I love going to concerts and festivals just as much as the next guy, but I don’t know how much longer I can afford $40 here, $50 there and then the occasional $200 festival pass. It’s just too much, especially for a student.
I know a lot of people are in the same boat and I’m here to help. You already know you don’t want to miss Bonnaroo or Lolla next year, and once the band list is released you’ll be even more jazzed — or bummed if you don’t have the cash.
So, don’t fret. There are ways to score great deals on concert tickets if you really know what you’re doing.
Buy With Friends
Bigger ticket retailers like Ticketmaster and LiveNation offer a discount for buying tickets in groups of 4. The saving is usually about $10 a ticket, which may not be much, but can add up to big savings in the long run. You’ll have to be organized enough to get together a group of 4, gather the money and pay with someone’s debit card. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, you’ll want to plan ahead. I’ve had too many shows sell out while waiting for Marcus or Tessa to come up with their end of the money.
A lot of festivals need volunteers to either run the operations and grounds or participate in special charity activities. A friend of mine worked at Bonnaroo on building a house and as a result, got full access to the entire festival for free. Additionally, many bands like Arcade Fire run special charity fundraisers throughout the life of their tour and they need volunteers to help keep things afloat. You can find out about these volunteering opportunities by visiting the festival page, venue site or band site to find out more.
Get a Press Badge
Ok, so you may not literally get a badge that says “press”, but you can still get into shows for free by teaming up with some type of blog of local arts newspaper. Look for smaller music blogs in your area and click around until you find a link that says “write for us” or “contact us” or something along those lines. They usually have a list of upcoming shows you can get into for free, write about and then submit. Then, once you’ve proven yourself and surpassed the rank of newbie, you can take your pick of show coverage.
Pay Attention to Facebook and Twitter
Remember when radio stations did call-in giveaways? Those were the days, right? Actually, that may still happen, but who listens to the radio anymore? The newest way to snag free tickets is to follow your favorite bands on Twitter or keep up with their Facebook pages. They’ll have offers for presale, discounts, ticket giveaways, and sometimes give out vouchers for free merch. When you know a band is coming to your town, cyber stalk them a few days before the event and when they offer freebies, pounce.
There you have it — a few easy ways to get into shows! Of course you could always wait outside the venue and pray for a miracle or train under the guidance of a stealth ninja and learn to sneak in, but those chances aren’t looking so solid.