Get me to the gig!

 As a music blogger, it is no surprise that I love music. Its also no surprise that one of my favourite things to do is to go to a show. I love the intimacy from small venues and I love the volume of fans coming together at arenas and festivals. All in all watching a live show is an experience I enjoy reliving over and over, again and again.
 Music for me is a part of life, it’s everywhere you turn, in the good and in the bad. For me it’s also an escape. Music can give you hope, support or even make you feel things you didn’t know you could feel. So when you go to a show, reliving those things whilst listening to them live is just amazing. But also the intimate interaction of all shows itself if phenomenal, as the band/artist is vulnerable in that singular moment. And by vulnerable I mean any emotions they feel or hold within a song is often brought back within each performance. So living that experience with fans watching your every move can be an exhilarating yet terrifying experience. So knowing that, that band or artist is feeling that way in front of you alongside the emotions it brings for you, is simply breathtaking. And it’s all of those things mixed up in one giant bowl that makes watching shows such an important thing for me.
 Now unfortunately attending these shows can be difficult due to getting hold of tickets. Yes if you miss the ticket sale date and it’s for an artist like Beyonce then you are likely to have missed out altogether as the tickets have sold out. If it’s for a band like Outlander (a band local to Birmingham, UK) then you may miss the ticket sale because you weren’t aware of the show or you’re not from the town they’re playing. But then there’s dodgy tickets. Dodgy tickets are the bane of my life! They ruin so much for so many people and to be honest it’s a crime that needs to be over with already.
 So dodgy tickets, or professionally know as illegitimate tickets, are out there and unfortunately a lot of people get sold them. Illegitimate tickets can be anything from; fake tickets that have been made up the ticket seller, fake tickets that are copies or a legitimate ticket (resulting in a group of individuals all having the same ticket ID number), or even real tickets that have been sold in an illegitimate manner resulting in the new ticket holder spending a lot of money on the purchase and receipt of the ticket.
 So i’ve decided with the knowledge i’ve collected over the years from purchasing and even selling tickets (I can confirm that I have only even sold legitimately), that I would try to provide some tips on how to purchase legitimate tickets. I would like to point out before you continue reading however, that these are solely my tips and not a step by step guide on how to purchase tickets. I would also like to add that I have never been unfortunate enough to purchase an illegitimate ticket, and I solely believe that’s down to the fact I am a massive worry head and only use the steps and sites that I will mention below.
Ticket purchasing –
 Firstly, you need to know who’s touring, who’s coming to your country/town and well when! You can keep track of this by using any of the following;
  • Official page of the band/artist
  • – i’ve used this site
  • Official social media sites of the band/artist (Facebook/Instagram/Twitter) – i’m not going to lie, I am a serial follower of bands/artist both unsigned and signed.
  • Being signed up to marketing with ticket providers i.e. Ticketmaster – I get emails from Ticketmaster constantly about shows, yes I’ll admit at times it’s annoying but I’d never unsubscribe
  • Being a member of O2 Priority
Checking sites like these will ensure you are constantly updated around the music scene in terms of touring. It also allows you to plan in advance any tours you want to go to before tickets are released on sale, informs you of any pre-sales and in terms of festivals it can keep you up to date on announcements and payment plans. The one year I went to the Reading Fest I utilised a payment plan which gave me a certain amount of time to gather my funds rather than paying upfront, which was so helpful as I was a college student receiving £20 pocket from my parents, whilst being introduced to the world of clubbing. So as you can imagine that was the perfect way for me to be able to afford to go, as I was able to save so much each month and socialise with my friends who were all turning 18 too (shout out to my parents for putting up with me moaning I had no money during this time, you beautiful people).
 Secondly, you need to ask yourself the following questions;
  • Who do I want to see? – Drake, Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters or even Little Mix?
  • Where do I want to see them? – My home town or do I want to travel?
  • Do I want to sit or stand? – Do I want to dance? Could I really last in a moshpit?
  • How much is my overall limit? – Can I afford to see them and travel? How much are my bills this month?
  • Can I make it that day? – Have I got holiday allowance left at work? Do I have an exam the next day? Is it a school night?
Now these questions may seem really obvious, but for me there are the most important items to address before even looking at ticket sites. These questions are important because if you want to go and see someone who’s only doing arena tours and you live in a small village, there’s a high chance you will be travelling to see them.
 After you’ve answered those questions the next thing to do is look at ticket providers. Now I personally use direct links from the venues (if they’re smaller venues such as O2 Academy’s) or Ticketmaster. Now unfortunately the sites I am gonna list are mainly United Kingdom venue orientated, but if you do know any legitimate sites for other countries please feel free to leave them in the comments box, as I am all about sharing the knowledge! 🙂
So the sites best to use (again my opinion) are the following;
  • Ticketmaster – I use this website nearly every time I purchase online
  • Ticketweb
  • Gigantic
  • AXS
  • Ticket Factory – I have used
  • Links direct from the official pages of the band/artist – I have also used this opinion as lets face it the band/artist isn’t going to promote dodgy tickets, they want their fans there.
  • Direct link from the venue – O2 Academy/ O2 institute will often have a direct link to the ticket sales provider from their website. You click ‘Buy’ and it takes you there. This is also another way I have personally bought tickets.
Now using these sites, you can also check the availability and work out how quickly shows are selling out. You can also check the seating plan of the arena, which is handy as if you are buying seating tickets you need to know what seats you are purchasing for the night.
Finally, when purchasing your ticket it is worth purchasing the ticket security you will be offered. This is usually only an additional couple of pounds and is definitely worth it! It means if you don’t receive your ticket you are covered, if your ticket is damage in the delivery you are covered. Trust me it’s so worth paying that extra for. Then once you’ve purchased your ticket ensure you screenshot your confirmation screen and that you’ve received an email with the receipt on. It may sound excessive but having that proof is vital.
How to identify “dodgy” tickets?
 Big give away for me is always the pricing of the ticket! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. These are usually the tickets that have been made or are copies. However, sometimes they can be genuine, for example someone has bought tickets to a gig to go with their partner and unfortunately they’ve broke up and the buyer no longer wants them and doesn’t care for them. So after purchasing them for £40 each, they sell them for £40 as a pair. There are times when that is the case, however i’d be very vigilant with this and ask as many questions as possible regardless of how annoying you may sound.
Another big give away is when a ticket provider site randomly crashes (usually right after tickets first go on sale), suddenly the tickets are sold out and random tickets start appearing for cheap or even way too expensive prices. These are key signs of ticket targeting (as its direct at those desperate to go to the show). Now these tickets are legitimate in the sense of they are the actual tickets, however they are illegitimate as the seller may not actually possess them and has simply obtained information about them via a hacking scam. Or they are illegitimate in that the way they were purchased to be resold was not done legally.
 Good ways of spotting these are the following;
  • Extremely high prices
  • Ticket sale starts hours after all other sites
  • The site hasn’t been published on the venue’s site
  • You haven’t heard of that ticket sales provider before
  • Do research on them- if you find chats/reviews and they state dodgy activity or bad past experience, I really recommend you don’t use them.
  • If an individual seller, and they refuse to communicate with you
How to stay up to date or be knowledgeable in this area;
  • Check the news – The Guardian newspaper reports on this, Coldplay and YouMeAtSix are highly involved with bettering the experience for fans in regards to purchasing tickets. They have wrote open letters to the government and even set up petitions. All of which you can find and even sign the petition (I have).
  • Research legislations
  • Research the law – Metropolitan police have released a document that is available online for the public to read.
  • Check social medias, read blogs, speak to friends and family – I’m pretty sure you will know or at least follow someone who is interested in this, and if you just bring it up in conversation you could be updated a lot around it. You may even discover you know someone (either directly or of them through common friends) who has been subject to a dodgy ticket sale and they can advise which site to not use.

But seriously check the news, simply Googling “illegitimate ticket sales” will bring up news report after news report. Google search “Josh You Me At Six” and that brings up tonnes more, I mean he has even personally sold tickets in a shoe retailer in London he is that passionate about it.
 Now in all seriousness, I hope that this post brings some help and even some light to the subject of dodgy tickets. I will however end this post with this;
 When buying tickets, keep yourself in your thoughts. If you have been or unfortunately do become a victim to an illegitimate ticket sale, please remember don’t blame the band/artist and don’t tarnish the legitimate ticket sale sites with the same brush. They don’t like it as much as you don’t.
 Also, to those who have been a victim, I can only send my condolences and support to you! And to let you know that I have the upmost respect for you to go out and continue to buy tickets to support the music world xo
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post filled with my opinions and thoughts. I honestly means more than you could imagine!
If you’d like to leave any feedback or comments, please do so in the comments box below.
Thank you,
Leanne xo
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