The Ultimate Guide To Buying Concert Tickets

Sunday 15 January 2017

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The ticket buying process can be such a stressful thing to do. I always go from pure excitement to utter panic once a tour has been announced. A mix of emotions as nothing can be guaranteed. As I have been to a fair share of concerts, I have slowly become a person my friends would seek assistance from when they're buying their tickets. If you've never bought tickets before or rarely do, it can be an overwhelming experience, so I thought I would put together this guide to help. Seeing live music is one my favourite things to do, so I hope this guide can help you successful buy tickets to see your favourite artists.

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And I mean everything.

Sign up to newsletters from the artist, the ticket sellers, and the venues. They sometimes send presale links and exclusive news through a newsletter and you definitely need to know. You can sometimes predict when an artist is going to announce a tour by knowing if they have released a new album recently; a tour usually follows along with it. If an artist has toured for many years, you can usually see a pattern for when they tour. Though, they can simply just tease you with 'a big announcement coming soon' on social media.


Once the tour has been announced, and you have chosen which dates you're going to, it's time to get to know the venues. If you're going to buy seated tickets, make sure you know the seating plan. Always look for the most detailed plan which includes seats, rows and blocks numbers, and make a note of the areas you would like to sit. This makes it so much easier once it comes to the buying process as you won't be in panic mode trying to scan a seating plan. Each artist can slightly alter the seating plan so make sure you check this first.

Another great thing to know about a venue is their partnering ticket seller. I don't know whether this is true, and it sometimes seems to be the case, but they always have better tickets. Like I said, I don't know if this is true but I am just going by experience. The best way to do this is going directly through the link provided on the venue website.


The last thing to do to prepare is sign-up for the ticket websites. You will more than likely have to log in during the buying process and signing up beforehand is another way of easing that stress. Fill in all the details you can and if possible, your card details too.

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Save the links to all the tickets websites you're going to use as bookmarks. If you're not a fast typer, leave a note on your computer with your name, address, mobile number, email address and bank details so you can copy and paste this straight on to the forms. Make sure you delete this straight after!! I also like to keep a downloaded image of the seating plan on my desktop just incase I need to double check something. Do this on every computer you're planning on using.


If you're lucky enough, your tickets don't go on sale until late afternoon which means you don't need an alarm (well I hope you don't!), but more than likely your tickets will go on sale at 9am so you will need a morning wake up call. Depending on how long it takes you to be fully awake and alert is how early you need to set your alarm. Remember you need to turn on all technology, load all the sites, join waiting rooms (some websites use a waiting room system so check with the venue), and make sure everything is running smoothly.


It's very hard to check and refresh all the websites at once, so if you can, rally in your friends and family. Give each of them a ticket site or two, a list of the area you'd like to sit (if applicable), and a link to this guide. Make sure you have saved the bookmarks and other details as mentioned above. If they can't be in the same house, even better; two sets of the internet, faster searching. Keep in contact using a good old call, not FaceTime. If there is no-one else who can help you, that's okay. Grab every single computer, laptop and tablet and create your own ticket-buying hub in an area of the house with the best internet.

Talking about the internet, oh that good old thing. Please say a prayer the night before to make sure your internet is up, running, and fast. Ask politely to everyone in your house not to use the internet that day, but just in case the internet goes down or is reallllyyyy slow, make sure you have a mobile or tablet that has 3G/4G capabilities.

This is the ultimate guide to buying concert tickets. Thanks @helloaycan!



If you're lucky enough you may have the opportunity to buy through presale. This may be through 02 Priority, a link sent through a newsletter, or a personalised code sent to you after purchasing an item. Presales usually happens 1-2 days before it becomes available to the general public. With presale, they give a limited number of tickets to sell first, this doesn't always mean that they're going to be the best seats, nor does it mean the show will be sold out if all the tickets are gone, so don't worry if you don't get a chance to buy through a presale.


It hits said time and tickets go on sale. You have prepared fully, you're pumped with energy from those 2 cups of coffee you had to wake you up, you refresh the page and nothing.


The site has gone white and nothing is loading. You check non-ticket websites and they're working fine. The ticket website must be down.

Then finally, the site loads with dark webpage saying you'll be redirected soon...


The time has come. You're getting redirected. You click to buy tickets, and then an expression mixed of confusion and sadness appears on your face when there are only 2 tickets left in the top back corner of the arena. How have thousands of tickets sold out in about 5 minutes? These things do happen sometimes, but remember, hundreds of people are all trying to buy the same tickets as you at the same time. Tickets are put in baskets and never brought so are slowly put back into the system. You may have to sit there for quite a few hours waiting for tickets. Some good news though, if a show does sell out really quickly, more than likely they will add another date straight away so don't lose all hope.

n.b Don't refresh the page too much as you may get blocked from the website. This has never happened to me happened to me once. It was a sad day.


Like I mentioned above, hundreds of people are trying to get tickets. If tickets are put into someone's basket, it is saved to them for about 5-10 minutes, after this, it is put back into the system. When it says 'tickets unavailable' it purely means that the tickets are in someone's basket and may or may not be brought. If it says 'sold out' that's when the tickets have gone.

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If the tickets have sold out, don't panic as you may still have a chance. If an extra date isn't added straight away then it may be added weeks after. If you check the artists' tour dates and there are huge gaps between each date, they may have scheduled shows to be added later on. Keep the venue and artists tweets with 'notification on' as it may be a quick thing with tickets going on sale within the hour. It's always good to check the ticket sites every day to see if any more tickets have been added. They can sometimes just randomly show up.

Sadly, some people buy tickets and can no longer attend. There is nothing worse then trying to buy resold tickets at triple the price. Sites such a Twickets resale tickets which are at face value or less, plus added fee to Twickets. You can also tweet asking if anybody has tickets to sell (please be safe when buying this way). These tend to become available nearer the event date.

Another thing I like to do it wait about a week before the show to buy my tickets. Though I don't completely recommend this, waiting until the last minute can result in a great find as any leftover ticket are released. These could be extra tickets for the journalist, the record company, or guests of the artist. Now I'm sure you can imagine, these are pretty great seats. Once the production team start building and putting the set together, they may release more tickets as they have extra space for seats. Like I said, I don't recommend this as it hasn't always worked for me, but I have seen front row seats available 3 hours before the show has started.

Who knew buying concert tickets could be such an artform? I hope this guide will help you get those ticket you really want! If you have any more questions, please ask below. Let me know in the comments below any ticket buying nightmares you've experienced, and your favourite concert you've ever been to.