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“The Record Breaking time of 90 Minutes”: How Journalism Works…

I know that the “isn’t it funny how the media always over hype how quickly an event sold out” thing is one of my key themes, but I’m quite amused by some of the coverage of this year’s Glasto ticket sell out. For example, here’s the indie’s story: Log on, sell out: Glastonbury tickets go in just 90 minutes

Which is funny, obviously, because tickets went on sale at 9AM, and I definitely remember buying ours at 10:43, which would mean they were definitely on sale for more than 90 minutes.

Oh, but what’s this half way down the article:

“They had all gone by 10.45am, it’s brilliant,” said Mr Eavis. “We had 250,000 people queuing to get through at any one time.”

That’s odd, isn’t it: 1 hour 45 minutes isn’t the same as 90 minutes, is it? Let’s ignore for a minute the fact that it was only the standard tickets that had sold out by around 10:45, and that some of the 22,000 combined ticket plus coach tickets were definitely still on sale well past 11 (when I posted my previous blog, for example, at 11:17 there were definitely still tickets on sale), but I wonder how the indie can have made that mistake?

Is it because they can’t add up?

Or will they just lazily reprint any old press release that gets sent to them (changing the odd word here and there) even if there’s a really obvious contradiction or error in that press release?

Surely not…

Oh. It turns out they aren’t the only ones…

The Telegraph: Tickets for this year’s Glastonbury festival were snapped up in 90 minutes, a record for the ever-popular event… Tickets costing £145 went on sale at 9am this morning and were sold out by 10.45am.

Metro: Tickets for this year’s Glastonbury Festival sold out in a record-breaking time of just 90 minutes… By 10.45am a record 137,500 tickets had been snapped up for the festival

The Sun: TICKETS for the biggest ever Glastonbury Festival have sold out in a record-breaking 90 minutes. Thousands of music fans were left disappointed after a record 137,500 tickets were snapped up by 10.45am – less than two hours after they went on sale at 9am.

The Times: Tickets for this year’s Glastonbury Festival were snapped up yesterday in the record-breaking time of 90 minutes. Music fans swamped the event’s booking telephone line and website after they went on sale. By 10.45am 137,500 tickets had been sold for the festival, which returns after a year’s absence to its Worthy Farm home, in Pilton, Somerset.

[Although there’s something rather ironic about the fact that the only major UK newspaper I could find that hadn’t reprinted this mistake was the Grauniad: Glastonbury sells out in two hours.]

2 thoughts on ““The Record Breaking time of 90 Minutes”: How Journalism Works…”

  1. You’re forgetting about half-time.

    This is just another example of comparative measurements: an amount of data is measured in equivalent pieces of A4 paper; a very small thing is a multiple (or fraction) of the thickness of the human hair; a large thing is measured in elephants or football pitches, as appropriate.

    Obviously, time is now measured in football games, and everyone knows that a football game is 90 minutes.

  2. Oh now I remember: I did think it was weird how I had to get up and stop trying for tickets for 15 minutes at 9:45, and then I had to turn the laptop round and aim it the other way until I got them. I thought it was just my wireless router playing up, but now it all makes sense.

    (Although I have to say: the plate of oranges made for a welcome break from the stresses of ticket buying…)

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