Maybe this has happened to you: You get excited about a concert, and make a point of visiting Ticketmaster just as tickets are about to go on sale. You click to purchase on the very moment the sale begins, but you discover moments later that the show is already sold out. You’re crushed, and resign yourself to either not seeing the show or paying through the nose on the secondary market. You curse the heavens, or at least Ticketmaster. You wonder why this happens and how you can avoid getting shut out in the future.
Sad to say, but unless you have some serious connections, there’s really not much you can do to get around this problem without throwing down serious cash. The concert industry is a rather unforgiving market that thrives when high demand coincides with scarcity, and there are many forces competing to either acquire tickets or maximize the profits made off those tickets.
Tickets for hot shows are allotted for various guest lists, credit card presale promotions, and fan club presales before the general sale, and in some cases, a majority of the tickets are long gone before regular fans get a crack at buying tickets. And then you have to contend with scalpers! It’s almost impossible.
To get an idea of exactly how bad this can get, here’s the breakdown of how tickets were distributed for a Justin Bieber concert at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Jan 18: Out of nearly 14,000 available seats for the show, only 1,001 seats were available for purchase when the general sale began on Ticketmaster on May 23. This is fairly common at popular arena gigs, and it happens on a smaller scale for hot shows at theaters and clubs.