Teri Anulewicz knew that a big crowd would be lined up in virtual space Monday, waiting for much-coveted tickets to the "Infinity Mirrors" exhibit at the High Museum of Art.
In each city visited by the bedazzling installation, large groups of people have queued up online to vie for admission to the mind-expanding experience.
But Anulewicz, who is a member of the State House (D-Smyrna), knew it was going to be a long wait when she got online at 10:45 a.m. Monday and found that she was behind more than 9,000 other people.
While the High sold more than 28,000 tickets to the exhibit on Monday, many forlorn seekers never got hold of the brass ring, and plenty of them were complaining online about their experience.
Michele Shauf of Buckhead logged onto the High’s website at 10:05 a.m. and was 8,665th in line. When she reached the front of the line, the computer would not let her pick a date for her ticket. “It keeps asking for your password,” she said Monday evening, after seven hours of trying, “and won’t accept it. I thought, ‘is this just me, is it user error?’ and then I find comment after comment from people with steam coming out of their ears.”
“Got all the way to the front and was not able to select a date,” wrote Monica M. Martino on Twitter. “Got bumped to the back of the line behind 10,000 other people. Please fix your online system for your members!”
The ticket sale that began Monday was only for High members. Not until Sept. 17 will ticket sales open up to the general public. But the lack of tech support for members bugged some users.
“What is really squirrelly is there is no support mechanism,” said Shauf, who works in the financial technology sector. “None on the web site, none on the high.org site, no staff listing, only a phone number you can call that no one answers,” she said.
The High, aware of the problems, posted a help-line number Tuesday morning on Twitter, encouraging its members to try again: “For those of you dealing with member login issues, we are working to fix each account as soon as we can! Please reach out to us if you haven’t at 404-733-4575 or email@example.com.”
Marci Tate Davis, a spokesperson for the High, wrote in an email Tuesday morning: “Yesterday, we sold more than 28,000 tickets with a total of 7,729 member households served. As you mentioned, we’ve been experiencing issues with individual members having problems logging in, etc., which we’ve been addressing on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, so we’re continuing to contact members individually as quickly as we can via e-mail and our membership support center to help them purchase tickets.”
While Anulewicz was unable to log in Monday, she was still optimistic that she would get to see the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. “My logic is that if this many people were having trouble buying tickets, there are still member tickets to be had,” she said Monday evening.
Tuesday she was triumphant. “SUCCESS! We will experience the mirror pumpkins!” she wrote on Twitter.
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” runs Nov. 18, 2018, through Feb. 17, 2019. It is an installation that offers assorted artworks and six “Infinity Rooms,” including one entitled “All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins,” an Infinity Room lined with mirrors and filled with dozens of sculptures of Kusama’s beloved vegetable.
The High’s director Rand Suffolk reassured ticket buyers Tuesday with an email to members:
“Due to incredible demand, there may still be significant wait times. However, rest assured that there are enough tickets to accommodate our members.
“If you emailed us with troubleshooting questions, please watch your inbox—we’ll be responding with helpful next steps to hopefully answer the questions you may have related to your account. (Also, please check your junk mail filters. We’ve been told that many members did not receive earlier emails.)”
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors”
Nov. 18-Feb. 17. Tickets for museum members (which went on sale this week) are $14.50; $5 for children 5 and younger. Tickets for the general public (which go on sale Sept. 17) are $29; $5 for children 5 and younger. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-4400, high.org.