How to get (cheap) Concert and Event tickets

So you keep hearing/reading/get told by your friends about all these great concerts and events that London has, but somehow you only hear about them either the day after they happened, or a few days before hand when the tickets are already all sold out.  Then it seems like your only option is something like Seatwave.

Here’s our top tips for getting those all important concert/event tickets

Number One – Signup to the bands/venues emails/newsletters.

A lot of bands, and concert venues these days have “Pre sales” periods, where tickets are available to members before they go on sale to the rest of the “general” public.  Often you might have to use a special code to be able to get access to these tickets, that’s why you need to signup to the newsletters/info.   One of the bigger companies to do this is the O2 down at Greenwich.  If your phone is on the O2 network then often you can access tickets if the show is on at the O2 centre before other people can..  though of course you can look on the internet and just find out what the code is as well.

The other main reason to do this is so you can actually find out when concerts are happening!

A few examples of some of newsletters you could sign up to are, look for the newsletter/information signup sections

The Ticket agencies

The Concert venues

..or the bands themselves

Obviously these are just a few examples, plenty more out there ranging from the Royal Opera House to Ozzy Osbourne to Bestival (the music festival)

Number Two – Make sure you are prepared and ready to buy

By ready to get those tickets!  This means finding out which website(s) will sell the tickets, be registered and having the cash sorted.  Most ticket sales websites need you to register with them for purchase, so it’s a lot better if you do this a few days ahead of time so that when you go to buy the tickets you don’t get stuck having to spend 30 minutes registering and then find the tickets have all gone.  This also may include even with your credit card if paying that way, as a number of places now do the “Trusted by Visa” option (or similar) which means you need to have a password setup on your Credit Card before payment is processed.

You can normally see how much the tickets will cost before they go on sale, ensure you have the cash available in your account as a number of the websites will try to take the cash straight away and if you don’t have the money in your account then no sale.

Also check that if you have friends coming along with you that you know all their details, a number of places will be fine with just selling you the tickets and only need your address for where to post the tickets to.   But there will be some places that to reduce “touting” will require the names, and maybe other details like date of birth/address, etc of all the other people that you are buying tickets for as well.

Number Three – Be there from the start

There’s 60 odd million people in the UK, and a few more in Europe.  So if the band is popular there will probably be a few people who are after tickets to see them perform.  Especially if they are a band that doesn’t perform very often at all (or maybe hasn’t for years)

So if the tickets go on sale at 9am then make sure your ready to buy the tickets from 8.55am, and that you have the right credit or debit card with enough money on it.

So make sure you have followed the point two, are all registered and prepared to buy.  Popular events/bands can sell out that quickly.  Depending on the venue some bands will sell out within an hour easily.

Number Four – Watch out for Promoter “tricks”

It may be that the band is only playing “two” shows in London, however the tickets go on sale and then within an hour or so these two shows are all SOLD OUT.   But then suddenly a few minutes/hours later you see on the ticket site that there are now another three shows happening (and it gets announced as well).

This seems to be happening more and more these days, I believe it’s a bit of a trick by promoters to make the band seem really popular so they can say to the media/papers that the concerts sold out in such a short period of time but they have arranged to add some extra shows due to all the demand.  However I have seen this happen just minutes after the original shows sell out, so I don’t think it’s quite as spontaneous as they might make out.

So if the tickets are all sold out when you try and get them and your there early, then just keep trying every so often and see if some more shows appear.   Obviously this will only really happen with very big popular shows/bands e.g. Prince/Britney Spears…

Number Five -Try eBay or the Gumtree at the last minute

So you haven’t been able to get the tickets when they first come out.   Often tickets here are released months and months in advance. A friend of mine got tickets for a Frankie Boyle show, and he brought the tickets 14 months before the show was due to happen!!

When tickets are first released a lot of people will buy them to then on-sell/”tout” on eBay or other sites.  So you will find the prices for the tickets then at least double or more the actual face value price of the tickets if you try to buy them shortly after they go on sale/sell out.

The way to get around this is to hope/hang on until just before the show actually happens (though obviously this could be many months later!).  A few days before the show/event happens look on places like eBay or the Gumtree, for various reasons a number of people might no longer be able to go and so will be trying to get rid of the tickets.  It could be some of the people that brought the tickets months ago to “tout” but were not able to sell them, obviously if they aren’t going to the show they will want to sell them for any money to get something back.  So you may be able to get the tickets for face value, sometimes even a lot less than that depending on how many people are trying to sell off tickets.

Just make sure that if you do buy tickets close to the event that they can be delivered to you in time!

Good luck with getting tickets to that gig/band that you’ve always wanted to see!

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