Beat the touts: seven secrets of getting tickets

How to get tickets to see your favourite stars without paying a fortune

Updated: 
Teenage Cancer Trust - Royal Albert Hall

If you want to see your favourite acts perform live, you may need very deep pockets. When stars like Lady Gaga and Ed Sheeran put their tickets up for sale, they are snapped up in a matter of minutes, leaving fans with the choice between paying through the nose for second hand tickets, or missing out altogether.

See also: Ed Sheeran joins stars in call for boycott of 'emotional blackmail' ticket sites

See also: Ticket touts face unlimited fines in crackdown on resale websites

See also: Is it ever OK for an adult to get a child's ticket?


If you want to save your cash - and still see the stars - then it pays to learn the seven secrets of buying tickets without a tout.

1. Join the fan club
In almost every instance, this will mean you find out about tours and tickets well before anyone else. In some cases it also means you are eligible to buy tickets before they go on general release - vastly improving your chances of getting one at face value.

2. Sign up to ticketing websites
Sites like Ticketmaster will offer priority booking, and will remind you when it's time to buy tickets. They all also allow you to register your details in advance, which will make the process of buying tickets on the day more straightforward.

3. Get an O2 phone
This doesn't have to be a contract, it can be a pay-as-you go phone, which you only ever use to access free wi-fi. All you need to do is download the O2 priority app and you will get access to tickets at O2 venues up to 72 hours before they go on general release. In some venues you also get special treatment at the venue and a priority lounge.

4. Don't forget Amazon Prime
Prime members have access to a tickets portal now, which offers early access to tickets - 24 hours before they go on general release. The idea is that these are VIP tickets, so you get premium seating options and access to a lounge. In return you will pay more for your ticket, but this isn't always the kind of money that breaks the bank - so it's well worth checking.

5. Be patient
Constantly switching browsers or refreshing the page when you're trying to buy hot tickets will actually make it less likely that you get them. Waiting patiently in the queue may be difficult, but if you set aside an hour or so to buy, your patience may pay off.

6. Be flexible about travel
There are always some venues that sell out first, so if you skip those and focus on a regional show mid-week, then you stand a much better chance of getting tickets. If you're a massive fan, and your favourite acts are playing in another country where they are less well-known, you could even consider a short break to see them.

7. Check for other events
If you miss their tour, there may still be a chance to see them live. Keep an eye on festival line-ups, and special events. This doesn't just mean the big, expensive festivals, but smaller and cheaper events too. The Forestry Commission, for example, puts on a number of concerts in woodlands around the UK during the summer. This year at the time of writing you could still get tickets for Clean Bandit and Craig David - and some performances by Elbow.


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