tiff tickets

New TIFF ticket system still generating lots of backlash

Tickets for the Toronto International Film Festival aren't too hard to come by. You can either buy a package, grab individual tickets or if you're spontaneous, wait in rush lines for your must-see movies.

But this year, TIFF is changing up its ticketing process by using Ticketmaster. While this makes it easier to snag individual tickets to high-profile screenings and premieres and enables festival goers to use mobile tickets, it has also led to some confusion.

One perk of being a TIFF member, for instance, is the ease at which you can exchange tickets (for free) either online, over the phone or in person at the members box office (a great little spot that usually has no line!). But for 2016, that's not the case if you buy your tickets via Ticketmaster.

"TIFF customers including members who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster.ca must call Ticketmaster customer service for any exchanges," says Jennifer Bell, TIFF's vice president of marketing, communications, digital media and creative via email.

I learned the hard way when I tried to change some of my tickets yesterday. And according to a membership representative I spoke with at the box office, I wasn't the only one miffed by this changeup.

When I called Ticketmaster to try to switch one of my movies, a customer service rep told me there's usually a $7 charge per ticket for these type of exchanges. Thankfully, she offered to waive the fee.

Yet along with this relatively minor mix up, the Globe and Mail writes that ticket prices appear more expensive this year because TIFF adopted "demand-based" or surge prices. If a movie's super popular or selling out, an extra $2 to $7 (plus a $2 service fee) might be slapped on to the starting ticket price - which sits at $25 for regular screenings and $49 for premium events, such as premieres.

"The starting price of a regular festival screening ticket - $25 - remains status quo to last year, and the bulk of the tickets for each screening will still be sold at this rate. Prices will increase with demand, only when the screening is near capacity," a TIFF spokesperson told the Globe.

This year, tickets maxed out at $58, which as the Globe writes, is a hefty price for a screening, especially for one run by a non-profit organization.

Although that doesn't seem to be stopping movie goers. Tickets are currently being resold on site like Craigslist, Kijiji and Stub Hub, often for much higher than face value. People will clearly pay big bucks to get in on glitz and glamour.

And hopefully, TIFF will figure out it's ticket-related mishaps by next year. But at the end of the day, controversy is all just part of the Hollywood North experience.

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