I pride myself on getting the best seats I can when going to see musicals, plays, and concerts. And I do a pretty good job if I do say so myself, so I am sharing my process and tips for getting your perfect seats for your next event.
Determine what the perfect seat is for you
There is no objectively perfect seat anywhere. A seat could be amazing for one person and terrible for another, so you really need to determine what your definition of a perfect seat is.
For myself, the best seats are centered to the stage, or at the very least you can see the whole stage from where you are sat. I don’t necessarily like to be close to the stage either so I’m never choosing front-row seats for anything, even concerts. For theatre, I do want to be close enough to see them emote, but I also want to see the big picture. Thankfully concerts have screens that will show us the artist up close, so I then care about seeing the full production at work.
Things to consider when determining your perfect seat are:
- Sight lines (Can you see the whole stage? Do you care if you can? Do you care about obstructions?)
- Comfort (Leg room is a big one for this)
- Proximity (Do you want to be close to the stage?)
Your idea of a perfect seat can change depending on the event or location, so be flexible with your wants and needs and learn your preferences with more experience.
Understand Your Budget
Knowing how much you can afford and how much you want to spend is vital before booking basically anything, especially since there is a difference between the two. I like to look consider how much the seating area I want will cost and determine whether or not that price is really worth it for the experience. I am more inclined to spend more money on the perfect seats for something I am really looking forward to seeing as opposed to something that I have a less personal attachment to. A real-world example of this is when I was buying tickets to see Hamilton compared to buying tickets to see The Lion King. I was definitely not going to pay Hamilton ticket prices for seats to The Lion King, and I still got great seats regardless. Also, having an idea of how much you could likely spend will help you avoid sticker shock, plus you can filter out seats out of your price range if staying within your budget is your top priority.
Pre-Register If Possible
Registering for pre-sales has been helpful for me when buying concert tickets especially. Pre-sales let you in a day or so earlier to get first dibs on tickets. Even if your artist is in high demand, it is better to be registered and put on a waitlist than not to be at all and risk your preferred date to be sold out or no public sale at all (as was the case for the Agust D concerts occurring in May). I’ve used fan registration for presales for Stray Kids and got awesome seats, and was put on the waitlist for Tomorrow x Together and managed to get into the queue and got good seats as well.
Now if you are looking for a theatre-equivalent to fan presale, your best options are to either get season passes or at least register for the theatre’s newsletters so you get notified the moment tickets are on sale. I’m registered to Broadway in Hollywood’s newsletter for this very purpose. I’ve also done a mini package season pass that got me four shows where I could choose my own seats. You can get nice deals with season passes and packages if you intend to see a lot of the shows for that organization’s season.
I’ve even gotten early access to buying tickets based on other affiliations I have. This was the case for buying tickets for The Lion King since I am affiliated with Disney’s fan club D23. It doesn’t hurt to see if you have a similar perk with something you are a part of.
If there are absolutely no pre-sale opportunities, definitely try and buy early once tickets go on sale. The closer to the event it is, the harder it will be to get the best seats. You can still find some great seats later on and buying resale, but you could also pay much more than you could have buying early.
Check A View From My Seat
I love using A View From My Seat to get a picture (literally) of what my view could be from different areas of a theater or arena. It is crowdsourced, so audience members at specific events will share what their view was like. Even if the photos shared are of a different event from yours, they can still be really helpful. No joke every time I am buying tickets for a show, I am checking A View From My Seat. And check ahead of time so you can get a good idea of what areas you want to aim for when it’s time to buy. This is especially important when trying to get tickets for a highly sought-after experience like concerts. If you already know where you want to sit, you can zero in on it once the ticket buying comes and get through faster.
Have Multiple Options
When looking for the best seats for a given experience, I give myself a range. If you narrow it down too much, the likelihood you won’t get those seats is higher. I like to give myself a few sections and a chunk of rows that will be good and aim for that. For example, when looking for the best seats for the Agust D concert at the Kia Forum, I found the top sections that would be good and even rated them as first choice, second choice, and third choice. Then I highlighted the rows in those sections as top choices versus second choice rows. This is admittedly much more detailed than I usually do because I was having a friend get our tickets while I was out of the country, but this process is what I do for any event with ticketed seating. Having options and knowing what they are ahead of time makes grabbing seats much quicker when the time comes.
I hope that by using these tips you are able to get the best seats to your next event and have a blast!
Do you have any ticket-buying tips? Share them in the comments!
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