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Allow us to explain.


2013 San Diego Comic-Con Sells Out in 96 Minutes, But Not Without Some Technical Glitches Along the Way

It was never a question that badges for this year’s San Diego Comic-Con on sale this morning at 9AM PST, and by 10:36 they were all gone.

For the second year in a row SDCC required that those wishing to buy con passes register on the site beforehand. Last year that didn’t go well, with the con eventually having to resell 5,000 returned and refunded badges. For the 2013 con, taking place from July 18-21, Deadline writes:

complaints about server errors and site crashes started even before this morning’s sales began. With each announcement of sold-out badges, the convention’s Twitter feed blew up with new gripes from baffled customers. Many fans reported bumping up against permanent “site over capacity” messages, while others noted noted the lack of updates unrelated to sales, and one even claimed that the wrong support phone number was posted.

Ahhh, the sweet smell of SDCC chaos. It has begun.

Per Deadline, “In a message accompanying today’s announcement that badges were sold out, SDCC said they may hold another such resale at a later date,” so if you weren’t able to get a pass this morning all hope might not be lost.

Feel free to gloat in the comments if you were able to snag a pass or weep Internet tears if you weren’t.

(via: Deadline)


  • Kimberly Fox

    I didn’t get any :-(

    I clicked on the Register button at exactly 9 a.m. and the page loaded for about 30 minutes before telling me that badges were sold out lol

  • Betty Anne Benes

    Gloat or weep? More like, “Well, good. One more thing I don’t have to think about trying for ever.” Now I can simply let people know I will never go to SDCC with them, because I will never play eBay-style sniping games on servers that can’t handle the Black Friday-styled artificial hype in a LOTTERY to get a pass to view expensive commercials. Any actual content creators I want to see at SDCC will be at other cons.

  • Talia

    My friend and I thankfully snagged badges in the pre-sale right after last year’s con, but were trying to help out some friends yesterday. Between the four of us, only one of us got passed a blank white screen that never loaded a waiting room page or anything. She was 3k in line after about a 15 minute wait, but the number never moved and she never got taken to a check out page. We also got some “Rutime Error” pages right before and right after the page went live.

    Later, we heard that people were having problems if they were buying on a browser that wasn’t IE. No matter what the cause of the issue is, EPIC and SDCC definitely need to do better next time.

  • Katie

    Ouch that sucks, I had that blank white screen for over ten minutes. I was about to give up so I pressed stop on my browser and that ended up bringing the page up for me. Luckily for my friends I was able to get them in

  • Leah Nardo

    Sadly, Epic and SDCC will not even try to do better, ever, because they know that no matter the inconvinience, they will still sell every badge. I’ve gone every year since 1998, and it gets steadily more chaotic to buy badges and reserve hotel rooms. Even professionals have a really hard time with it.

  • Megan Gotch

    I already had passes via my professional husband, but was trying to get tix for my parents. Both my mom and I were on two computers in two different states. We both clicked exactly at 9am only to get the white loading screen on 3/4 computers and one error. About 5-8 mins into the white screen of nothing, she just hit back and was in line at 40,000. I did the same and came in around the same number. We then thought all hope was lost. Thankfully both of our waiting room screens kept reloading and we were able to get in right as the 4 day passes sold out, but were able to get 2 passes for all the individual days which is better than I had expected. Much better for us compared to last year when I didn’t help her out. Even my husband had a hard time at the prof. sale saying if you didn’t log in straight away there you were not guaranteed any passes. I knew it was gonna be a rough go of it, but I tried to keep calm and carry on…unlike my mom! LOL

  • Annie Buentello

    same here:(

  • A.k. Benjamin

    We are professionals who have gone every year since 2001. My wife buys all of the comics/graphic novels for her library district. We are not even trying this year because it is too expensive. We are going to Wonder con/Disneyland instead, and doing our hometown con here in Phoenix in May. We are still spending less money for both then it would have cost us to go to SDCC this year. It is sad how out of reach it has become for fans.

  • Ryan Colson

    I’d rather do Dragon*Con, it
    s uninhibited cooler younger brother :D

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps some masters of disguise can sneak in. Cosplayers are crafty.

  • Woop DeDoo

    This con was so much fun for me just a few years ago when I could actually wait a month or longer to purchase the badge. Now if I go on vacation (which I was yesterday) I miss it entirely. I’ve missed it the last three years after attending it five(?) years in a row. Completely lame. I just bought a ticket for the Emerald City Con. I think that I’m finished with San Diego. It’s like South Park’s parody of Sundance– a well-meaning little event that has become an overhyped madhouse that is packed with douches.

  • Pamela

    I managed to snag 4 day + preview night passes for myself and my husband by what I can only assume was a miracle. I couldn’t get the page to load for the first five minutes or so and my husband got error after error, but I managed to slide in queue at like… 23,000? And I think I got some of the last 4+preview passes available.

    Husband was poking around in their source code and was bitching about their using Windows for their server and how nothing was coded right to handle that kind of traffic. And really, considering that other sites can handle traffic hits even bigger than that, they really should shell out money for a better ticketing service.

  • Jenna Christensen

    My friend surprised me by calling 18 minutes after badges went on sale for my credit card info. I haven’t gotten the details from her yet, but we’re going.

    This is my first year and I keep hearing how terrible it is now. Someone want to step in and say it’ll be worth it? :)

  • Travis Fischer

    It is worth it.

    People generally complain about A. The long lines and B. all the non-comic stuff (which attracts more people, which leads back to A), but at the end of the day it’s still something every geek should experience at least once.

    If you need more convincing, watch this…

  • Death2Fanboys

    Here is a video of the how terrible this system has become.

  • Traveling Pumpkins

    After refreshing like crazy, I managed to get into the wait room on 2 different devices. Another friend got into the wait room on a third device. The waiting room froze on two computers while I managed to get in on one. Pretty crazy.

  • david michaud

    I feel bad for those that tried and got stuck with a number not moving or just could not get it.

    We got lucky. for the first 8 minutes it did nothing. Then finally one browser connected and i was 32892. When i got in i was able to grab one 4 day pass but by the time i went back for my friends they were sold out and i had to get 3 single day passes for him.

    It was odd because it moved very slow the first 30 minutes or so i was in. About 1,000-2,000 every two minutes. Then all of a sudden it jumped to dropping 5-6 thousand every update.
    I’ve never been so i’m excited to go.

  • Chaka ♥

    Not when they check your badge every ten feet! Honestly, if you have to check my badge just to get into the door, we really don’t need check points roped off every ten feet at the con checking my badge again. And again. And again. After the third check point it’s just like, really? How would I have even gotten this far if I didn’t have a badge?

  • Kristy Mayo

    I got into the waiting room only after refreshing the white screen of nothing, which they specifically told everyone not to do. I was able to get badges for me, my husband and our two teenagers. It’ll be our first time going and we’re actually from San Diego.

  • Pamela

    That is so, so true. They don’t have any motivation to make major service improvements if we all keep lining up and buying all the passes. But then again, I was up right at 9 refreshing away… :(

  • Victor

    When a convention has more upset fans that can’t attend vs the number of fans that are lucky enough to attend, maybe it’s time for that convention to move to a larger venue with a better ticketing system.

  • Anonymous

    Just be sure to look at the schedule and carefully plan your time there, including the long hours of standing (or sitting) in lines for panels. Winging it will ensure that you end up missing stuff and then be sorry later. Also, prepare yourself for massive sensory overload.

  • Anonymous

    SDCC sold out to Hollywood long ago.

  • Dina Harrow

    I must have a horseshoe up my ass, using Safari for 16 minutes, I got NOTHING. Just as I was giving up, I right-click, “open in new window” and voila! I’m 18909 in line. The line blasts through in about 15minutes and I managed 3x 4-day with preview night passes.


    Last year I participated in the fiasco that was the SDCC ticket sales. I ended up going to NY Comic Con and had a blast (although it did get crowded Saturday and Sunday and I wasn’t able to get into see the Walking Dead panel). But I did get to see Bill Paxton (even shake his hand) and Ann Rice Panel. Also, Cohead and Cambria were a large presence and Claudio Sanchez played spontaneously in the lobby. Just walked in the middle of everything and started playing. NY Comic Con was cheaper and just as fun. So if you missed out, look into that one. You won’t be sorry, I didnt miss SDCC at all, even though I love San Diego.

  • Adam McGrath

    In 2010, I did not get tickets during the regular sale. But when they did the reselling of badges, they didn’t really announce it and just gave a few out at a time in the morning for several days. They should do that again where they don’t announce anything, they just put them up for sale.

  • Azraele

    Yeah I was on at 9am and immediately was given the the tickets are all sold out screen. Logged on on a few more computers same thing. So I never had a chance, I am more pissed that people got on the site to wait after me even though i could not get one…i would rather go to an out of state con then SDCC srsly get your stuff together.