Students have expressed frustration after tickets for Wadham’s annual Queerfest event sold out after just three days, leaving hundreds unable to attend.
The event, marking the end of Wadham’s Queer Week, has grown hugely in popularity in recent years. All 800 tickets were sold by Wednesday evening, in what it is believed to be the fastest the event has ever sold out. Many disappointed students resorted to the event’s Facebook page to find last minute tickets, promising to “pay in dollar” for an unwanted ticket, and begging ticket holders to “show some kindness this Queerfest”.
One of those unable to attend was Harris Manchester student Emily Atkinson, who invited a friend from Sweden for the occasion. She commented: “It’s a shame I didn’t get to celebrate Queerfest with my friend … we were shocked they sold out so quickly and I’m sorry to have missed out, but I guess there’s always next year.”
Many disappointed customers argued that LGBTQ students should be prioritised in ticket allocation. A Pembroke fresher commented: “Queerfest is the only event of this size for non-straight people at Oxford, and I think it’s disappointing that so many didn’t get the chance to go.” The student went on to criticise the system used by Wadham’s Entz Committee: “I don’t think they quite understood how popular it was going to be, and they really should have considered this based on how much it took off on social media”. Another disappointed student said: “It was really annoying knowing that so many tickets went to straight students, when I’d missed out.”
One student posted on Facebook: “Watching bare cishets scrabble on the page for tickets and even offering above asking price is starting to really grate”. He added that a friend had said: “Murder all the cishets and steal their tickets”. A Wadham student expressed frustration that the event “ended up being majority non-Wadham”.
Co-organiser Rose Stevens blamed the ticket shortage on the huge and unexpected popularity of the event, stating that the Wadham Entz Committee are currently considering ways to change the ticket allocation system for next year.
The event, held on Saturday evening in Wadham College, was highly successful and well-received, featuring musical acts Garfunkel, Rock Q, and Out of the Blue. Wadham Entz Officer Iona Teague described organising Queerfest as “the best experience of my life. I loved almost every minute”. Co-organiser Rose Stevens held a similar view: “It was definitely worth [the effort] to see everyone enjoy it so much and to appreciate how much glitter there can actually be in one marquee!”