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How to Get Cheap Concert Tickets: A Complete Guide for Beginners

How to Get Cheap Concert Tickets
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updated: June 20, 2024
edited by Maya Dollarhide
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If you tried getting tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, then you probably are familiar with how difficult the process of buying tickets to see your favorite performer can be. Not only are there limited show dates, but also tens of thousands of fans fighting for the best seats in the house. While not every concert causes the same ticket frenzy as Taylor Swift, if you are looking for cheap seats, especially as a new concertgoer, it may feel downright overwhelming. Face value concert tickets (i.e., the cost without any built-in fees) aren’t always expensive. The problem occurs when ticket scalpers find ways to buy up what feels like all the tickets and put them on ticket resale sites for exorbitant amounts of money.

If you are looking for information on how to get cheap concert tickets, I have you covered. As someone who goes to 20+ concerts per year, I’ve provided some tips on how to get concert tickets for cheap, whether you’re trying to see Troye Sivan and Charli XCX on their ‘Sweat’ tour, the iconic Janet Jackson on her ‘Together Again’ tour, or any other headliner on your concert bucket list.

How to get concert tickets cheap

Filter out Ticketmaster’s Premium Platinum seats

For some concerts, Ticketmaster has a select number of “official platinum seats,” which can be expensive. The artist initially sells these types of tickets and advertises them as having “market-based pricing” (meaning they fluctuate in price according to supply and demand). While they say the goal is to give fans fair and safe access to the tickets, in many cases, the tickets cost more than those non-platinum seats.

Find a passcode

Many artists will provide fans with an early-access passcode that reveals the option to select top-notch seats at face value or at a discounted price. Some companies also partner with ticketing websites such as Ticketmaster to provide promotional codes that can help you save a percentage on tickets or browse certain sections that are available at cheaper prices.

Browse ticket resale sites closer to the concert date

Normally we wouldn’t suggest browsing ticket resale sites such as StubHub because individuals can list tickets for prices much higher than face value. That said, as an event comes closer, people become desperate to sell their tickets, which usually means the prices drop. On StubHub, you can purchase tickets right up until the start of the event so it’s best to keep browsing and refreshing in the hour or two prior to showtime to see if prices drop.

StubHub

StubHub

StubHub is a reliable choice for fast resale that protects their buyers when purchasing on their site.

Aside from StubHub, other popular ticket resale sites are SeatGeek and Vivid Seats. These are great places to browse for cheap concert tickets as the event approaches if you’re in a pickle.

Many of the sites also have a feature where you can set an alert to receive a notification when tickets drop to a specific price. This can help if you don’t have time to constantly refresh the page when looking for cheap concert tickets.

Visit the box office

If you don’t have any luck during pre-sale or on resale websites, then you should try the box office at the venue. Many venues hold aside a number of tickets at face value for individuals to purchase on the day of an event. Not only are these tickets usually cheaper, but are also free of convenience fees and other add-ons that come with online platforms. For those interested in trying at the box office, beware that many people stand in line for hours to be there right at opening time. You’ll want to check with your local venue to see what time it opens and plan accordingly.

Look for venues with a lawn

Sometimes you can score a deal if you plan to attend a show at an outdoor venue or amphitheater. Some venues have options to choose lawn seats which generally involve bringing your own chairs and pinning down a spot on your own. As a result, the price of these tickets are cheaper and you can still be in the presence of live music in a more relaxed setting. That said, in many cases, you won’t be covered in the chance of inclement weather and you’ll have to lug around chairs, coolers, and other enhancements to make the experience more enjoyable.

Try buying GA tickets

Many artists have a large number of general admission (GA) tickets available for sale whether that’s for floor access or standing room only. In the case of GA, they are usually sold on a first-come, first serve basis and don’t have specific seat assignments. Most times, they are tickets for spots in a standing room area. If you’re looking to save money, then this could be a feasible solution, however, you may have to wait in line early to secure a good spot and deal with people invading your personal space.

Switch up the number of tickets you’re buying

Sometimes, odd numbers of tickets have better deals than when purchasing four or six tickets. For those looking to attend as a group, try to have each person buy individually or buy in groups of three to find the best deals.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Do concert tickets get cheaper as you get closer?

While there’s no hard and fast rule about concert tickets, historically, they get cheaper as you get closer to the show date. From personal experience, I’ve been able to get floor seats to see popular artists on Ticketmaster and other resale websites for face value or slightly inflated prices.

What does Ticketmaster do with unsold tickets?

Ticketmaster keeps tickets available for purchase until show time. After that, unsold tickets are credited back to your account for personal use, not a refund.

Is it cheaper to get tickets during presale?

It’s not necessarily cheaper to get tickets during presale, but you’ll have an easier time accessing face value tickets that tend to be less expensive. Some artists offer presale codes for their fans to apply when buying concert tickets to reveal exclusive discounts and promotions; however, that usually is sent via email through a fan club membership or can be found on social media.

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