So you want to buy Adele tickets. I’d wish you good luck but you’re going to need way more then that to successfully secure seats to one of the most in-demand shows of 2016.
I don’t want to buy Adele tickets — I respect her and think that she’s very talented but she’s just not my thing — so I have no issues with passing along some ticket-buying advice that I’ve accumulated over my decade-long career in the music industry. Maybe it’ll help one of you secure seats to what I’m sure will be an excellent show.
- Get in on the presales but don’t count on them
The public sale date for all four of Adele’s Toronto dates is Thursday, December 17 at 10 am. However, it sounds like there will be at least one presale, through her website, on Wednesday, December 16. I suspect that LiveNation/Ticketmaster will also have its own presale, possibly separate ones for its website and its app, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another presale or two lined up for Wednesday. If you need Adele tickets, you need to track down details on these presales and participate in as many of them as possible. Be prepared to be disappointed; presales generally consist of fewer than 10 per cent of available tickets. Still, going after presale seats is worth the effort since the number of fans you’re competing against for tickets will be lower and people might be a bit fussier on their seating location since they still have another shot at tickets (presales, particularly when they’re offered directly by the artist, also seem to bring out the entitlement in fans and that can lead to perfectly good seats being returned to the availability pool because they aren’t up to a hardcore fan’s front-row-only standard).
- Have everything ready, ideally on multiple devices
Regardless of whether you’re trying your luck in a presale or a public sale, make sure that you are logged in and ready to buy tickets several minutes before the on-sale time (if tickets go on sale at 10 am, be set-up prior to 9:55 am). This includes pre-entering your credit card details and any other info, already having a seating chart open and, if you’re buying tickets for friends, having an agreed upon plan. Also have your physical credit card with you, in case you’re asked for the card verification code on the back. Purchasing tickets from a desktop/laptop is still your “safest” route but also log into your accounts via any other devices you can get your hands on, including your phone. Ecommerce sites and apps have come a long way and while they aren’t perfect, many a successful ticket purchase has been made on one. Bonus hint: Be sure to try for tickets on Live Nation’s app. It generally gets its own allotment of tickets and because it’s an app, fewer people use it than the main Live Nation/Ticketmaster website. This adds up to less competition for tickets.
- Keep trying & respect the clock
So you clicked on the “Buy tickets” button and were told that none are available; wait, it’s not over yet! Keep trying again and again and again. Here’s why: Someone a bit luckier just “reserved” a pair of tickets. While these tickets are no longer in the buying pool for the moment, they aren’t yet purchased and that means that they could end up back on sale, where you, patient one, could scoop them up. There are many reasons why fans successfully grab tickets but then don’t complete the transaction including: they don’t like the seating location, a friend got better seats and technical errors. There are also timing-out errors, which are a big factor on Ticketmaster.ca, where each step has its own time allocation. Someone secures a pair of tickets but doesn’t watch the clock and, after a few minutes, those tickets end up back in the buying pool, where you’ll hopefully snap them up. If you do get them, make sure to check out ASAP so that you don’t also end up losing them.
- And keep trying some more
Okay, it’s been over an hour and you’re still getting a sold-out message. Time to give up? Yes, but just temporarily. Every concert, from one booked at the Drake Underground to these four Adele shows, has a numbers of seats held back from the initial sale. Known as “holds,” these tickets cover everything from the artist’s complimentary tickets to the venue’s emergency seats to those held back by the promoter for direct sale to employees and VIPs. I don’t know how many holds have been placed on Adele’s four October dates but I’d be shocked if the number wasn’t over a 1,000 tickets. Yes, that’s a lot of tickets but most of them will end up being sold, maybe even to you. Holds are usually held until closer to the show date, with any outstanding holds released just prior to show time. If you’re ever after tickets to a sold-out show, repeatedly revisit the event’s on-sale page starting at around 72 hours prior to show time and up until the evening of the show (you can even try your luck at the box office on show night). Artist holds often aren’t released until the day of the show (sometimes only hours before show time) so that can result in some amazing seats being made available last minute. For really popular shows, like these Adele dates, the pressure is usually on to reduce holds early and quickly. Because of that, it’s smart to periodically check the on-sale pages starting next week, just in case something becomes available earlier than usual.
- Good luck!
Not a hint, just my best wishes, as it’s always best when true fans are able to secure tickets at face value.