Rolling Stone magazine has offered up some tips to save yourself some cash when buying concert tickets. Here are five things to consider that might add up to some savings:
1. Buy immediately – or immediately beforehand. Ticket prices are a steep bell curve, with the cheapest rates offered right at the sale start and right before the show itself. Because promoters overestimate the number of seats they hold back, a flood of tickets may hit the market during the hours before a gig. Scalpers also tend to give up in the final stretch, slashing prices on tickets they don’t manage to sell for a profit. (A Jay-Z show in New York City this winter was, in desperation, taken down to as low as $6 a seat.) So if you sleep through the initial on-sale, there’s hope yet; you just have to take the risk of waiting until the last minute.
2. Put yourself on the list. Digital newsletters and subscriptions have made it easier to be in the know about pre-sales and special promotions. Sign up for your favorite artists’ email lists, and set alerts for the moment tickets are available – before sales open up to the general crowd.
3. Look into your wallet. A number of credit card companies including Citi, American Express, and Chase offer concert perks for cardholders. Sometimes it’s early access or special VIP offers to shows; other times, as was the case with Mastercard’s “Mastercard House” week this January with artists like SZA and Dua Lipa in New York City, customers can get into exclusive shows entirely for free.
4. Check social media. The secondhand market on sites like Facebook and Craigslist is overwhelmingly more reasonable in price than websites dedicated to ticket reselling, for the sheer reason that people on social media aren’t doing it for a profit. They tend to be fans who wanted to make it to a show themselves, but, for whatever reason, can’t anymore. Running a search on such sites with simple search terms (“selling Drake ticket,” for instance) plus the date you’re looking for is a good way to score a deal, as long as you can verify the authenticity of the offer.
5. Show up. Ticketmaster’s much-griped-about service charge can sometimes be avoided by purchasing tickets in person, at venues’ box offices. In addition, many venues in the United States reserve a number of tickets for physical sales, so if a show sells out online, it could still be available via the old-fashioned method – perhaps an abhorrence to millennials, but a badge of pride for many older show-goers – of showing up and getting in a queue.