Sure-Fire Ways To Buy Tickets to Best-Selling Events

Kate Makulova

May 12, 20167 min read
Best-Selling Events

One of the industry’s most significant search marketing conferences, BrightonSEO, took place only a couple of weeks ago, but the organizers have already announced the next annual conference in Brighton. It will be held on September 2, and if you want to attend it, you’d better start thinking about reserving your ticket now!

We recently told our readers about BrightonSEO and other best-selling events. You can wait for the free ticket to be released on May 16 at 10 a.m. UK time, but you have to be prepared – the last tickets to BrightonSEO sold out in 60 seconds! So, in this post, we collected for you tips and tricks that will help you get tickets to desirable live events. Don’t want to miss an important conference or your favorite concert, festival or show? Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be a lucky ticket holder!

Online Ticket Sellers

The internet has changed our lives drastically. Today we can find absolutely any information we need on the Web and even make purchases without leaving our home. There are various online services that allow people to find events and buy tickets. Here are some of the most popular platforms for ticket sales. Some of them even provide the option of early-bird registration.

This global marketplace was created to help both event organizers and attendees. It’s easy to use, and it enables you to find events in several countries and purchase tickets to diverse live experiences. The platform also allows organizers to accommodate early-bird ticket registration. Usually these tickets are priced lower than standard-price ones. For example, this year BrightonSEO offered both early-bird and full-price tickets; the former were available until the end of January 2016.


Picatic is another online ticketing platform, and Eventbrite’s competitor. However, it serves fewer regional markets.


This is one of the first ticket sales and distribution companies, which today operates in many countries around the world. The Ticketmaster Blog (UK) is owned by Ticketmaster, and it’s a great source of news, catchy facts, popular content, photo galleries, reviews and a lot more.


The is the largest concert search engine, and it helps live music fans easily find tickets to concerts. It also provides information about artists, bands and music venues.

Today these services are widely used, and people all over the world prefer using the internet to purchase tickets, as it’s the simplest and most convenient way. But this also means that those long, snake-shaped lines of people standing in front of the box office have been replaced by online queues.

Presale Tickets

Some event tickets go on sale early to a specific group of attendees. Usually these are fans who have been awarded tickets for their loyalty or membership. During this presale period, they can buy tickets with a special code that they receive. Here’s how you can get these codes:

  • Ticketmaster presales. Sign up to receive emails with special offers from Ticketmaster and choose your favorite performers, artists or venues, so the service can keep you updated and inform you about upcoming presales.
  • Credit card presales. Citi and American Express provide their cardholders with access to concert tickets even before they go on sale for the general public.
  • Fan club presales. Search for your favorite artists’ and bands’ official fan club pages or communities, which sometimes give their members presale access to shows as a reward for their loyalty. But before signing up, read all the details about their membership – some fan clubs and communities have membership fees.
  • As for sporting events, also trying to give their loyal followers early access to tickets. To learn how you can join their email lists, check out their official website.
  • Venue presales. Some music venues also host presales. Sign up to their email lists to keep up with what’s happening on their websites as well as upcoming ticket sales.
  • Radio presales. Some radio stations partner with entertainment and sporting events to give their listeners the chance to buy tickets or win them in a quiz. Visit your favorite radio station’s official website to find out more information about presales.

Sold Out? No Problem!

Nothing is worse than when the presale period to a show you were really looking forward to is over and all the tickets are sold out. Many of us know the immediate feeling of frustration and disappointment after you hit the “refresh” button one more time and you see that you’ve missed out on getting a ticket. Indeed, some of the most popular events sell out within minutes or even seconds. But thanks to several online ticket sellers, nothing can prevent you from attending your desired event. We’ve compiled a list of websites where you can buy tickets to sold-out events.

sold out events

  • One of the most popular online trade marketplaces uses a community-based model and allows fans to sell, buy and trade tickets at face value. Users simply need to sign up and add a new post, whether they want to buy, sell or trade tickets. Gold community members will receive an instant text notification if a new post matches their criteria. Also, users can easily share posts on social media.
  • Ticketmaster Ticket Exchange. This is the official fan-to-fan resale and exchange marketplace of the NBA, NFL, NHL and other sports leagues. It’s the safest place to exchange tickets – seats sold by fans are verified by Ticketmaster. Currently, the service allows you to purchase and sell only tickets to sporting events.
  • Twickets. The UK’s largest ticket trading platform helps those who want to purchase and sell spare tickets at face value or less. In order to protect users from risk, the moderation team checks each ticket and tracks any possible suspicious activity.
  • viagogo. This service provides tickets to various live sporting, music and entertainment events. Visitors have access to tickets using the device, language and currency of their choice. The best thing about viagogo is that it guarantees the security of every transaction on its website. Tickets are delivered via UPS, and prices usually depend on market demand, as tickets are sold at market value.
  • Vivid Seats. Online ticket resale marketplaces are widely used by people who want to sell and buy tickets to sporting events, live concerts and theatre events. Vivid Seats offers a great rewards program for those who attend live events on a regular basis. After you buy tickets to seven different events through its website, you’ll get a free ticket. And this is not the only great offer that Vivid Seats provides.
  • StubHub. This online marketplace owned by eBay is a service for sellers and buyers of tickets to various live events. It guarantees that tickets are legit and can be refunded or replaced if the event is cancelled without the possibility of rescheduling.

Of course these are just a few examples, and there are many other independent ticket sites ticket sites. But as always, make sure that any website where you’re going to make a purchase is reliable and secure. You should check out the company’s history and background. Look at user reviews across online sources, like Trustpilot, Feefo and Best Legit Reviews, which can provide you with useful information about online businesses. It’s best to search for reviews on several websites and check for common themes in the comments. The more you know, the better.

Secondary Ticket Market: How to Avoid Ticket Scalping Scams


So for one reason or another, you can’t purchase tickets on the above-mentioned sources. Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Some may be surprised, but one of the best times to get tickets to best-selling events is actually a few weeks after they’re sold out. For example, some ticket holders may have realized that they can’t go to the concert or show and may want to get rid of their tickets. Don’t miss your chance!

  • Be careful when using social networks. Search for trusted Facebook message boards or groups of musical artists where members exchange tickets to shows. But make sure that the person you’re going to buy a ticket from has a legit profile. Look through his or her Facebook page, check for friends, recent posts and comments. Find out whether or not the page is active and belongs to a real person.
  • Check the ticket. If you’ve found the ticket you’ve been searching for and you want to buy it from a reseller or show-goer, look carefully at the ticket before giving the them your money. Learn how valid tickets should look and check for barcodes. There are special mobile apps that allow you to scan and check tickets with barcodes or QR codes, such as Bakodo.
  • Walk to the venue with the seller. Try to suggest meeting at the venue entrance, or when you meet with the seller, ask him or her to walk with you there. If the person hesitates, it’s better not to risk it.


Did you know that you can attend some events for free? If you want to get there no matter what it takes, you can try to become a volunteer. Many music, art or film festivals around the globe give free tickets and discounts to those who help out. For example, the world’s largest summer festival Glastonbury also relies on volunteers.

Generally they assist with tasks like monitoring the gates, parking lot, etc. In most cases, experience isn’t required; however, some festivals do provide training. Besides the fact that you can attend your favorite live event even if tickets are sold out, this is also a great opportunity to gain a unique insight into how major festivals are organized.


We hope that this post will help you enjoy your favorite live events. But even if you don’t manage to get a ticket, cheer up, there’re so many awesome events to attend! Also, lots of performers will return with a new show, even after they’ve announced their retirement. So, you’re likely to have one more chance.

Author Photo
Kate is the head of event marketing at Semrush. She is responsible for the development and execution of corporate event marketing programs. A traveler and explorer, she loves to build new connections and accept challenges. Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn.