A guide to concert tickets in America

Recently a friend and I were in New York city, because we wanted to go to a concert at the Hammerstein Ballroom. However, we did not have tickets to said concert, because by the time the tickets were released, we weren’t even in America yet. 

That being said, I was not familiar with the way tickets for concerts are sold in America. For most events, one can only get tickets on Ticketmaster. It’s important to try and buy tickets as early as possible, because once they are sold out, people resell them for huge amounts of money. For example: I tried to get a ticket to Jingle Ball 2019 in NYC. Tickets were sold out very fast and a ticket with no view of the stage, that was originally sold for around 50 $, is now being sold for 2,000 $. 

Of course there are always fans that resell the tickets for a very high price. But apparently there is this thing on Ticketmaster called “Platinum Tickets”. For the show I was looking at that meant: these tickets were completely normal tickets. No VIP, no extra good seats, nothing. Just completely normal tickets. But Ticketmaster can set the price according to demand. That means if a lot of people are trying to get tickets for said concert, Ticketmaster will go up with the price. If the tickets aren’t selling well, Ticketmaster will go down with the price. In my case that meant that tickets that were supposed to be $ 89 were suddenly sold for more than $ 300. 

Once the event sells out, you can get so called “Verified Resale Tickets” on Ticketmaster. These are tickets that are being resold by fans. If you buy verified resale tickets on Ticketmaster, you don’t need to worry about them being fake. And here comes the but: These tickets are usually a lot more expensive than they were when the tickets first went on sale. 

Another option is a website called “Stubhub”. On this page too, people can resell their tickets. Stubhub guarantees you that you buy legitimate tickets. Should you really end up with a ticket that is faked, you will get your money back. Although I have only bought a ticket for a concert on Stubhub once, it worked perfectly for me and seems like a trustworthy place to get tickets. 

The most risky of them all: trying to get tickets in front of the venue on the day of the show. There are a lot of shady people in New York City, trying to sell you tickets. Sometimes they sell fake tickets. Sometimes the tickets are legitimate, but highly overpriced. You never know what you get there. If you must buy tickets on the night of the concert, one way to ensure that the tickets are legit is the following: If you’re there with your friend, looking to buy two tickets or more, one of you takes one ticket and tries to go into the venue. The other one stays outside with the money and waits. Once the person is inside, have them give you a call. If they can’t get in, you’ll know that the tickets are not legit and will not have wasted any money yet.

To summarize, always try to buy your ticket as soon as the they go on sale, on a serious and legitimate site like Ticketmaster. If you can’t get any, try Stubhub. Sometimes prices drop the day of the concert, very close to the starting time, but that’s a bit of a gamble, because if it’s a very popular concert they might just rise. 

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