Help me get the concert ticket I've always wanted.
May 2, 2012 1:09 PM   Subscribe

What strategy should I employ to be most likely to get tickets to see Elizabeth Fraser at this year's Meltdown Festival?

As perhaps you might know, Elizabeth Fraser will be performing two nights this August at the Royal Festival Hall at the behest of Antony out of Antony and the Johnsons.

It is slightly embarrassing to relate that, at the age of nearly fifty, this is probably the ticket I need to get more than any other in my life. I am actually anxious about this. I am working under the assumption that the number of people who feel similarly is greater than twice the capacity of the Royal Festival Hall.

I mean, this is Elizabeth Fraser, for goodness' sake. Number one on my list of Five Voices I Must Hear Live Before I Die, and the one I thought I'd never get a chance to experience.

Tickets go on sale to South Bank Centre members on Tuesday at noon, and for non-members on Thursday at the same time. I have become a member. So I have that going for me.

According to the SBC site, there are three ways to buy tickets:
Online at
» By calling our Ticket Office on 0844 847 9944
» In person at Royal Festival Hall ticket office

Which of these methods is most likely to give me the satisfaction that I, God damn it, deserve? After all, the website might crash, the telephone might be engaged and the queue might be half-way to Greenwich. I wouldn't want to be stuck in the wrong place.

Anyone who has knowledge and insight into the specifics and idiosyncrasies of buying a hot ticket at the RFH or similar institution, please tell me what to do.
posted by Grangousier to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't comment on that venue specifically, but generally you're going to have a fairly limited number of staff relatively slowly processing in person sales, so your best bets are going to be phone and internet. Why not try both if you're desperate. Once one order goes through (probably internet), you can stop the other.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:27 PM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: Be on the website when tickets go live, refreshing so you can get an order in as fast as possible. At the same time be on the phone line. If possible, recruit friends to try and buy you a ticket as well (although you will need good communication so you don't accidentally buy too many).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:38 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If it was me* I would probably go for all three. I'd cajole someone into going to the RFH with me, and while in line one of us would call and the other would be trying online. Thus maximizing chances of getting a ticket in one way or another.

Sweet fancy Moses I wish it was me! You have to go and enjoy it for those of us nowhere near London, dammit!
posted by grapesaresour at 1:39 PM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: I second being online and either being on the phone or having a spouse or friend be on the phone at the same time. When my husband and I did this for a particular show a couple of years ago, my online seats were in the back and his were fairly good. There was a limit of two tickets per household for that sale, so I quickly contacted the vendor and explained that we had both purchased tickets by mistake, but we want to keep *this* pair, please don't penalize us! The person on the phone was very understanding and threw our duplicate tickets back into the "for sale" pile, so we were never charged.

Don't forget to check the performer's and venue's websites for presales!
posted by Occula at 2:16 PM on May 2, 2012

Best answer: If you decide to buy online, there's an add-on for Firefox called Check for Change (maybe Check4Change?). You can install it and have it set to chime when a page changes. It'll check however often you set it, as often as every 5 seconds. I've used it successfully twice to buy Radiohead tickets in big cities. Set it up about half an hour before the sale is set to start, and it'll let you know as soon as the tickets go on sale, and you won't have to keep hitting refresh. (I found it via, thought I should pass it on!) And yes, definitely sign up for both the performer and venue mailing lists (and maybe their facebook and twitter) so you can find out about presales.
posted by min at 6:23 PM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you all - I got the tickets. The RFH servers and phone lines appropriately melted down as I feared, but eventually, after much fruitless reloading, a lot of re-dials and enough childish whining on Twitter that I ought to be ashamed of myself and probably am, I got through to a very nice human being who sold me two tickets, near the front over to the right. I was considerably more emotionally invested in this than a man of my years and circumference has any right to be.

I really ought to have been in the queue with my laptop and phone, but never mind. That's what I'll do if Scott Walker ever decides to perform again.
posted by Grangousier at 1:32 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

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