I've finally managed to book my ticket to see Zappa. It's the Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble who play about 10 Frank Zappa classics. It's here in London on Baker Street.
The Royal Academy of Music website sucks. Its ticket booking part is completely broken. Fortunately I found a way to "hack" it so that I could get a ticket. And it only cost me £1 extra.
On that note, why isn't the box office open on weekends? And why is no one answering any of their phones on a Saturday?
Now, when you submit the form it will just become a blank page with nothing on it. Don't worry. At this point they will have emailed you your password. Pick up that email and go here http://tickets.ram.ac.uk/peo/crm_login.asp to log in. Now, you can try to buy the ticket as normal and proceed to checkout.
On the checkout page, even if you're logged in and type in everything correctly it will still respond with an error. One of those annoying errors that means you have to click the Back button with the risk of losing what you've typed in. The trick is that you have to select "I would like to donate". Something I genuinely don't mind but if they're going to endorse such crappy websites it hurts a little to be generous towards them. Anyway, select £1 as the donation and at this point you should be able to make the purchase.
Granted, these guys are awesome when it comes to music and me, a mortal web developer, can barely rip a CD. However, if selling tickets is something they intend to do more and if there's some sort of relationship between selling tickets, profit and happiness I would urge them to re-evaluate their booking website.
PS. For the techy geekys, doing a W3C source validation on their site yields 184 errors and 8 warnings. Impressive!