College students are notorious for having fun and being broke. Doing both at the same time is never easy. The SALT™ Blog is here to help by offering tips and tricks that can help you still experience all your favorite activities without spending too much cash. First up: concerts.
Do you like going to concerts? Of course. I love music. Just watched the Grammys and loved it.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to? Springsteen in 2005.
The worst? John Mayer in 2010. No, wait—Third Eye Blind last year.
The weirdest? Akon. Yeah, definitely Akon.
Most excited to see in the future? Don’t even get me started.
If you’re anything like me (I like to think that you are), you can answer all of these questions too.
Every concert is an experience. I’ve seen everyone from Brad Paisley to Nelly (that’s quite the Venn diagram) and quite a few in between. Each one is an everlasting memory, no matter how good or bad. Every time you hear a song afterward, you can instantly recall when and where you saw it live.
Unfortunately, thanks to music piracy and single song purchases (instead of buying full albums in the old days; sorry if I just made anyone feel old), concerts now make up such a huge portion of the artist’s revenue that prices have skyrocketed.
Sometimes it can seem like too much (sorry, Mumford & Sons, but I ain’t paying $175 to barely be able to see you). But I know some ways that you can watch your favorite artists “break a leg” without breaking the bank. Here are a few.
Patience, My Friends
If you’ve ever taken any economics course, you know about supply and demand. The supply of tickets to a concert won’t change (it;s just how many people can get in). But the demand will.
The day tickets go on sale, or even a while after that, everyone who really wants one will pay top dollar. But there comes a time when the prices start to fall. Maybe people realize they can’t go. Maybe they bought too many from the start. Whatever the reason is, people start selling tickets for much less.
I generally wait until the show is less than 2 weeks away before buying. It’s like waiting and scalping a ticket outside, except it’s legal. Even if the show is sold out, this still works. I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining. I saw Young the Giant and Foster the People with tickets bought at the last minute. (Just checking off bands with “Blank the blank”-style names.)
Now, the key to the tip above is the use of secondhand ticket sites. You’ve heard of StubHub (I hope), but a truly great deal only comes from scouring multiple sources. There’s Vivid Seats, Tickets Now, Go Tickets, and about 500 others.
Just Google the band/artist you want to see and the name of the venue and look for the best price. Be sure, however, to factor in any service charge that each site may have. You want to compare final prices. I got tickets to the Brad Paisley concert I mentioned above on the day of the show for a great price.
After you’ve got tickets, don’t forget that other big expense—parking. Some venues charge as much as $40. There are quite a few ways around this big price.
First, simply by carpooling you can drive your cost way down. 40 bucks seems a lot cheaper when you split it 6 ways. Thanks to the Internet, this has gotten a lot easier. Post to Facebook or Twitter and ask if anyone wants to share a ride.
Second: Public transportation! Find a train or bus that heads to your venue and save money on parking without paying big fees for a cab.
Lastly, you can always have a friend drive you and pick you up. If the parking is $30, offer your buddy $15 to be your chauffeur for the night. Isn’t that what friends are for?
How do you find deals on tickets? Share with us!