Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda announced yesterday that the $10 ticket lottery for the Broadway hit would go digital for the winter months because of cold temperatures and security concerns. Fans were thrilled, not only because the #Ham4Ham show will live on (Mr. Miranda will shoot video from inside the Richard Rodgers Theatre) but also because it would now seemingly be easier to avoid the crowds and actually get tickets to the show.
Of course, in practice things became much more complicated. The lottery opened at 9:30 this morning, and entrants were immediately greeted by an error message. #Ham4Ham began trending as disappointed theatergoers took to Twitter:
The musical’s official Twitter account felt the Internet’s pain, and responded with a brilliant hashtag:
Mr. Miranda, king of Twitter, also soothed nervous lottery entrants:
The Hamilton hassle is reminiscent of Ticketmaster’s server problems last month—fans looking to buy tickets for Bruce Springsteen and Adele concerts were met with error messages and captcha requests because the site’s interface wasn’t scaled properly.
The Hamilton lottery problems are more understandable, however, because this is the first time there has been unprecedented online interest in one performance of the show before. The site needs time to get its sea legs so it can deal with this kind of demand every day. Ticketmaster doesn’t have that excuse—its site has been around for decades.
So if you’re still having trouble with the #Ham4Ham lottery, “wait for it”—it’s open until 4 PM today, so you haven’t thrown away your shot yet.
UPDATE: The Hamilton lottery site fully crashed earlier tonight due to 50,000 unique entries, and no #Ham4Ham entrants got tickets. Out of fairness, the tickets will be unsold and unused, and the front row of Hamilton will be empty tonight. There will be two live #Ham4Ham lotteries before performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre tomorrow while the Hamilton team works on fixing the problem.