One Direction’s cancelled Belfast gig and hosting high traffic websites

A cancelled gig, tears, uncertainly... the last thing One Direction fans needed was being unable to get the information they needed.

Posted on 21 October 2015 - Hosting
Tibus BY Tibus

If there’s one thing guaranteed to test a piece of digital infrastructure to its extremes, it is subjecting it to the wrath of One Direction fans. The boyband’s followers are famously many in number, fiercely loyal and thirsty for any information about their idols.

So, when 1D were forced to cancel a gig in Belfast last night, fans and ticket-holders were desperate for information on singer Liam Payne’s illness - which had caused the postponement - as well as news on whether two further concerts this week would be able to go ahead.

Here at Tibus, we found ourselves right in the eye of this particular storm. We host the website of the SSE Arena, in Belfast, where the One Direction gigs are taking place.

We’re pleased to report that the website stood up to even the considerable demands of 1D’s army of supporters descending on it. So, when a statement was released earlier today confirming the two remaining dates would go ahead and that the cancelled gig had been rearranged, the SSE Arena’s customers could access that information immediately and smoothly.

Unfortunately, other websites of companies involved in the gig -whicy we don’t host - didn’t fare quite so well, becoming unavailable when faced with similar traffic spikes.

How we kept the SSE Arena website available for 1D fans

The truth is that there was no great firefighting operation to cope with the huge demand on the SEE Arena website over the last 24 hours. Instead, all the correct measures were put in place during the planning phase of the website’s hosting structure.

We knew at that stage that we would be hosting a busy, high profile website that is prone to big flash crowds. And it was clear that the website would come under most strain during major booking or ticket announcements and around the time of cancellations and postponements.

The site's hosting set-up to be scalable, so that it can cope with these periods of high demand at very short notice. It is no use having a website that is configured to cope with an average day - it has to be ready to deal with best or worst case scenarios, when customers most need to access the website.

We regularly test the SSE Arena website by simulating these high traffic conditions, so we knew it was up to the job long before Liam started feeling unwell. The site came through this ultimate real-world test with flying colours and will now scale back down to its usual configuration once word spreads that everyone gets to see 1D after all.

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