The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-24-2005, 06:20 PM
FodersCat FodersCat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
What's the best way to get front-row tickets for a concert ?

Tickets for a rock concert I would like to attend go on sale next week. I'm trying to get front-row but don't know if my chances are better standing in line several hours before the local Ticketmaster box office (not located at the actual venue where the concert will take place) opens or purchasing them online from Ticketmaster. Any advice from those who have been fortunate enough to get up front?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-24-2005, 07:03 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
I've never been able to get good seats going through ticketmaster online. Even when I buy my tickets the minute they go on sale. You might do better standing in line.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-24-2005, 08:57 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Pepperlandgirl- standing in line doesn't help, either. I was 3rd in line and all the floor seats were already gone!

For front row I would say you probably have to get them from a radio station, or know somebody, or buy them from Ebay (I've actually gotten some great deals through Ebay).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-24-2005, 10:27 PM
Shakes Shakes is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas Tx.
Posts: 10,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by FodersCat
Tickets for a rock concert I would like to attend go on sale next week. I'm trying to get front-row but don't know if my chances are better standing in line several hours before the local Ticketmaster box office (not located at the actual venue where the concert will take place) opens or purchasing them online from Ticketmaster. Any advice from those who have been fortunate enough to get up front?

Thanks!

Former ticket sclaper here.

I'd need to know who it is you want to see first of all.

If they're a big time band. Then I'd say you're best bet is to stand in line while on the phone and see which one gives you the faster service.

Also there is no need to get up at 2 in the morning. Ticketmaster usually hands out "lottery" tickets to everybody in line at around 8:30 or 9. The security gaurd then calls out the number, then whoever has that number will be first in line. Then it goes in order from there. Say like the first number was 8996 then the next person in line would be 8997 and so on.

Lastly and unfortunately, true fans hardly stand a chance because most of the time those "Lottery" tickets I told you about are paid off be ticket sclapers. In other words, ticket scalpers bribe the security gaurds running the lottery to make sure their ticket gets drawn first as with all his buddies he has standing in line for him as well.

Good luck though.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-24-2005, 10:36 PM
Shakes Shakes is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas Tx.
Posts: 10,427
Also forgot to tell you one more trick of the trade.

Go on line everday to check for what they call "special releases" This is where promoters or whoever give back tickets to ticketmaster for whatever reasons. Usually the best opertune time is like the day of or the day before the actual concert. (note they hardly ever announce these special releases on the radio)

I cant tell you how many tickets to SOLD OUT concerts I got front row to. On the day of the concert!

Of course you'll still want to have your tickets before hand. If you get lucky and hit a special release. you can always sell your unwanted tickets to a scalper or whoever.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-24-2005, 10:53 PM
Ruby Ruby is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
So where do all those front row tickets go? When you're 3rd in line at the boxoffice and the floor is already sold out, there's something fishy in Denmark.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:02 PM
Smitty Werbenyeggermanjenson Smitty Werbenyeggermanjenson is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby
So where do all those front row tickets go? When you're 3rd in line at the boxoffice and the floor is already sold out, there's something fishy in Denmark.
They go to the radio stations and other sponsors.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-24-2005, 11:06 PM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Ticketmaster is evil and should be destroyed.

BOYCOTT TICKETMASTER EVENTS!!!!!




Not that that'll work or anything....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:14 AM
Trigonal Planar Trigonal Planar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Hey Shakes, I have a question for you. Suppose I go on TicketMaster and request any seating available and it tells me they're sold out?

Are they truthfully sold out or do they stagger when they release tickets? Similarly, if they claim to be sold out, what other avenues are worth investigating? Is it worth continuing to contact TM to see if something comes available? Or does sold out pretty much always mean I'll have to resort to ebay/scalpers?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-25-2005, 12:33 AM
DMark DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
I have friends who work at Madison Square Garden. They told me front row seat are often never really for sale...at least not when tickets go on sale. They are reserved for the band/show members and potential VIPs. They will, however, go on sale the closer it is to show time if the band/show doesn't use them, or if there are not as many VIPs as they expected. If the show is being taped for television or video it is a different story. Front row seats are given to the blonde chicks with big tits and tiny dresses (sorry, but that is the bare facts) so the band gets a good eyeful and the video shows hot chicks going to see the concert.

Dependind on the venue, I always found front row seats generally suck. The stage is too high so all you see are glimpses of the people on stage. The better seats are at least the 10th row or even a little further back...but even then, because everyone stands up, you won't be in your "seat" as much as standing the entire time...but that is just my humble opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-25-2005, 01:34 AM
Shakes Shakes is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dallas Tx.
Posts: 10,427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigonal Planar
Hey Shakes, I have a question for you. Suppose I go on TicketMaster and request any seating available and it tells me they're sold out?

Are they truthfully sold out or do they stagger when they release tickets? Similarly, if they claim to be sold out, what other avenues are worth investigating? Is it worth continuing to contact TM to see if something comes available? Or does sold out pretty much always mean I'll have to resort to ebay/scalpers?

Yes. It all depends on how big a fan you are and how much time you have to waste. There have been times when I would look up a concert and it would be sold out, then I'd look on there a half hour later then all the sudden there's like 10 seats available. And this can occur at any time of the day. (Durring business hours of course.)

A total last resort if all other avenues fail; is to wait outside the venue for the concert to start. Then approach the ticket scalpers to buy a ticket. They'll be desprate at this point. They may try to take you for a sucker and sell the tickets to you at a bloated price. But more times than not you can usually get the tickets for HALF the price it says on the ticket. (Face value) Now this tatic probably wont get you front row, but hey, you got to see the concert for half price! And the only thing you had to do was miss part of the opening bands act..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:19 AM
tremorviolet tremorviolet is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAKES
If they're a big time band. Then I'd say you're best bet is to stand in line while on the phone and see which one gives you the faster service.

Also there is no need to get up at 2 in the morning. Ticketmaster usually hands out "lottery" tickets to everybody in line at around 8:30 or 9. The security gaurd then calls out the number, then whoever has that number will be first in line. Then it goes in order from there. Say like the first number was 8996 then the next person in line would be 8997 and so on.

Lastly and unfortunately, true fans hardly stand a chance because most of the time those "Lottery" tickets I told you about are paid off be ticket sclapers. In other words, ticket scalpers bribe the security gaurds running the lottery to make sure their ticket gets drawn first as with all his buddies he has standing in line for him as well.
When I managed a record store, I ran a Ticketmaster outlet (in Atlanta, GA). At that time, the only way to get tickets was through the phone or by standing in line. What SHAKES said about the lottery is correct but it was usually me conducting it (at my store) and I don't know of any stores that took bribes. But what some stores would do, is take the first couple of pulls for their employees.

Nowdays, if you have a fast internet connection, just do it at home online. The computers in the store or on the phone aren't going to be any faster than your computer at home and you'll get into the system a lot sooner at home. But, because you have so many people all trying to pull tickets at the same time, it's really a crapshoot as far as what tickets you get. The other problem is that you can't specify wher eyou wanna sit because they're going so fast. A lot of places will sell out the center section first even though there are much closer seats off to the side that you might be happier with.

The tickets that open up late do exist but you have to be relaly lucky to get them. A lot of times they'll be close seats that are way off to the side. They're areas that were originally blocked off because they weren't sure of the stage configuration.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-25-2005, 04:43 PM
Hal Briston Hal Briston is offline
Smart, Hip, Dipstick
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: A nice chunk o' NJ
Posts: 14,052
In my experience, you either have to be really lucky, or ya gotta know someone.

My cousin is the stage manager at Madison Square Garden -- you want to be up front? He's the guy to talk to. Crew, band members, MSG execs -- they're the ones who get first dibs at those primo seats.

If, when they get close to showtime, no one has taken these seats, then they get released to the general public. That's how folks like SHAKES have walked up to the box office and bought front row seats.


Unfortunately, my musical tastes rarely extend to the type of band that plays MSG, so I've not used this particular family hook-up too often.
__________________
Smart. Hip. Dipstick.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-25-2005, 08:54 PM
legalsnugs legalsnugs is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Greenwich, London, UK
Posts: 1,057
Ticketmaster cannot sell any tickets unless they are released by the venue first. Ticketmaster doesn't pick the seats they sell; they just sell whatever the venue tells them is available, usually in blocks, so that TM may sell out, but the venue could release more seats nearer to the date of the event. The venue is in charge, not TM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-25-2005, 10:10 PM
pepperlandgirl pepperlandgirl is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Also, you might have luck at getting fairly decent seats if you join the official fan club. I know that's how I got my Wilco tickets to their "secret" concert in San Diego and I also know that McCartney tickets went on sale early through the fan club.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-26-2005, 12:59 AM
Barbarian Barbarian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Buying front row seats is impossible, since they almost never go on sale. I've only been in the very front of a concert twice. Once I was able to snag VIP tix as a radio/newspaper reviewer, and the second time because I bought a pair of floor seats-- and they were on opposite sides of the aisle! We bitched, and got moved up to third row, where it was very evident that everyone in the first four rows of the floor was a VIP, most of whom had no interest in the musician on stage.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.