, and they typically check for ID for every Tuesday-night A.S. screening, so that point was moot. They then claimed they didn’t know how we got the tickets. Never mind the ad run in the Nexus contained the address, and the posters did as well – though stickers that could easily be seen through soon covered them up. I heard someone claim they ran the wrong ad by mistake. I was then told they had overbooked it with blue tickets. Well no shit, that’s the idea. And since both the blue and white tickets were warned seating was not guaranteed, I fail to see how it makes any difference who you turn away first. So A.S. turned the blue tickets into magic tickets and, in the process, pissed off several hundred people and left them outside without so much as a “we’re sorry.” People with perfectly valid tickets… imagine if people had paid for these – then there really would have been a riot.
Uberduzi is clearly the publicity company run by the group that books these screenings for schools. The tickets they give are official. A.S. dropped the ball and did nothing to try and fix it. It was pretty evident from the get-go nearly half the line was made up of people with the Uberduzi tickets, and shutting them out because of A.S.’s own mistake was not going to work. No one seemed to be in charge, and no one was willing to take responsibility. No one with white tickets was let in, and no second screening was added. It would only take a phone call to even see if it was possible. If these people can’t run a simple event on their own, I wonder what Extravaganza will end up like. I’m sure Uberduzi and the studio won’t be happy to hear people with valid tickets were turned away. On the other hand, they probably only care that the house was full.
A.S., if you make a mistake, do your best to fix it and fix it fairly. If you can’t, then own up to it. If you ran the wrong ad, I’m sure you noticed long before the night of the screening, so you should have been prepared to eat crow and let everyone with a ticket in. And if you really don’t want Uberduzi to give out the tickets, work it out with them. Because even if you didn’t advertise tickets being available online, someone would have found them. And their tickets would have been just as valid.
It’s not likely any of you will be held accountable for your actions. But I hope you do something to make it up to those of us who were turned away because you’re so incompetent you can’t run your own events.