What's the best way to buy concert tickets?
August 6, 2005 7:35 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way to buy tickets for a high-demand event as soon as they go on sale? Is there a better way than hitting refresh at ticketmaster? Is buying at an outlet better? Since the number of people going is in flux, does quantity matter? Only relevant Askme thread found here.
posted by rfordh to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Buying at an outlet is not better unless you're first in line. Much, much slower than online.
posted by smackfu at 8:22 PM on August 6, 2005

Buying at an outlet is a better idea. When my buddies and I would go to concerts in high school we had it figured out, at least as best as we could. Everybody else would go to the main and obvious ticket master place and there would be a horrendous lineup or you'd have to camp.

Hudson's used to have a mini-ticket master though. Barely anybody else would think of it, even for insanely popular shows we got quick service and a very small lineup. Of course now you know my secret, you must die.

The only people who routinely did better were the wannabe groupies. When we did do the main ticketmaster thing they'd get escorted inside ahead of the ticketmaster opening time and they'd always be the first one out with a fistful of tickets most likely with sore knees and smudged lipstick.
posted by substrate at 8:42 PM on August 6, 2005

Best luck I ever had involved an accomplice. We both got on the ticketmaster website, the ticketmaster phone line and IM. We used IM to compare notes - the person offered the best selection of seats would buy for all of us.

Her mojo was better than mine, so voila! 2nd row tickets to Eddie Izzard.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:20 PM on August 6, 2005

Best answer: A previous AskMeFi question has been asked with many useful answers:
posted by jmd82 at 9:27 PM on August 6, 2005

Can't imagine that going to an outlet would be faster than going online anymore, that being said I used to do what substrate did back before there was an Internet to satisfy our ticketing needs. I'd dive to the Turtles Records store (this was in GA, circa late 80s) in African American neighborhoods to purchase my Cure, New Order, and Love & Rockets tickets. Always worked like a charm.

Today, your best bet would probably be joining any and every fan club affiliated with your favorite bands. R.E.M. and Wilco make tickets available to fanclub members days before the general public can purchase them. And you'll get great seats, too. When REM & Wilco played the Hollywood Bowl, my wife and I sat in the third row! Sometimes, as in the case of Nickle Creek's Largo shows in LA, being in the fan club is the only way to get advance tickets to a show.
posted by herc at 5:30 AM on August 7, 2005

Best answer: Going to an outlet is a sure-fire way to wait in line for 15 minutes+, only to get to the ticket window to find the event sold out in under 5 minutes.

Ticketmaster's website is fairly quick and easy to use (better be, since they absolutely rape you with fees) and I can offer a few tips

- visit the site well before the tickets go onsale and familiarise yourself with it. Create an account and log into it because this will save you a few steps when the tickets go onsale

- about 5 minutes before the tickets go onsale, go to the site and bookmark the event's access page

- you can't go super crazy hitting refresh because eventually the site will time you out and make you wait 30-60 seconds... for this reason I find the next time most handy

- have two computers side by side, logged in and bookmarked! once you find tickets on the first system, enter all of your information and don't hit the final submit order button. Using the other system, do a new ticket request and then compare seats to see which is better. This works because the system only allows 1-2 minutes for each step and many tickets are released from hold as people, for whatever reason, don't complete their orders.

As mentioned already, sign up for fan clubs at bands official websites. In most cities there are only a handful of promoters doing the majority of the show so search them out and get onto their mailing lists as well. House of Blues www.hob.com and www.hob.ca has a mailing list and often sends out presale passwords. Radio stations are also doing this a lot now.
posted by jeffmik at 8:35 AM on August 7, 2005

Forget the phone. I've had success with it but it was all luck and you don't want to depend on that.

Online works, and is really beating out the little-known ticketmaster booth as the best way of acquring tickets. Previously, it was usually possible to find an out-of-the-way ticketmaster that attracted next to no people, so you were *always* in the first half dozen people in line. You can still do this (unless you're in a town rather than city) but the web makes it mostly unnecessary.
posted by dreamsign at 11:03 AM on August 7, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks, guys. I'll be in the 2nd row of the balcony at the Paramount Theater in Oakland when Sigur Ròs rolls through town. Online turned out to work well enough, but I did coordinate with a friend over the phone to compare seat locations. Google didn't pick up that previous thread (which I even commented in!), so thanks. I knew I had read something somewhere, and lo, it was here.
posted by rfordh at 4:26 PM on August 7, 2005

Another tip for those who find this in the future: they block you from using multiple browser windows using cookies. To get around this, use multiple browser that each have their own sets of cookies. IE and Firefox is the easiest. Multiple installs of Firefox with different profiles if you want to go crazy with it.
posted by smackfu at 1:09 PM on August 8, 2005

Aye, I only found that link because I remember commenting in that thread so had to tread through my previous answers as my google-fu skillz also failed.
posted by jmd82 at 12:42 PM on August 26, 2005

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