Tickets for this year’s Romanes Lecture sold out before they officially went on sale, due to an error with the University’s system.
The University originally announced that registration to attend the talk, which will be delivered by Hillary Clinton, would open at 9am on Monday morning.
But the ticketing page went live earlier than planned, meaning that students and staff were able to snap up the 400 available tickets – which were free of charge – before they had officially gone on sale.
A University spokesperson told Cherwell: “We are very sorry to those who missed out.”
The spokesperson said: “The automated registration page went live earlier than expected, so many people were able to get tickets before the intended opening time.
“We are investigating how this happened and hope to make changes so it does not happen again.
“Tickets have now sold out due to exceptionally high demand, but we encourage anyone interested in attending to join the waiting list by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.”
On Twitter, the University’s account blamed an “IT glitch” for the mistake.
We apologise to those who were unable to get tickets at 9am this morning due to an IT glitch. We are currently investigating what happened. Please email email@example.com if you have any questions.
— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) June 4, 2018
University staff and students expressed their disappointment at the mistake.
Political theory tutor Sophie Smith tweeted:
Curious. Tried to get a ticket for Hillary Clinton's Romanes lecture here at Oxford, booking for which opened at 9am, and at 8.59 a message popped up to say it was fully booked.
— Sophie Smith (@DrSophieSmith) June 4, 2018
A University College student, Alfie Steer, then explained the situation:
Hey Sophie – they apparently went on sale over the weekend before the official time and people caught wind and snapped them up.
— Alfie Steer (@AlfieSteer) June 4, 2018
Clinton’s talk will take place at the start of 10th week (25th June) at the Sheldonian Theatre.
The University also clarified that the lecture will be live streamed.