Musically, the good folks at Sled Island put on a great festival, but they sure do make you jump through hoops to get to it.
It's a big sprawling festival, so I can understand the complexities of the various types of tickets that are available. There are four-day wristbands, VIP wristbands, one-day wristbands and all-ages wristbands. There are main site tickets which you must buy beforehand and tickets to a handful of about twenty select concerts that you can buy beforehand or purchase at the door for a slightly higher price. Confused yet? That's actually the simple part.
I was trying to buy tickets to the main site concert on Saturday, which, as far as I could tell from the website, are not available for purchase at the venue. Evidently they are available for purchase in person at Sloth Records or at some men's clothing store, or they are available for purchase online. I thought the online route would be simplest.
But even though the e-tickets that I printed off stated that they were to be brought to the venue to allow access, the Sled Island website warned otherwise, stating that all e-tickets had to be exchanged at the Sled office for a different ticket. Now I understand that this is the only conceivable way to issue wristbands, I get that, but I don't understand why this is necessary for a ticket for a single event. Especially when you have just printed off a ticket with a unique barcode and your name, rank and serial number clearly on it. Especially when the Sled Island office is nowhere near the main site venue, so you can't even just drop by on the way to the concert to pick it up. A special trip needs to be made.
Inside the Sled Island office, the process gets even murkier. Feeling rather like I was applying for high level security clearance at the White House, I handed over my e-tickets plus the demanded photo identification. The volunteer Man In Black behind the table scrutinized the reams of print-offs from the ticket processing service, looking for my name to verify that the e-tickets I had just handed him were not cleverly-fashioned forgeries.
My name was glaringly absent from the list. The Men In Black were onto me; evidently that unpaid Vancouver parking ticket was coming back to haunt me.
Someone else came over and asked when I had bought the tickets and, when told it was that morning, printed off another ream of paper with names more recently gleaned from the ticket processing service. My name was glaringly absent from this list as well.
I'm still not entirely sure why my driver's license number was then required, in lieu of my name being present on this mysterious list, but I am sure that I was not the only one who could see the ludicrousness of the entire exercise by this point. When I asked the increasingly frustrated MIB volunteer what would be done with my driver's license number afterward, that it would be destroyed, right? he merely sighed, shrugged and reiterated that he was just a volunteer.
I'm pretty sure it's easier to get category one security clearance to the nuclear launch codes.