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Ordinary Friends booking started today.

 

All went quite smoothly, but tickets for the Osipova R&J on 21 Nov were disappearing before your very eyes (or at least before you could get them into the basket).  All the stalls and grand tier are now showing as sold out for this performance.

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Yes it was a smooth experience, got the tickets I wanted for main stage, but no 'In Rehearsal' tickets at all.  I've not managed any for more than a year - they must be allocating more to higher Friends than they used to. 

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Not really anything to complain about.

As mentioned, the Osipova/Acosta R&J was the biggest draw (Nunez/Acosta Don Q was not far behind), as becomes more and more usual, for very high demand performances, one might be better off booking on public booking than ordinary friends if you are looking for specific areas (or any seat for insight events).

I also miss the time when you could initially only buy six tickets per production, it seems it was then much easier to get stalls circle standing tickets. I found only one (there are still a few available for Nutcracker), which is close to an all-time low.

If there are any supporting friends on these boards, are there some SCS still available when booking opens?

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Yes it was a smooth experience, got the tickets I wanted for main stage, but no 'In Rehearsal' tickets at all.  I've not managed any for more than a year - they must be allocating more to higher Friends than they used to. 

 

My understanding is that there is just one friends allocation, the tickets for which are all released when booking for premium 1 friends opens (if not for patrons). A few tickets are kept aside for public booking but that's it (20-25% for main house performances, I believe a little less than that for Clore events, there are definitely a few though).

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My understanding is that there is just one friends allocation, the tickets for which are all released when booking for premium 1 friends opens (if not for patrons). A few tickets are kept aside for public booking but that's it (20-25% for main house performances, I believe a little less than that for Clore events, there are definitely a few though).

 

Yes, Event tickets are most often sold out even at the opening of Supporting Friends' booking.  I have, however, often been able to get tickets for these 'sold out' events once public booking has opened.

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Agree it was a smooth experience, which is good.  Sadly stalls circle tickets for R & J and Don Q were conspicuous by absence in all except the top few price bands, both online and on the phone.  Guess I'll have to do battle with public booking or hope for some returns!

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My understanding is that there is just one friends allocation, the tickets for which are all released when booking for premium 1 friends opens (if not for patrons). A few tickets are kept aside for public booking but that's it (20-25% for main house performances, I believe a little less than that for Clore events, there are definitely a few though).

 

Thank you for the information - it seems they are all being sold before 'ordinary' Friends have a chance.  I will have to try public booking or else hope some might be released nearer to the date.

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Hmm, interesting today with Friends booking opening. Got a decent stalls seat for Osipova/Acosta R and J but within minutes the whole orchestra stalls showed as sold out. Gosh. Is this the 'Osipova effect'?? I also wanted the Acosta/Nunez Don Q but there was so little choice of seats available I went for a different cast on a matinee - hey, I'm sure they will be fabulous.....

Edited by nottsballetlover
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One of the Acosta/Nunez Don Q was part of a mini package and pretty booked up already yesterday (decided a bit late to do the package).

 

Performance-wise the website was awe inspiring, couldn't tell that there was anything out of he ordinary going on whilst booking despite the swarm of ticket hunters descending at 10am. I got there at 10:15 and didn't find any of the cheaper tickets I was hoping for, but reasonably happy with my haul (my bank account might have a different opinion, but hey)

 

I've learned my lesson for he next booking session and will be online by 9:50...

 

I ended up getting more affordable tickets after public booking opened for the last period, and by checking regularly for returns, but that never included stalls circle standing.

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Yes, Event tickets are most often sold out even at the opening of Supporting Friends' booking.  I have, however, often been able to get tickets for these 'sold out' events once public booking has opened.

 

Once I have spoken to ROH Friends' office about these event tickets and was told that these events are for "Premium Friends".

and therefore supporting Friends and Friends will not be able to see them! I felt sad to hear that......

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On reading the posts by Margaret and A frog, I remembered an email exchange earlier this year in which the Friends' Office confirmed that the Friends' allocation comprises up to 80% of tickets, and that this allocation is released in full on the date when Premium 2 booking opens.

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Because even as a Friend I had NEVER been able to get an Insight eve ticket I got a bit suspicious and asked the Box Office if tickets were either actually going on sale before 10 or a small group were buying them all up!!

They told me about this other level of Friends...Advanced Friends or whatever and that because the Clore theatre is so small and the Advanced friends get priority booking over ordinary Friends. its very unlikely one will get a ticket for certain events.

One of reasons I joined the Friends was to be able to go to such things as insight evenings so feel very disappointed that unless I pay even more money out for membership this is now unlikely.

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LinMM

 


One of reasons I joined the Friends was to be able to go to such things as insight evenings so feel very disappointed that unless I pay even more money out for membership this is now unlikely.

 

And the ROH SAY they are concerned that the arts should NOT be seen as elitist.  Seems to me on the face of this - yet another piece of shielded information - that their 'other hand' appears to be very busy indeed at Covent Garden!  Oh, - not only that - but here we find yet another example of 'transparency plus' into their (already costly) 'Friends' bargain.  (Where will these divisions end?  At least at the House of Commons you have bells and can roam about on a restricted basis and EVENTUALLY reveal the identity of the Whips.)  Sounds to me here like the ROH Friends scheme would be good fodder for an item for one of those of those consumer rip-off TV programmes which happily burrow undercover.  Forget Esther Rantzen, Gloria Hunniford or even that doyen of the balletic arts Angela Rippon, I bet if you roamed about the House of Lords you'd find a goodly number to takers who'd be happy to front it in no time at all.  Just think of all those free tickets!!! On the street, however, the cries will be less 'here, here' ... than 'tut, tut' I should think.  Still, I suspect ALL will be met with a time honoured 'shhhhh'.  What is it they say:  Some things NEVER change.  Well, we'll see .... or maybe we won't.  None of us does - in the end - live THAT long. 

Edited by Meunier
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The Friends programme indeed sometimes feel a bit of a rip-off if you only look look at it from a cost/benefit point of view; at least the youngster version is a bit cheaper, and I got a few free drinks out of it.
My most unpleasant surprise was when comparing the packages, non-friends get a champagne and programme voucher thrown in for free, I also found the seats available in packages as an ordinary friend slightly worse than what I can get on public booking. When I book packages, I still only do so with public booking.

As has been pointed out already, it's impossible to get tickets to insight events on friends booking days, I find it hard to believe that it's a deliberate policy for them to exclude almost everyone from their educational events, but if anyone can come up with a reasonable alternative explanation as to why the Ballet Evolved series was in the Clore instead of the Linbury for the last two instalments, I'll take it (the Linbury wasn't used on those nights).

To go back on topic, opera booking this morning was pretty terrible, the website gave me an error message as I was going to process payment, I received the "order placed" email but no confirmation, I've emailed them and they are trying to save my order (we'll see if they can), but it doesn't bode well for public booking next month.
I'm probably in the minority, but I never had that many issues when booking with the old website.

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...

My most unpleasant surprise was when comparing the packages, non-friends get a champagne and programme voucher thrown in for free.....

If it's any consolation, a marketing person told me in another non-ROH context that "plus a free glass of champagne" offers are aimed at those who are as unfamiliar with champagne as they are with the product on offer.  Friends are obviously too sophisticated for this!

Edited by Grand Tier Left
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Can't speak for Period 1, since I'm not a Friend, but the ROH website was certainly misbehaving a bit today: showing a blank instead of the seat selection, telling me I had less than 1 minute to complete my booking (so I was waiting for the ticket to drop out of my basket so I could put it back in again, only to find it was still in my basket 10 minutes later - that sort of thing).

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Slow down? Gross failure was more like it! A frog, if it's any consolation, I had exactly the same problem when booking ballet tickets on Tuesday. I got tickets in the basket only to get an error message when I tried to pay for them. I was trying  for the Osipova/Acosta Romeo and Juliet performances and each time I went back into the system, tickets available were a row back from where I started. Having originally got 4 seats in row b in the amphitheatre, my husband finally got row e on his work computer while I was frantically rebooting ours at home in case it was us! This is the first bad experience I've had for friends booking, but this time around was VERY stressful.

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Hello, Mummykool, and welcome to the forum - although I'm sad it had to be on such a stressful topic.  Do you remember what the error message was?  Last time on public booking my shopping basket and what I was actually paying for got out of sync somehow, and I got a message that since the amounts didn't tally the entire transaction had been dumped.  I'm hoping that's been fixed.

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Thank you Alison. I've been reading your forum for ages but it took the booking process to finally move me to speak out! I have no idea what the problem was.......It just came with "unknown error".

 

Incidentally when the tragic news broke that we were losing both Johan and Alina, I wrote to Covent Garden asking if amended casts for next season would be available in time for Friends Booking and got the following reply.

 

Cast lists will be amended for Friends Booking.

 

Thanks,

Chris
Digital Content Producer

 

When it didn't happen (unless you call TBC an amendment), I wrote again and got this reply

 

Ballet casting can take some time to establish. We are currently exploring options and will publish details as soon as we can.

Best wishes

Ellen

 

Any guesses anyone?

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Any guesses anyone?

 

 

Last night in the programme for ENB's ;SWAN LARGE' at the RAH Matthew Golding noted 'future engagements will include the Royal Ballet'.  I think this may well have been because the programme material was submitted prior to the completion of his guesting engagement with the RB in La Bayadere.  I, for one, hope that he is not being brought into the RB as a permanent principal as I do, sincerely, feel that on a WORLD SCALE the RB could well (needs must) end on the better side of that particular compromise.  That is to take NOTHING away from the competency that Mr. Golding so proudly presents - and - with equal sincerity - I do mean that as a compliment.  Competency at that level is worthy of anyone's applause but IF (and this may understandably now NOT be the case) the RB wishes to be judged as a classical company on a WORLD rather than PROVINCIAL scale (and there is no question but the latter is worthy and may well BETTER serve the rigors demanded by the just celebration of the native born contemporary sons in building an all too necessary future) then it will - as history has continually proven internationally - need to reach beyond.  .  So, yes, options NEED to be explored ... and certainly not rushed.  Patience, we pray, is a virtue ... although Syria is pushing ALL boundaries monumentally at the moment.  

Edited by Meunier
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Having learned my lesson from being a bit late for the ballet booking, I was ready for 10am on the dot for opera booking. Overall I was in and out in 15 minutes, with a few error messages that disappeared on a refresh. My order placed emails included an estimate of when the confirmation will arrive, increasing in time for each order (I've stopped putting all my eggs into one basket after having it all fail because of accidentally exceeding the ticket limit for a production), which seemed to indicate that the website was getting overloaded.

 

I don't quite understand the 'order placed' emails - seems like a way to uneccessarily increase processing time on servers by adding another step.

 

All in all it wasn't too bad in my opinion, and I prefer the ROH to spend their money on ballet dancers instead of forking out for extremely high-end tech to cope with a few days very busy days per year. Though I suspect I'd feel different if I ended up with none of the tickets I wanted.

Edited by Coated
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  • 4 weeks later...

I'd have LOVED to have seen R&J but can't cope with 4 hours of redialling and holding. ROH keep promising online Access booking "in the future". If we're lucky it might be in place by Stardate 5928.5.

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