Twisted News – Gotham Leeds Ticket Needs Exceed Feed At Speed

Almost everyone in the world of derby was shocked, upset, delighted or disinterested on Monday (9th June) when tickets for the London Brawling v Gotham All-Stars bout/game/wev sold out in less than eleventy seconds. JIM SQUIDGE from Derby Dot Communists reports on what quickly became a very heated, very tweeted, situation...

"Some people complained that the tickets sold out in two or three minutes," Happily Eva Shafter of Five Girls One Sidcup tells us. "I'm actually angrier that they were supposed to go on sale at midday on the dot, yet – and my domestic staff had six different devices, both digital and analogue, set up by my computer to time this – tickets actually went on sale at 12:01.17. My maid need not have slapped me awake for another 77 seconds to type in the card details (obviously none of the staff are allowed them) and that's sleep I will never get back. LRG owe me, quite frankly."


Eva was arguably one of the lucky ones. She ended up with 24 tickets. "I actually needed 27," she says, angrily. "My daughter Chichi and her friends love this roller dumbo thing, even setting up a team and calling me their head coach, yet I never realised it was going to be so stressful just buying tickets for them to watch other people play it! Luckily, I have friends who know 'the right people' in London Rollergirls. Unlike other UK noobie leagues – who rely on donations, hippies, vegans and unpaid volunteers – LRG are entirely funded by the Bilderberg Group, corporate sponsors and hidden stashes of gold, so the right word in the right earhole works wonders!"


Eva is still upset about missing out on the additional three tickets she wanted, however. "Other applicants should have been limited to one or two tickets each," she moans. "I feel sorry for the nanny who now has to tell Chichi's three least popular/attractive friends that they can't attend," she adds, tearfully.


Others had happier results when the tickets went on sale on Monday. "I actually took an hour or two off work to buy tickets," Crazyface Wilkins of Chester Cakekickers tells us. "My passengers were furious – I drive a bus in central Liverpool, but live in North Wales, and they didn't really appreciate the diversion. Some of them had set up what looked like the beginnings of a small feudal community in my front garden when I emerged after my PC session, and a couple of the smaller passengers had been slain and eaten, but I don't give a shit quite frankly as I got my tickets to the derby event of the year. Yay me!"


Even many of those who actually booked tickets soon discovered they had been wrongly sold them. "I spent £150 to go to a two day boot camp," says 63 year old Fred Breadcake from Dewsbury, "and I thought it was bargain. Then I got a phone call from a lovely young lady to ask what 'level' I thought I was at, and after some very confused debate and surprisingly blue language, it turns out it wasn't a military foot fetishists weekend after all. I've had my money refunded, but I'm banned from the premises. I find that harsh based on a simple misunderstanding."




At least most who failed to get tickets did so from the comfort of their own home or workplace. That wasn't the case for Twisty O'Turnip and a couple of her teammates from the Redditch Ratbiters. "We've been camping outside the venue since LRG first mentioned the event a few days ago," Twisty tells us, her eyes spinning like misaligned bearings. "Our tent and sleeping bags have been stolen one at a time by a tribe of feral cats. We've been pooed on and weed on by animals and drunks. The police have told us the grass verge of a ring road is not an appropriate place to pitch a tent, and we've had to bribe them in ways I won't even describe.... It's all worth it though, to be first in the queue for tickets to the derby event of the year!"


At midday on Monday 9th June, Twisty and her friends arrive at the ticket desk of the Leeds Futsal Arena they have been camping outside, only to be told that all ticket sales are online only. "What?" says Twisty. "Shit," says her partner StateSee. "Told you so," says their friend Pass-Ag-E, who then throws a misconnecting punch at either Twisty or the ticket desk dude. By the time the trio reach the nearest internet cafe, the tickets are all long gone. Countless other would-be purchasers meet with the same fate, though perhaps less dramatically than the Ratbiters trio. Most miss out by mere seconds, with tickets running out as they click to pay. A sad handful assumed the online sale began at midday GMT rather than BST, and visit the ticketing website a whole hour too late. Lady Goodslider of Pencilcity Devilwhores, meanwhile, curses LRG's failure to specify whether they were using the Julian or Gregorian calendar, and hopes sufficient tickets have been held back for June 9th of the former, which is a week on Sunday.


A great many of those we spoke to cited the biggest issue as being the ticket agency, Seetickets, universally acknowledged as being behind every nefarious scheme in history, from the Gulf of Tonkin incident to the axing of Good Morning Britain to that bloke off that talent show winning or not winning, or whatever, that thing, yeah, with the thing. "Why don't ticket agencies just sell tickets for free," tweets legendary derby announcer Hector Cocoa, "after all paper is free and the internet is free, so invisible internet paper must be the freest thing of all?"


Amongst the most aggrieved of those who failed to get Gotham tickets is Wicca Wicca Whack from the Doncaster Boudiccas: "I typed everything in right, right... I put all my details in first... Like LRG said, right... It had my card details, everything was in there, then instead of just taking the payment, it asked for my appellation, ie whether I was Mr or Mrs or whatever. So I typed Ms. Then a whole new page came up asking if I was choosing 'Ms' because I was widowed, confused or refusing to declare my marital status. When I clicked the latter a pop-up window appeared asking whether I was first, second, third or fourth wave feminist... then after that a screen asked me to choose whether I'd rather see Germaine Greer wearing a Mayan druid's cloak or Camille Paglia dancing the Macarena. I didn't bother answering, as right then a friend texted to say tickets had already sold out anyway. I'm pretty sure it's not LRG at fault, rather those who set up the software at Seetickets, but in retrospect I really wish I'd just typed 'Mrs' – maybe then I'd have got some f***ing tickets."




With tickets selling out so fast, many were quick to suggest the London league should have chosen a larger venue to begin with, with alternatives put forward by disappointed derby fans including the London Velodrome, Bolton Arena, Alton Towers and Brisbane Convention Centre. "To be honest, capacity is the last thing we consider when choosing a venue for a game or boot camp," admits a member of LRG, who wishes to remain fictional, "mostly we just choose somewhere because we like the colour." Our interviewee admits the league may include a venue's capacity – alongside existing criteria such as its cafe's ice lolly selection, the availability of Airblade hand dryers, and the font used on internal signage – in any future decisions. "We also won't leave it up to one randomly selected member of the league to choose the location in future. The person who picked the venue this time had only recently transferred to LRG from overseas, and wasn't au fait with the British postal system. She assumed the postcode 'LS' stood for 'London South'... so now we have to play in Lancashire, or wherever the hell Leeds is. WTF?"


Although LRG are currently using their contacts within the Illuminati and military industrial complex to try and get extra bleacher seating installed, Hector Cocoa has a simpler suggestion: "I've seen photos of the LRG Rec League. There's bloody millions of them. Why don't they stand just behind the last bleacher and get people to perch on their shoulders? The blockers, if they're any good – and to wear the pink of LRG they'd better be – should be able to manage one spectator on each shoulder, and even the jammers ought to be able to manage one person each. That's an extra 700-800 in capacity right there."


Others suggest that Brawling and Gotham should just play more games. "They could cram in another match straight after the first, fit in a couple more before the boot camp starts at 10 on the Sunday, then three or four on Sunday night," insists Wicca Wicca Whack. "If eight times as many people want to watch the game as can fit in the venue, just play eight games. Simples."


Inverness Invaders ref Sock Rocket admits such a multi-match arrangement might not be practical, especially given the contest is being played for WFTDA ranking points. "Seetickets have the addresses of those of us who missed out on tickets, though," he says, "so how difficult would it be for a couple of players, one from each team, to turn up at each of our houses for a short derby demonstration. It wouldn't be the same as a full team game, obviously, but I'd be quite happy to watch Stefanie Mainey and Suzy Hotrod trading shoulder blocks in my kitchen for 20-25 minutes. I'd even make them each a Pot Noodle afterwards." Sock acknowledges that demand for the high profile triple threats would likely exceed supply, and says he "would settle for" Sarah Oates and Violet Knockout instead, "but they'd have to share a Pot Noodle."




For those who have given up on the prospect of seeing Brawling v Gotham in the flesh, the issue of whether the game will be streamed online is a pressing concern. "I hope they confirm it soon," says Hector Cocoa. "I've only just finished all my e-mails, tweets and Facebook messages complaining about the free stream of Skate Odyssey occasionally dropping out. I really want to get a headstart with LRG-Gotham and have most of my angry posts prepared well in advance of the weekend itself." We suggest to Hector that perhaps LRG will charge for the service, to help provide bandwidth and infrastructure for a more stable and high quality feed, and he laughs like a potato. "Charge? For something on the internet? Everything on the internet's supposed to be free, you crazed loon."


Others still haven't given up on getting into the venue itself, however, and many will be resorting to desperate tactics, such as disguising themselves as well known members of the UK derby community. One such person is Exeter based derby fan Julie Biscuits, who we meet while she is dressed in garish pattered leggings with a pillow stuck down the back. Julie has drawn a handlebar moustache and monocle on her face in charcoal, and an elaborate Victorian pipe hangs from her lower lip. "I could pass for Sutton Impact like this, yeah?" she asks. Her friend Kate, meanwhile, has elaborately structured her hair in the manner of a Mr Whippy ice cream, and is preparing to dye it blonde "to go as either Raw Heidi or the Statue of Liberty's torch."


The Redditch Ratbiters crew, meanwhile, are making use of the local knowledge they gleaned whilst camped outside the Leeds venue. They have rented out a basement flat in nearby Cottingley and begun tunnelling in the direction of the Futsal Arena. "The first tunnel collapsed soon after we began and we lost StateSee in the process," says Twisty O'Turnip sadly. "Myself and Pass-Ag-E are still committed to getting in at all costs, however, and we're sure we'll break through right underneath the bleachers just in time for first whistle against Gotham. It's a shame the first tunnel collapsed, really, as otherwise we might have made it there in time for Brawl Saints v Leeds too."


You have to admire the dedication of Twisty and her friend, as well as many others we spoke to, several of whose tales we didn't have room for here. Until such time as the UK can offer more sizeable skate-friendly venues, the ticketing situation for the country's very highest profile games, such as the Gotham bout or 2012's England v USA match, will remain a real bone of contention. "I'm still after three more tickets for Chichi's friends," Happily Eva Shafter has asked us to point out by way of conclusion, adding that she is "very good friends with Prince Charles and can put in a word re the New Year's Honours."


London Rollergirls continue to investigate the possibility of additional seating, and hope to have an answer in a week or so. Inevitably, a number of existing tickets will be offered online in the days running up to the game, as people's circumstances change. We'll also be very surprised if the event isn't streamed online. Meanwhile, other roller derby action scheduled for the weekend of 12th-13th July includes the free outdoor tournament Eastbourne Extreme, a double header in Barrow-in-Furness, an intraleague in Glasgow, and many more games across Europe and beyond.

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