Cheaper ways to go to concerts and gigs

Updated on 18 June 2015

Whatever music you're into, seeing your favourite acts live can be expensive. Here’s how to do it for less.

Get a gig subscription

There’s a growing range of gig subscription services that could help you see unlimited live music for a set price each month.

First up there’s US import Jukely, which allows you to get into a different gig every night for a monthly fee.

The firm gets allocations of tickets from partners for certain shows, covering everything from breakthrough artists playing at smaller venues to bigger names doing arena tours.

New shows are added up to two days in advance, which means you’ll have to have a loose schedule to take advantage. Previous shows have included Kiesza, Chromeo, Interpol, Jon Hopkins, Erasure and Skrillex.

You can try Jukely free for seven days. Thereafter Unlimited membership costs £25 a month, which gets you a pass for a show every day or there’s the Unlimited Plus for £45 a month, which gives you and a plus one access. 

Unfortunately at the moment it only covers gigs in London.

Alternatively there’s Showmango, which also allows you to go to unlimited music events in London for a monthly fee.

You can try Showmango free for a month. Thereafter there’s the choice of Green membership, which costs £9 a month and gets you into basic events where ticket prices are under £10 or Blue membership, which costs £25 a month and includes access to all events including more premium shows.

Get tickets before everyone else

We’ve all been there. Tickets for your favourite act go on sale, only to sell out within seconds. Soon after you spot them being resold online at hugely inflated prices.

But there are ways to beat the queues and in some cases get priority access.

O2 Priority allows O2 mobile customers exclusive access to tickets for some of the biggest shows across the UK before they go on general release.

American Express Invites works in the same way. It allows American Express cardholders to enjoy access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public. It also gives members access to reserved tickets it holds for some of the most sought after shows.

But if you’re not an O2 or American Express customer there are still other ways to beat the queues.

Sign up for newsletters

To stay up to date on the latest ticket releases sign up to newsletters from the major ticket agencies like Ticketmaster, Seetickets and Ticketline to ensure you know exactly when tickets go on sale.

Join the fan club

If your favourite act has a fan club it may be worth joining as they often tell members about tour dates first and give them priority access to tickets when they’re released.

Follow your favourite acts

To get the latest news on tours and gigs you should really follow them on Facebook and Twitter. That way you’ll be the first to know when tickets are released and may even get priority access.

Beat the booking fees

It’s pretty difficult to find face value concert or gig tickets online. Agencies slap on booking fees, service charges and some even have the cheek to charge you for printing your tickets at home!

Here’s how to beat them.

Go direct to the box office

You can avoid booking and postage fees imposed by online ticket sites like Ticketmaster and Seetickets by heading directly to the venue to purchase your tickets instead.

Most big music venues and stadiums have a box office where you can buy directly or over the phone and it’s also a way to try and find tickets which may have sold out online.

Compare prices between agents

If you can’t buy direct from the venue you could still save by comparing prices between ticket agencies.

Take a look at the fees charged by three or four agents in order to see if you can get a better deal. Many big venues will direct you to Ticketmaster or Seetickets but have a look at Ticketline and Star Green.

Become a venue member

Some venues offer membership schemes, which can save you money on your tickets.

Members of the Southbank Centre in London for example get priority booking, member’s only events and pay no booking fee on tickets. Membership costs £65 a year, which is around £5.40 a month.

Check out all ticket options

Depending on the venue you may get the choice of standing or seated tickets so you should double check if there’s a price difference.

It can vary depending on the act and venue but in general standing tickets tend to be cheaper as do seats with obscured views. But if you don’t mind you can save.

Wait patiently

Tickets for certain acts sell out pretty fast. But you shouldn’t panic and rush to buy whatever second-hand sellers are asking.

By biding your time the act may release more tickets or new dates, especially if they’ve got sell out shows. Plus as the date nears people with spare tickets will just want to get rid of them and may be more flexible on the price.

Use Facebook and Twitter

Keep an eye out for friends and family trying to sell tickets on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter.

They might have a scheduling conflict or have a spare ticket going so are unlikely to charge you over the odds for it. In fact some may be willing to charge you less than what they paid.

Volunteer at festivals

Festivals can cost hundreds of pounds to go to, but you can save if you are willing to volunteer.

Major summer festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Bestival need volunteers to help out in the bars and with stewarding. This will involve shifts of work but you’ll also get some free time to enjoy the music. can help you find places at over 30 festivals. There is a £15 admin fee and £20 deposit, which you get back after completing your placement.

Enter competitions

You may be able to win tickets to gigs and concerts.

Radio shows, newspapers and magazines often have some up for grabs for listeners and readers.

So keep your ears and eyes peeled for offers around the date of the show to see how you could take part and get to see your favourite acts for free.

Shop second-hand

If you’ve missed out on tickets, but you desperately want to go to the show, you can try your luck on the second-hand market.

Ticket exchanges like Stubhub or Ticketmaster companies like Seatwave and  GetMeIn allow fans to sell their unwanted tickets. You should also check out Gumtree and eBay for last-minute ticket offers.

Just remember to stick to what you want to pay for them and don’t give in to hugely inflated prices by touts. As the event nears sellers may be willing to sell their ticket at face value or below.

More on saving and making money

Free festivals and events for summer 2015

Cheapest and best music streaming platforms

From Netflix to NOW TV: the cheapest way to watch films


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © All rights reserved.