For many art lovers in Toronto hoping to catch the AGO’s highly anticipated Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit this was a big week.
Public tickets for this spring exhibit finally went on sale, but for many, this is what computer screens looked like for a long, long time.
If you were one of those thousands, you were clearly not alone.
According to the AGO, when tickets went on sale on Tuesday, there were over 58,000 users in the queue at one point.
And as of 10:10 am on Wednesday, there were 34,054 in the queue.
“This is a major increase from our normal daily traffic and we have put systems in place to ensure it stays up and running,” AGO’s Communications Officer Carly Maga told Daily Hive.
The AGO has approximately 60,000 tickets available for members and 60,000 available for the public, for a total of 120,000 spots. But Maga said that they are constantly monitoring demand and assessing opportunities to release more tickets where possible.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors provides visitors with the unique opportunity to experience six of Kusama’s most iconic kaleidoscopic environments at once, alongside large-scale, whimsical installations and key paintings, sculptures and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present, and according to the AGO, this also marks the North American debut of numerous new works by the 88-year-old artist.
The exhibit is only travelling to four major museums in the United States and Canada, including the Seattle Art Museum (June 30–Sept. 10, 2017), The Broad in Los Angeles (October 2017–January 2018), the Cleveland Museum of Art (July–October 2018), and it is at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 3 to May 27.
Tickets for the exhibit are so hot that people are already reselling some at a higher value through Kijiji.
“This is something the AGO Visitor Experience team was aware might happen and they have been flagging any ads they find online to be removed,” Maga said, adding that the AGO is the only authorized seller of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors tickets.
So despite what some other websites might say, buyers should also be aware that tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be re-sold.
“We won’t be able to catch all the re-sale ads out there, so we urge ticket-buyers to be aware that unauthorized duplication or sale of a ticket may prevent admittance,” she said. “As well, Member ID must be shown when using a Member’s ticket.”
In order to limit ticket purchases by scalpers/bots, the AGO has instituted a 4 ticket limit and a randomized online queue for the very beginning of the sale at 10 am. How this works is, a randomized queue takes place for those on the ticketing site before 10 am, and anyone accessing the ticketing site after the sale begins at 10 am joins the end of the line.
Besides Tuesday and Wednesday, more blocks of tickets will available on January 18 and 19, with a new batch of tickets released online each day at 10 am.
But the wait will be worth it.
For those who manage to get through, this will probably be the art exhibit of the year.
“We’re encouraging anyone who’s interested in buying a ticket to stay tuned for more opportunities if this week’s sales window doesn’t work out,” Maga said.
For any questions about the validity of any online ticket offers, the AGO asks ticket-buyers to please call them at 416-979-6648.
When: March 3 to May 27, 2018
Where: The Art Gallery of Ontario, 317, Dundas Street West
Tickets: Available online only through the AGO for $30 per person