When their favorite band comes to town, concert fans can go through a lot to get good seats or simply a ticket. Lots of music fans have strategies to get the best tickets, whether it's getting access to a presale, using the phone instead of a website or waiting to purchase a ticket on the day of the show.
We broke down some tips and tricks for locking down tickets, whether you're a superfan or decide to go at the last minute.
You gotta get tickets and/or the best seat in the house
» Most importantly, stay up to date. Read The World-Herald (we publish a list of tickets on sale every week as well as concert announcements), “like” your favorite artists on Facebook and check listings at favorite venues to keep up with concerts, on-sale dates and ticket prices. If you don't pay attention, you might miss when tickets go on sale. » Join your favorite artist's fan club. Mike Battershell, 36, has sat in the front row or first few rows of quite a few concerts, including Pearl Jam. His friends are members of the band's fan club and entered a lottery. They ended up with great seats: Front row center.
Venues often offer presales to concerts. Signing up for a venue's newsletter or liking their Facebook page may help you get access to the presale.
» Coordinate with others to make sure you get tickets, that is what representatives from CenturyLink Center Omaha recommend, especially for popular concerts that are expected to sell out.
“It can be beneficial to enlist the help of a friend or family member and try all methods online, by phone or at the box office,” said Kristi Andersen, a spokewoman for the Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority, which runs the arena. “This increases your chances of getting a ticket.”
Battershell often works with his friends to lock down tickets, and has since he was in college.
“Before Ticketmaster was online, we had calling circles to get tickets,” he said. “You'd sit in rooms and call and call until you got through.”
Now, they use a few different methods. He was at his computer at 10 a.m. when Black Keys tickets went on sale last year, so was a friend, who he was communicating with by phone. When they each found tickets online, they chose the best set and went with those.
You're A Little Late To The Party
» Unless a show sells out, there are often plenty of tickets for sale from the primary seller such as Ticketmaster, etix, TicketOmaha or the venue.
You may be able to get better seats if you're willing to split up your party. Say you're looking for two seats, there may not be many seat pairs close to the stage, but there may be individual seats that are closer.
» People with extra or unwanted tickets often sell tickets on Craigslist or Facebook for face value. You might find a deal there before heading to a ticket broker.
Warning: If you buy tickets from someone other than the primary ticket seller, be cautious. Take every precaution you can to make sure the tickets are legitimate.
» If you strike out or the concert is sold out, look into a ticket broker. Ticket brokers, also known as ticket resellers, allow ticket holders to sell unwanted or unneeded tickets. Oftentimes, the ticket brokers use a network of individuals to buy up large groups of tickets and the broker will resell them at higher prices and pocket the profits.
Tickets to the sold-out Maroon 5 concert in Omaha in March cost up to $87.40 through Ticketmaster. The lowest-priced ticket on StubHub.com goes for $174. The most expensive tickets are listed at $6,000 for a pair of seats in the seventh row.
Recently, Dylan Albrecht wanted to see Lifehouse at the Whiskey Roadhouse, but the concert sold out quickly. He had to go to ticket broker StubHub and pay more than $75 over face value for a pair of tickets.
“Since we were last minute, that was the only place that would have them,” said Albrecht, 23, of Omaha. “It's not the first time I've gone on StubHub. With bands that are worth my while, I'll pay extra money.”
People like Albrecht, who buys tickets for a lot of concerts, usually turn to ticket brokers when they don't have another choice.
“Clearly, I'd prefer to buy them on Ticketmaster because it's less of a hassle,” he said. “But when there aren't any tickets available, I'll go to other methods to get tickets.”
Wait until the very last minute.
» Some venues release extra tickets the day of or a few days prior to the concert.
» Chas Davis has a completely different approach than most people. He doesn't bother buying tickets in advance. He goes to a lot of concerts by himself and buys a ticket from someone on the street.
“Someone's wife/friend/daughter always gets sick the day of the show and they just want to get rid of the ticket for something,” he said. “This has never failed for me and I've never paid close to face value. Never failed.”
More tips and recommendations
» Buy tickets from the venue to avoid extra fees. The venue doesn't always charge all of the delivery and convenience fees.
» If you want to find out what bands are coming to town and when tickets go on sale, check The World-Herald. Every Thursday, our Ticket Booth column in the GO section and on Omaha.com/music publishes a comprehensive list of concerts with tickets currently on sale or going on sale soon.
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