Digital agency Line has unveiled the first phase of a new look Edinburgh Fringe website designed to ensure a consistent and easy user experience, as well as a stable online ticketing platform, in order to banish the box office problems that have dogged the festival’s online operations in previous years.
The site, soft-launched last month following exhaustive user testing, has been completely rebuilt to cope with the anticipated pressure from millions of culture fans trying to buy tickets in the run up to the four-week festival.
Designed specifically to avoid the major issues that have struck the Fringe’s web-based ticket sales in the past, the robust new system has already successfully handled a record number of bookings since going live
“Creating a new site for one of the world’s most important and influential cultural events is a challenge in and of itself, but when you combine that with a requirement to build in a ticketing system capable of coping with the Fringe’s vast programme and pattern of highly intensive demand it puts the task on a whole new level. Historically that’s created a set of unique conditions that have made the job particularly difficult, but we’re satisfied that we’ve put in place a tried and tested solution that will prove up to the task,” said Ross Laurie, Managing Director at Line.
To cope with the peak time surges in demand frequently experienced by the Fringe site, Line developed a scalable site architecture tied into the Fringe’s existing back office ticketing system.
By moving to a cloud computing based, virtualised framework where servers can be added and switched on within seconds to cope with surges in demand, there should be no repeats of the problems that the portal has previously experienced when large numbers of theatre goers have attempted to book tickets simultaneously.
The Fringe site’s launch underlines Line’s growing expertise in large scale transactional websites. The company recent unveiled a new site for the Edinburgh International Film Festival and its third major events installation of the summer – the International Book Festival – comes online next week.
Phase two of the development will see a further leap in the Fringe site’s capabilities. Due for completion in late August, Line will implement a raft of additional functions including professional and user show reviews, a video channel, improved event searching and an event “departure board” displaying real-time showtimes throughout the day.
“We’re delighted to have delivered a site that does the world’s favourite arts festival justice. Not only has the team at Line already created an online presence that is safer, more robust and more effective than anything we’ve had before, but they are also poised to introduce a range of functionality that will make the portal a truly immersive, interactive experience. From now on, it won’t be only the crowds travelling to Scotland who can play a part in the Fringe, said Kath Mainland, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Fringe.
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