Advice: How To Save Money And Find Cheap Concert Tickets For This Summer

advice-concert-tipEvery summer brings a slew of exciting tours to our favorite local venues, and every summer it gets harder and harder to afford tickets to all of the shows that we want to experience.

Nine Inch Nails and Jane’s Addiction have already announced dates for the “NINJA Tour,” Def Leppard and Poison are sharing a bill with Cheap Trick, and Crüe Fest is back for a second round. Blink-182 has showed recent interest in doing a concert series, as well as Guns N’ Roses, and finally, big corporate sponsored tours like the Mayhem Festival have planned their annual assault on our pockets.

If you buy one ticket to each of the six shows above, you are looking at spending a total of approximately $400.00 just to enter the venue and you are not even guaranteed a good seat. The ticket price usually does not include parking ($10-20) and never includes beer ($7+ each), hotdogs ($5+ each), or a t-shirt ($25+). You can starve yourself to avoid food costs, pregame with your own beer in the parking lot, and skip the t-shirt, but we have zero control over inflated ticket prices and astronomical surcharges.

Here is my proposal on how you can save money this summer and get cheap concert tickets in a totally legitimate, free, and simple manner!

Case Study: Based on data from summer 2008, you do not have to be a slave to the initial price offerings of tickets. If you know which shows to wait on, you can strike excellent discounts as show time nears.

Evidence: On Aug. 8, 2008 the Mayhem Festival and the Stone Temple Pilots played shows on the same date on Long Island in separate venues, Nassau Coliseum and Jones Beach respectively. I did not purchase tickets until two weeks before the shows and I paid only $10 for each ticket without any surcharges.

How? I waited for the promoters to make me an offer. LiveNation was forced to offer an email special to put people in the seats to raise revenue (I also paid $10 to see Poison, and $10 to see Judas Priest and Motörhead).

Why? We are 15 months into an economic recession, 8.1 % of our labor force is now unemployed, and there are no signs of a cushioning to the financial crisis. This means the rock and roll fan has more power and control over ticket prices than ever before. Your patience will pay you this summer.

Ask yourself these three questions when deciding how to allocate your income on summer concert expenses:

  1. Will this concert sell out or come close to selling out when tickets go on sale? (unless you are dealing with a Metallica/Springsteen caliber band or a Led Zeppelin reunion your answer is “NO”)
  2. Would you be willing and able to pay the initial face value? (Real life example: $87.50 ticket + $16.75 ticket fee + 1.50 ticket tax = $105.75 for Def Leppard/Poison at Nikon Jones Beach Stadium 1 through LiveNation)
  3. Will you die if you miss this show?

Answer Key: If you answer “Yes” to all three questions (or 2 out of 3) you should absolutely pay the full price the morning the tickets go on sale. However if you answer “NO” to two out of the three questions, then it is most likely in your best interest to wait on promotions and deep discounts. If half of the venue is unsold as show time comes close they will have no choice.

What you need to do: Make sure you sign up for the free email lists at LiveNation, Ticketmaster, and your local venues. You will be blown away with how much extra dough you will be able save, how many more concerts you will experience, and how much extra beer you can consume through this simple method.

(Note: I am not against paying full price for a ticket to a deserving band or a band that I love. I am against paying overly inflated prices and the additional $20 per ticket to a silly ticket provider, when that money could be better spent on more beer!)

5 Responses to “Advice: How To Save Money And Find Cheap Concert Tickets For This Summer”

  1. bandnerdtx Says:

    Found your blog through Condron.

    Thanks for the advice! I’m hoping to see Def Leppard this summer. I’ve never missed a show in Houston, but I just had to shell out a small fortune for the Jonas Brothers for my daughter. (It was misery. I’m still detoxing.)

    Anyway, I’ll keep your advice in mind!

  2. Thanks for the kind words.

    Ouch…Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana, and other pop flavors of the week will always have tickets at ludicrous prices. The waiting game definitely would not work for them.

    However, for many classic rock and hard rock acts that still try to play venues that are too large for them, the tip works just fine.

    An example I forgot to mention occurred in June 2007. The Nokia Theatre Times Square NY distributed free Ted Nugent tickets to people on their email lists the week of the show because the demand was so poor. It was a very fun time.

    Good Luck!

  3. Kudos to Ben Sisario of the New York Times for writing the article below about the abusive pricing policies and tactics of ticket promoters, sellers, and bands.

  4. Pretty smart post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and needed to mention that I have very enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any manner I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

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