Garth Brooks sold out at the Calgary Stampede in 1 minute. Paul McCartney’s two performances in Edmonton sold out even faster. All the media likes to do in the days and weeks after these lightening-quick sellout’s is to talk about how sad everybody who didn’t get tickets is. Misery loves company, and drives ratings/readership/sales I guess.
The story I wish I would read, hear, see in the days that follow these ticket fiascos is one that helps, assists, informs. I spoke with an intelligent industry-type the other day who gave me three practical pieces of advice for getting tickets to big concerts.
1. get an account. get familiar.
Too many consumers log onto ticketmaster.ca at 9:57 am on the day that tickets go on sale, only to realize that you need an account! Or, they have an account but don’t know how to navigate to the correct page to “click” on what they want to buy. His advice was to have an account already set up, and sniff around the webpage you plan on buying from in advance. Treat it like a virtual stakeout.
2. click, reduce, click again; and try odd numbers
If the maximum amount of tickets you can buy for a show is 8-try buying less. EVERYBODY wants 8 tickets to McCartney or Brooks. Ask for 2 or 4. This, I’m told, will increase your chances. And perhaps the best bit of insider information I was told is to consider an odd number. Why? Well, the corner sections of lots of arenas (Rexall included) have an odd number of seats. So after all the 2’s, 4’s, and 6’s have been sold…there will be lots of 3’s or 5’s left. Try an odd number, even if it means you have to sell one ticket later.
3. join the fan club
“But I’m fill-in-the-blank-artist’s biggest fan!” Screams everybody who didn’t get into Garth Brooks or Paul McCartney. You are? Really? Are you a member of their fan club? Because fan club members very often get to purchase tickets before the general public. Most of these clubs cost a few bucks to sign up , sure; but you’re guaranteed tickets.
I’m not downplaying the pain thousands felt this past summer in Calgary regarding Garth Brooks, or dismissing the anguish on the face of every baby-boomer in Alberta who didn’t get Sir Paul seats. And I’m certainly not defending any ticket outlets. All I hope to do here is remind you that there are tactics you can use to better your chances at the shows you want to see.