Yayoi Kusama’s Dots Obsession — Love Transformed Into Dots, 2007EXPAND
Yayoi Kusama’s Dots Obsession — Love Transformed Into Dots, 2007
Cathy Carver

The Harrowing Experience of Trying to Get Tickets for Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Rooms Exhibit

Tickets for Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrors" exhibit, coming to the Broad on Oct. 21, went on sale at noon yesterday on the museum's website, and it's safe to say a lot of people who engaged in the frustrating ticket-buying process walked away empty-handed. Because I was one of them. If you — like me — were one of the sad souls who never saw the "walking man" reach his destination (you'll see what I'm talking about in a minute), read this and we can all weep together.

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For my friends and me, it all started at around 10 a.m. when I first logged in to the “waiting room” to buy tickets, where I joined more than 100,000 other people in virtual limbo. I sure wish someone had told me to log in way sooner if I wanted a fighting chance. Thanks a lot, world.

At the time, things were still looking up. My friends and I were hyped, determined, thinking happy thoughts, crossing all our fingers and toes and sending out all the good vibes. My biggest concern was that I was using my phone and maybe the ticket-buying system the Broad had implemented wouldn’t work on mobile devices. You know, little league stuff.

Then — what felt like a day and half later — the real waiting process began. Each user was given a unique queue number when they entered the waiting room and watched the site countdown to noon. Now, we were standing in a virtual line, watching a stick figure walk against a red-and-gray progress bar at a snail’s pace.

Was I that stick figure? Why is he ALL the way back there? What do you mean I’m 34,837th in line? That’s way too many people. Wait time is more than an hour? WHAT? This must be a mistake. Oh no! Does this mean I’m not seeing the new Infinity Rooms? Ah, I can feel the FOMO already. What’ll happen to my Instagram feed? (Kidding. Sort of.)

There were only 50,000 tickets available, and each buyer could reserve up to six tickets for $25 each. Why was this happening? That’s definitely not enough tickets.

Apparently, the Los Angeles Times had published an article explaining how to score tickets to the exhibit. “The hottest ticket in Los Angeles goes on sale today, and we have the lowdown on how to nab yours,” Libby Hill wrote. The article included a link to the Broad’s waiting room, which was a huge mistake because each link had its own queue number, so now thousands of people were getting a message saying their queue number was rejected. That’s because the Broad used links to determine someone’s spot in line instead of IP addresses, which is probably how it should’ve been done to limit the tear shed. You can check out some supremely pissed-off people responding to the tweet below ...

The line was paused to deal with the mess that the L.A. Times article had inadvertently created. Spirits were low; expectations were even lower.

When the line restarted, a message said there were only 8,000 tickets left. “If your position in line is a high number, please be aware that you will likely not be able to reserve tickets,” the message read.

At 1:17 p.m. there were 8,000 tickets left. At 1:26 p.m. it was sold out.

Everything happened so fast. In less than 10 minutes, our chance to see glowing, psychedelic pumpkins, a kitchen covered in rainbow-colored stickers, red-and-white polka-dotted balloons and that invaluable 30-second feeling of transcendence into infinitude was lost. And by lost, I mean bought and resold on Craigslist for three times the price.

But there is still a tiny glimmer of hope. According to the Broad's website, "A limited number of same-day timed tickets will be available for purchase at the museum. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis when the museum opens."


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