Monday, June 25, 2012

Thoughts on TIFF 2012 Ticketing So Far

Well, today was the first day of ticket package sales for TIFF Members. Some thoughts on how things went so far:

  • The site didn't go down, and didn't seem to have any noticeable performance issues from what I saw or from what I can divine from Twitter. That's encouraging, although we'll have to see how it holds up during advance ticket selection and individual ticket availability.
  • There were however, a few errors. The first was a validation error on Province if you were from outside Canada or the US, but TIFF got it fixed fairly quickly without having to take the site down.
  • Another problem that some people including myself saw, was an error message if you tried to buy a Programme Book with a ticket package. I got around that by doing two separate transactions, one for each.
  • If you want to pick the first item in the list of things to purchase (i.e. the Festival Programme Book), you may have to click something else in the list then re-click the book to get it to select the item.
  • Didn't see any other mentions of problems, so hopefully that bodes well for the future.
  • The My Choice Premium Ticket Pack is off sale (i.e. sold out) as of 6:46 PM on June 25, 2012. I don't know if any more will become available when public sales start, so keep checking if you're interested in that one, but otherwise you may be out of luck. The TIFF Choice Premium Sampler is still available.


I couldn't get past the selection - I kept getting an 'unexpected errror' using both Firefox and Chrome. I gave up and called in. Getting a bit terrified for the actual selection process.

So you couldn't get past selecting a package? Do you still have the problem now? I just tried with IE, Firefox and Chrome (on Windows 7), and was able to make it all the way to the payment screen.

Now, I did get an error when I had multiple items in my shopping cart, but even then I was still able to make it far as checkout.

I was wondering... do you need to purchase a festival booklet in order to see what films/the schedule in advance? Or will this all be online as well? Just so as I can prepare for my selection window...

Nope, you don't need to buy the Programme Book. All the information in it (descriptions of films) will be available online at the website.

In terms of the actual schedule (which isn't in the Programme Book), that's available in paper form for free all over downtown Toronto, and will also be on the website as well.

Is there anyway to view your transaction/purchase history on your TIFF membership page? Also, the email I got confirming my purchase information for the ticket packages for some reason has the 'date and time' in the little table as 'Monday 2012/09/17'; does this have any significance or is it just a random date they give you?

I can't see any place where you could see your txn history, so I'd recommend you keep your e-mail confirmations. I had the same date in my confirmations as well, but I don't think there's any particular significance to it.

Hi! Hope you can help me here. I'm just wondering how chaotic the box office is on September 4th when everyone is picking up their tickets they got online, for the festival? And how long would you recommend getting to a screening before it actually starts? Oh and does the time schedule ever get really messed up, meaning that if I had another screening to get to after another, how long should I try and leave in between each?

Don't notice any student or senior prices listed yet for the ticket packages. Do you know if there are reduced rates on the packages this year, or are they going to start making those under 25 and over 65 pay the same price as everyone else?

pickup is usually quick, but it can take awhile if you want to exchange tickets or use vouchers if you didn't pick all the movies in a my choice package.

For lining up before a screening, I usually try for 1 hr before if you're picky about where you sit

Schedule doesn't usually get screwed up but sometime q&a runs long. I usually try to leave 2 hrs between screenings ideally, but ill go as low as 30 to 60 min if I'm in the same theatre.

From I i can see, there's no senior/student discount this year on my choice packages; there is still a discount on tiff choice packages.

I always laugh at people who show up five minutes before screening time and are shocked that the only remaining seats are singles near the front.

If you want four or more seats together, or if you like to sit on the aisle, then for sure try to join the line 60 min before screening time, but if there are only two of you then 40 min is generally okay unless you're super-picky about where you want to sit.

I agree with Richard on leaving 2 hours btwn screenings in different venues, assuming you want to stay for the Q&As. (Something to keep in mind is that for a film having its world premiere, the director may still be tinkering with it so the running length in the program book could be just an estimate. For films that played at Cannes or Berlin, the listed running length should be accurate; to that add about 35 minutes for (a) delay starting, (b) introduction by Festival programmer and sometimes film director, (c) ads from Festival sponsors, and (d) Q&A at end of film.)

Also I've found that screenings in Ryerson, Elgin, and Winter Garden sometimes start very late, so generally add more time for films playing there.

My TIFF experience has been a horror show this year. It's been nothing but problems.

On July 16, I bought a daytime 20-pack. I didn't get a confirmation email. On July 18, I called TIFF and asked for a confirmation email. Which I got.

I didn't get a single subsequent email from TIFF. I heard from a friend that he'd gotten an email on Aug 18
promising an email on Aug 20 w/ his ticket selection. I didn't get that Aug 18 email. My friend then
got his ticket window on Aug 20. I didn't get that email either.

On the afternoon of Aug 20, I called to
find out what was going on. They suggested I give them a different email address (other than gmail), which I did. I was promised an email w/ a ticket selection window by noon on Aug 21. It didn't arrive.

I then called shortly after noon on Aug 21 to find out what was going on. The person took my name and email address and promised me that I'd get an email with my ticket window.

I did get that email shortly before 11pm on Aug 21. With a ticket window of September 3. !!??!!

This is NOT in the promised Aug 26-29 window. It's
after all the other package holders will have chosen tickets. And it's
after when the tickets have gone on sale to the public.

I've sent customer relations an email about this and haven't heard back. I'll wait a bit longer and will call. But the entire thing makes me sick.

So it turns out that I didn't read the fine print on the ticket packages.

This year, TIFF decided that "back half pack" and "20 ticket daytime pack" are third class citizens. They get ticket selection windows in Sept 3-5. This is a massive change in procedure, something that should have been written clearly, in big letters, to make sure it was well understood.

First class citizens = all the other package buyers

second-class citizens = the general public who can buy tickets on Sept 2

third-class citizens = me and the other folks who bought packages that used to be treated like every other package.

TIFF's logic is, apparently, that because the price per movie is lower if you've bought a daytime pack then you should have fewer movies to choose from. Silly me, I thought the prices were lower because 1) you could only use them during the day and 2) you couldn't use them to go on a date because only one voucher could be used per screening.

They're giving us our $$ back. And we're missing our first TIFF in ten years.

My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites