Fantastic Fest

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Important information about badges, tickets and lines

Please read all of the following information very carefully, as there are some new procedural changes in effect for the first time at Fantastic Fest 2008.


We are opening badge pickup for Fantastic Fest 2008 at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, September 17 at the Alamo South Lamar. Badge pickup will be limited to VIP badge holders from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM. At this time VIP Badge holders can also pick up their tickets for any Thursday shows they want to attend, including the opening night film at the Paramount. Seating is reserved at the Paramount, so VIP badge holders will have first shot at the best seats available.

Beginning at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, September 17, regular badge holders can also pick up their badges and tickets for opening day. Badge pickup will be open until midnight on Wednesday.

Badge pickup will open again at noon on Thursday at the Alamo South Lamar (1120 South Lamar Blvd). We highly encourage anyone who is in town, however, to pick up your badges on Wednesday the 17th. Out of town guests, if we are picking you up at the airport and you filled out your information in advance, we will have your badges ready for you on the shuttle bus. Please note: If your first show is at the Paramount for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, you must first swing by South Lamar to pick up your badge.

As reported back in May, we’ve devised a new system for tickets this year. VIP badge holders are still guaranteed to get into any show they desire, but we are asking that they commit to their schedule no later than 90 minutes before the first show of the day, At that time, tickets are made available to regular badge holders and festival guests. A point of clarification, VIP badgeholders do not have to arrive at the theater each day 90 minutes before the first show of the day. VIP badgeholders, and VIP badgeholders alone, can pick up tickets for the following day's screeings throughout the festival (the exception is Wednesday, Sept 17, where after 9 PM, regular badge holders can pick up tickets for the following day).

Except for opening day, the ticket pickup table will be open daily from 90 minutes before the first show of the day until the start of the first "midnight" movie of the night.

This refinement of the system still offers VIP Badge holders their guaranteed seat, but eliminates the problem of regular badge holders waiting all day and missing potential screenings so they can be first in line for the big movies that they may or may not be able to attend. I think everyone will be satisfied with this new system, and of course, we welcome your feedback.

Badgeholders can ONLY pick up one ticket for each time slot during the festival. You can't pick up tickets for multiple movies at the same timeslot and decide later. Also, you can't pick up more than one set of tickets, you can only pick up your own. If anyone is caught picking up multiple tickets, their badge will be revoked without refund. One strike and you are out, so don't do it. Your barcoded badge will be scanned each time you pick up tickets to assure you aren't breaking the rules.

Everyone needs a ticket and a badge for each screening. Tickets are non-transferable. When you pick up tickets, we will write your name on the tickets and you must show both the ticket and your badge with your matching name. No ticket, no badge, no admission.

The tickets for each show are numbered and we will be entering the theater by group number, like on Southwest Airlines. The benefit to this is that hopefully we will greatly reduce waiting in line at the festival. Once you pick up your tickets, you know you have a seat and you know approximately when you will enter the theater relative to the rest of the audience.

We have a new patio area outside of the lobby and we encourage people to sit outside and enjoy a drink while waiting for movies. We will announce "boarding" for all groups in the lobby and on the patio.

We will have a small standby line for busy shows, as there are always going to be people who pick up tickets and don't show up. Standby tickets will also be numbered so as to avoid waiting in line. 15 minutes before showtime, we will count the seats and begin letting in first standby ticket holders and then individual ticket holders.

In the first couple of years of Fantastic Fest, we allowed VIP badgeholders who were staying in a theater to watch the next film to keep their seat. That posed some problems in getting the theaters cleaned in a timely manner, so we moved away from this last year. In 2008, we are still going to ask that VIPs exit the theater in between shows so we can effectively clean. However, since most folks will have their ticket to the next show, you'll be able to reenter the theater in the order of your ticket number. If you have two low-number tickets to back to back shows (and most VIP badgeholders will), you'll be entering the theater in the first group and will get your choice of seat.

Daytime Badge holders can pick up their badges and reserve tickets at the same time as regular badgeholders. Second-half badge holders can reserve tickets at the same time as regular badge holders, however, you cannot pick up your badge until Monday at noon.

If anyone has any questions, comments or concerns about the new 2008 procedures, please feel free to drop us a line at


Are we able to get tickets for two movies whose time slightly overlap, say one movie ending at 10pm and the next one we want to see starting at 9:45pm?

We've tried to avoid this in the scheduling so this doesn't happen, but yes, you can book one ticket per timeslot, which in the evening are around 6:30-7:30, the next at 9:30-10:15 and the next around midnight.

Can we walk out of a screening we don't like and still get into a another screening in the same timeslot? If I start watching a movie at 6pm and after 20 minutes I am no longer interested, can I leave and get into a screening that starts at 6:30pm?

Yes, you can, subject to availability. You just can't pre-reserve for more than one movie at a given timeslot.

What if you want to change screenings after you have gotten a ticket?

You can go back to the ticket desk in the lobby and exchange your ticket at any time before the show.

When regular film badge holders request their tickets will non-badgeholders also be allowed to purchase tickets then?

Non-badge holders can only get tickets 15 minutes before showtime.


  • At 10:36 AM , Blogger Ryan said...

    I'm a VIP badge holder from out of town who was planning on picking up my badge on Thursday- the day I'm checking into my hotel.
    As regular badge holders will be picking up tickets for the opening night films on Wednesday after 9 pm, will I still be guaranteed a seat at Zach and Miri?

  • At 11:01 AM , Anonymous Jenn said...

    I went the first two years, but not last year, so this ticket business is new to me.

    If I have to deal with the tickets, it would be a helluva lot easier to figure out my schedule if you had a grid of the schedule online. As it is, I'm having a hard time planning my schedule in advance because I can't see it at a glance. It's very frustrating.

  • At 11:22 AM , Anonymous J. said...

    I love the idea of having a more organized setup for ticket distribution, so thanks very much for your efforts, Tim. My question is concerning the regular (non-VIP) badgeholders - can you specify the procedure for ticket pickup for them? 1) What time can they begin to pick up tickets for a day's screenings? 2) If I can't pick up tickets in advance due to my work schedule, can my partner (who happens to be another badgeholder) take my badge along and pick up those tickets in advance for me? They'd have my badge so the barcode could be scanned and tickets assigned in my name, so it'd be done with my consent...thanks again!

  • At 4:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jenn you can plan your schedule on the BSide website. It's very convenient. I've already planned out my entire week on there. Just sign up and add films to your schedule:

  • At 6:22 PM , Blogger William said...

    I'm in the same boat as Ryan. Are we screwed for coming in from out of town?

  • At 9:42 PM , Anonymous R said...

    What about the people didnt get VIP or Regular badges?
    I wasnt able to get a VIP or Regular badge but I am planning on coming to the festival from out of town early on Friday.
    My understanding is that you will only be able to get tickets for a film 15 minutes before that film on the day of that film if you dont have a badge.
    Can you please clarify for people who dont have badges what our options and chances are for getting tickets?

  • At 7:16 AM , Anonymous Cornman said...

    Why don't you have a badge?
    You can still buy Day Only Badges.

  • At 10:48 PM , Blogger Tim League said...

    I'd get the daytime only badge - opening weekend might be tough for the big films, but the daytime shows should be fine.

    If you are coming

    We've reserved over 500 seats for Zack and Miri, which should be more than enough for everyone who wants to come to that show, so you won't get screwed on that one. The later shows should be pretty evenly distributed, so all regular and VIPs should get in to what they want to see on opening night.

    Thanks for bearing with us on this new system!

  • At 10:39 PM , Anonymous Jette said...

    "We are opening badge pickup for Fantastic Fest 2008 at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, September 17 at the Alamo South Lamar. Badge pickup will be limited to VIP badge holders from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM."

    Wait, does badge pickup start at 5 pm or 6 pm? I'm confused.

  • At 12:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Just curious... for "Zach and Miri Make a Porno", I have a VIP badge but my wife (who found out she would be able to attend only a few months ago) has a normal badge. When I pick up my ticket for a reserved seat at the Paramount is there anyway to secure a ticket for her next to mine? Thanks and we're already uber excited.

  • At 10:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The blog above says that on Wed. night, regular badge holders can pick up their tickets for opening day -- did this only include Zack and Miri? Because that is all I was allowed to pickup last night. If so -- is it 2:15 today that the other tickets will be available? Thanks.

  • At 10:29 AM , Anonymous Slayer said...

    Picked up VIP Badge Wed. around 4:30 and thurs. Tickets. Smooth.

  • At 11:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Why are people being able to pick up multiple sets of tickets??...

    You can't pick up tickets for multiple movies at the same timeslot and decide later. Also, you can't pick up more than one set of tickets, you can only pick up your own. If anyone is caught picking up multiple tickets, their badge will be revoked without refund. One strike and you are out, so don't do it.


  • At 9:10 PM , Blogger David said...

    Do you need tickets to get into the closing night cave party? If so where can I pick them up and how much?


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