Thirteen Hours Of Hell – The Road To Reading 2009

6.45pm, 30/3/09

I am staring at my computer screen, eyes wide in anticipation. I’ve got butterflies in my stomach, the ambient I put on is not helping me to calm down and my mouse finger is just itching to click the refresh button. In fact, I do that several times on each site I have open. MSN is closed down; unnecessary distractions need to be gone. Facebook remains, purely for outside assistance. My sister is doing exactly the same in the other room. I have my mum’s credit card on standby, mobile phone at my side… just waiting. I am trying to be zen. It’s not working.

6.58pm, 30/3/09

In two minutes, tickets for Reading Festival will be released. I am ready for the bloodbath. I refresh my four ticket sites and the official page, waiting for the lineup and praying that Blink-182 and The Cure are somehow miraculously in there. I have everything I need except an open ticket site. I think.

6.59pm, 30/3/09

Ticketline.com has released tickets prematurely by one minute. I click and I click, but my connection keeps timing out. Too many fucking people trying this. In about 30 seconds, I find that Ticketline either a) isn’t offering weekend tickets or b) just can’t display them any more. Either way, I cut my losses. I’ve got three more shots.

7.00pm, 30/3/09

Lineup is released, and I am both excited and disappointed. No Blink, no Cure. However, there is Radiohead, AFI and Brand New, and the idea that AFI might be playing new songs from Crash Love makes me an excessively happy girl. Seetickets.com and Ticketmaster are now open for sale and I am clicking my ass off to get these tickets. I’m still feeling relatively okay, but my nerves are already starting to become frayed.

7.10pm, 30/3/09

I am through to the order form on Seetickets! I feel like how Ash Ketchum must have felt when he became a Pokemon master – triumphant, yet disbelieving. I enter in all the details, but there is a crisis; we don’t know the license plate for the campervan. I scream down at my father, the only logical choice, but he doesn’t know it either. He runs upstairs and finds the folder with the MOT certificate. I frantically type it in. My hands are shaking like mad. It’s in, and I click the ‘order tickets’ button…

…and then it times out. I scream out at the computer in anguish. This is not going well.

7.30pm, 30/3/09

Lastminute.com have sold out, and Ticketmaster is being sporadic in its release of tickets. At this point, my parents are trying as well, both on the phone and on the other computer. My boyfriend calls and has to listen to me ranting about my state of mind. I go on Facebook and growl in envy at the people who already have theirs. Lucky bastards. My sister reveals that the friends we’re meant to be meeting there got theirs in the first ten minutes. My blood starts to boil.

7.50pm, 30/3/09

Still no luck. I can’t even get onto the home page for Seetickets because there’s that much traffic. ninthandash texts me, revealing that she’s got hers for Leeds. I’m a bit jealous. At this point, I could cry. My sister tells me to give up. I reply, ‘never’.

8.15pm, 30/3/09

My friend Tom comments me, asking if I’ve got my tickets yet, because he has his. I reply no, sadly. I don’t believe what happens next. He gives me a link to the order form he had open for his. It’s completely legit. I almost cry with happiness. I book three tickets and a campervan permit successfully. I scream with joy. Life is good.

8.25pm, 30/3/09

After thanking Tom and collapsing with relief, my mum reminds me that we haven’t had the confirmation email. I’m fraught with worry again. Thanks, mum. I check the page we printed off after we successfully ordered. Five hours before a confirmation email could come through. Shit.

8.20am, 31/3/09
After lack of sleep through worrying about whether we actually did get the tickets or not, I turn my computer on and what do I find? A motherfucking confirmation email. I sit back and smirk. I’m going to Reading Festival this summer.

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