This morning I tried in vain to buy some tickets to see the marvellous Fleet Foxes at the Hammersmith Apollo. 

Tickets went on sale today and I knew I had to act fast, so promptly headed over to LiveNation, credit card in hand, and was happy to see that the gig hadn’t yet sold out. 

I selected the type and number of tickets I wanted, then pressed the ‘Find Tickets’ button. At that stage I was anticipating a positive result, but LiveNation refused to show me the results of my search until I’d navigated a CAPTCHA-based security check. Damn you, hoops.

Now, I love a challenge, but when time is tight I like to cut to the chase. Unfortunately the security check is about as straightforward as quantum mechanics. Let’s see how you get on with some of these examples…

Tricky, huh? Or is it just me? 

LiveNation says: 

The Security Check helps prevent automated programs from blocking other customers from getting tickets.”

True enough, though it has been rather self-defeating in this instance, and surely there are better ways of going about this. It also says, with no hint of irony:

Automated programs known as ‘Bots’ cannot read distorted text as well as humans.”

I’m not so sure about that. 

There were various other user experience issues within this booking engine, but that’s not for now. What is annoying is that the event has clearly sold out even though it’s not being labelled as such, and you can still enter the booking process despite no tickets being available (try booking one ticket, any seat, any price… doesn’t work).

I’ll put seeing Fleet Foxes live back on the to-do (someday) list. Alas.

UPDATE: Tickets at a second gig taking place on the following evening (1 June) are still available. Be fast!