By Caroline Klecka

Fear, dread and excitement: regular concertgoers may know what it feels like to experience these emotions on the day of ticket sales. When an artist is popular, or a venue is small, music fans struggle to get the tickets they want due to demand.

With so many ticket resale sites, no concert is completely inaccessible. However, buying a ticket on these sites often means accepting offers at exuberant prices, and having to trust possible scammers. Luckily, musicians and sites like Ticketmaster may have uncovered a method to curb loyal ticket buyers frustration once and for all: presales.

The presale process varies. For most presales, prospective ticket buyers (who get selected) receive a unique code that allows them to buy tickets during the presale. Some artists “hold their own” presales by rewarding their most loyal fans with codes, such as fans who have bought a hard copy of their most recent album or are subscribed to their email list. Some sites work with credit card companies and reward cardholders with presale codes.

Other programs, such as Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, ask prospective fans to sign up for a presale by a certain date to be eligible. Ticketmaster then rewards a select number of fans with “invitations to shop,” aka codes.

While presales may seem complicated, participating in one is often the key to scoring tickets. Here are some tips I’ve collected from my experiences in buying tickets, during presales and regular sales:

  1. Use your personal email to sign up for your favorite artists’ subscriptions ASAP. While constant promotional emails can be annoying, you don’t want to miss an opportunity when signing up is free, takes ten seconds and can lead to future concert tickets for a show that sells out rapidly. Use that random Gmail account you have (bonus: Gmail sorts your emails into different inboxes based on what they’re about) and look out for an email when an artist announces a tour.
  2. Do your research, and actually follow the advice you find.                                Ticketmaster, for example, has an FAQ page for their Verified Fan program. The most common advice I’ve seen: log in to your respective account before the sale so you know your password, make sure you have a credit/debit card and address on file with the site and make sure your devices are charged. Doing these things really will save you that crucial time during a sale. 
  3. Have your concert night planned out.                                                                                   Are you going with someone? Are you buying an extra ticket? How much are you willing to spend? What seats are you willing to select? Make a list of your ideal situation and your minimum requirements. You’ll literally only have seconds to decide this during popular sales. 
  4. Pick your poison.                                                                                                                    Many sites won’t let you attempt to buy tickets from multiple devices at the same time, so don’t waste time trying. Also, don’t use eduroam if you can avoid it. I think that statement is self-explanatory. This leads me to tip #5…
  5. Multiple people, multiple opportunities                                                                       Everyone in your group planning on going to the concert should sign up for presale and be together when it happens. For concerts I’m dying to go to, I’ve even recruited my mom via Facetime to increase my chances. Obviously, the person who can find the most ideal seats during the sale then selects the seats. Thank God for Venmo.
  6. If all else fails, keep on trying.                                                                                                               If you use these tips during a presale, good news, there is still a round of ticket sales left. If you use these tips during a regular sale, well, there are a lot of concerts out there, and as I mentioned before, resale sites still exist. Don’t let one failed experience sway you. Good luck!

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pixabay.

Caroline Klecka is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at

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