Everyone and their nan are announcing a tour right now which means there's a lot of ticket buying to be done. We all know the stress, the panicked group chats, the dilemma of refresh or not refresh, the nervous countdown...it feels like life or death.
But then there are some people who just seem to get it, always managing to bag the most sought-after seats. They know all the tips and tricks and stay calm throughout, from the first click to purchase.
Talking to our resident ticket wizards, we got the best bits of advice from Gigwise’s top tickets buyers.
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Make the most of pre-sales
The main nightmare of ticket buying comes from the big General Sale Friday rush. It may seem obvious, but the best way to avoid getting caught amongst the horde of eager ticket buyers is to make the most of any pre-sale opportunities and limit the number of people you're up against. For example, a lot bands and artists will often run their own pre-sale for anyone who pre-orders their latest album on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the general release, and then a lot of venues will then also do their own pre-sale on the subsequent Thursday.
Also if you're with O2 or at least know a friend who is, you can get O2 Priority for all their academy and O2 arena gigs. So if you can, rather than have a single shot with a less optimistic outlook, sign up for as many as pre-sales as possible, and then you'll have 2/3 chances at winning the ticket lottery at better odds. (Karl Blakesley)
Get them even when you should be doing something else
Isn’t it always the case that tickets go on sale right when you’ve got an important meeting or you’re supposed to be paying attention in class? Seriously, releasing tickets at 10am on a weekday doesn’t work for anyone. But there’s still hope, and it is possible to grab tickets and make it seem like you’re paying attention.
If you’ve got a laptop in front of you, or you’re working on Zoom, no problem. Even when gigs are announced with no warning, you can still make it look like you’re working hard as you desperately try and get all of your payment details in before the timer runs out. But we’re not all in that position. If you’re just working with your phone, preparation is key. Have all of the necessary apps downloaded, keep your payment details handy and make sure you know your Ticketmaster password ahead of time. And don’t forget to look up and nod every so often, so people don’t suspect that you’re actually in an online fight with thousands of teenagers for Harry Styles tickets instead of focusing on an important presentation.
If things start to get stressful—the website crashes, seats aren’t available, your mate isn’t responding to your panicked texts—then you might want to excuse yourself, if you can. Pretend to take a call, head to the bathroom, whatever it takes to find a quiet space where you can really focus. After all, it’s been a rough couple of years: you deserve these tickets. (Vicky Greer)
Buy directly from the source
Another easy sounding one, but the first rule of ticket-buying is to make sure you buy from the right source. Being hasty could seriously cost you: resellers may purposely pose as the official ticket distributor and list non-existent tickets, or even refuse to offer refunds. That’s all on top of charging a hefty percentage over the original face value of the ticket!
Don’t Google search ‘tickets’: follow the links that the artist or venue (or Gigwise!) provides on their respective websites. Common primary ticket outlets include Ticketmaster, Dice, and Eventbrite. Resist the urge to purchase re-sale tickets: they might not be worth all the trouble. (Alex Rigotti)
Maybe ditch your friends
It’s tempting to gather a bunch of people and all try to attack Ticketmaster at once, but honestly, it might be better to go it alone. While it does limit your strength in numbers, it’s a lot easier to just check the thing done if you’re on your own, cutting down all the time spent liaising with friends to make sure you’re not getting too many or too little.
Plan in advance, nominate your best ticket buyer and then go at it. Get all the need-to-know info like how many tickets do you need, standing or seated, gather the budgets and then head to the sales site with no need for any extra faff. (Lucy Harbron)
Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.