Never experienced this before as I don't tend to go to massively popular events(!), and wondered if anybody understands how it all works:
Last year Guided By Voices announced 2 festival dates in Barcelona and Porto this summer - their first dates in Europe in 15 years or something like that. I had been considering making the journey as I've never seen them and thought I'd never get chance as they tend to only tour the US (fairly constantly) and the main guy is certainly getting on a bit.
Then this week they announced a single London date mid-week between the 2 festivals - 1000 capacity venue, £33 a ticket.
I thought it would probably sell out, so was ready on the web page today before 10am when they went on sale, hitting F5. Managed to select '1' ticket, hit continue, got the 'captcha', then a message saying no tickets available / join the waiting list? That was by 10:01am.
On facebook I could see varying messages from people who had managed to get tickets and plenty who missed out like me. Then some people said they saw tickets becoming available again during the next 20 minutes on that site (see tickets) and also ticketweb, so I was constantly refreshing both of those until 10:25 when a new date was added to the seetickets site, with sale due to start at 10:30. Refreshed ticketweb again to find they'd now let me buy a ticket for the original date, so I went for that.
The first date seems to be listed as 'sold out' everywhere now, and there are tickets still available for the additional date.
I got a real buzz when I managed to snag one - much more so than if it had been straight-forward. But I don't really understand what was going on with the ticketing websites - do they purposefully hold tickets back / gradually release them in batches or something? Seems odd to do that if there are only 1000 available.