If you've been trying to book tickets for September's Open House weekend you probably already know that two attempts to release tickets have not gone well. The website experienced so much demand on Thursday that it couldn't cope and bookings were suspended. They hoped to start again on Friday but that didn't happen either. The weekend was spent upgrading and doing frantic testing; bookings re-opened at 12pm yesterday – but traffic was even higher than anticipated, the system fell over again and bookings suspended until further notice.
It looks like Open House is a victim of its own success. So many fantastic buildings are throwing open their doors and, as the years pass, more and more people get to know about it. We know the people at Open City (which is a charity, btw) are putting pressure on their internet provider; understandably, right now they don't want to put a timescale on when the site will be up and running, in case it fails again. Keep an eye on their website, Twitter or sign up for their newsletter to find out when online booking will re-open.
A few hints: the Gherkin can't be pre-booked, so there's no point piling onto the website to try. You'll just have to queue. Other popular spots that are via email ballot only are Heron Tower, Tower 42, and the Lower Lea and ICE Saturday and Sunday boat tours. See the Open House website for where to send your emails. Ian Visits has also updated his list with details of buildings you can't book via the Open House website to hopefully take away a bit of traffic.