Theaters, concert halls and other venues are gradually returning to something akin to normal service after months of Covid shutdowns and disruption.
If you’re looking to get your dose of drama, live music, or comedy and don’t mind the prospect of sitting in a full capacity venue, here are 10 tips for finding a good deal.
Subscribe to our email alerts
Get on the mailing list of as many ticketing agencies, theater newsletters, and alerts as possible, as they often contain details about discounts, offers, and flash sales.
Vouchers include ATG Tickets and LOVEtheatre (both part of the Ambassador Theater Group), Ticketmaster, See Tickets, Nimax Theaters, Official London Theater and London Theater Direct.
If you are worried about all that extra traffic going to your inbox, it can be helpful to create an email account specifically for this purpose.
Enjoy the youth
Many theaters are desperate to attract new audiences and provide great programming for children and young people. If you are between 16 and 25, you can get Â£ 5 tickets to Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) shows in Stratford-upon-Avon and other venues, while at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, tickets for under 30s cost just Â£ 7.
The London-based English National Opera offers a variety of programs, including free tickets for 16-20 year olds and discounts for 21-34 year olds.
At the National Theater in London, 16-18 year olds can access tickets for Â£ 5, while 19-25s it is Â£ 10.
Likewise, London’s Almeida Theater – which will soon host one of this year’s most anticipated shows, The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring four-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan – will allow those who are 25 or older less than buying a Â£ 5 ticket for any production. . Check the reservation page on your local theater’s website.
Accept your age
You can also find discounts for seniors, although there are often restrictions – for example, this may only be for midweek mornings. Often times there will be a concession rate for a number of categories including, say, the over 60s. Among those offering decent discounts is the RSC, which offers over 65s a 20% discount on tickets to selected performances.
Watch out for lotteries
Most of the big West End shows have ticket lotteries. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theater has one with Â£ 25 tickets available for each performance (there is a weekly draw), while Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theater is running a lottery with the possibility of ” buy up to two tickets for Â£ 10 each.
To be spontaneous
Disney’s Daytime Seating Program grants you access to Â£ 20 tickets to West End shows such as the Frozen musical at the Theater Royal Drury Lane and The Lion King at the Lyceum. You can purchase a maximum of two tickets for the day’s show. They go on sale online at 10am and if you’re lucky you can get a good deal.
During this time, several theaters operate “secret seats”. For example, the Rose Theater in Kingston upon Thames lets you book up to four unreserved tickets, priced at Â£ 10 each, and you’ll know where you’re sitting that day.
The Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh has a similar program and the Young Vic in London has Lucky Tickets for Â£ 10.
See if your work offers offers
Several programs offer free tickets, or big discounts, to people such as emergency service personnel and military personnel.
Tickets for Troops provide free access to theater performances, concerts and other events to members of the armed forces.
ATG Tickets is offering 25% off a long list of shows across the UK for ‘local heroes’ such as teachers, social workers, prison guards, the military and ‘blue light professionals’ “.
Some individual theaters, including the Stephen Joseph Theater in Scarborough and Almeida in London, also offer discounts.
Look for acts organizing free concerts for NHS workers. Liam Gallagher hosted one in London in August, and Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are hosting one at the capital’s Wembley Arena on October 13.
Get the TodayTix and Stagedoor apps
If you are going to the theater in London, TodayTix is ââa must. It sells tickets to dozens of West End and fringe shows, with savings of 50% or even 70% and more, which is not uncommon.
It often has 24 hour deals where you can get tickets to big shows for as low as Â£ 15, and gives people access to heavily discounted ‘peak’ tickets, which are similar to day seats.
The rival Stagedoor app also has decent specials on a number of shows in London.
Take advantage of dynamic pricing
Dynamic airline-style pricing, where the cost of a ticket changes based on demand, is used by many ticketing agencies. Prices can jump but also, they will sometimes fall at the last minute.
If you’ve got your eye on a show, check the ticketing site (s) a day or two before a performance, and then from around 10am the same day.
Sometimes bargains will pop up – unsold day seats, for example, or house seats originally reserved for guests.
Join a club
A number of services are quietly offering cheap or even free tickets to shows, concerts and other events, often at short notice – it’s about filling empty seats and creating a buzz. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll usually receive regular emails. One of the best for theater shows and concerts is ShowFilmFirst. Others include My Box Office (currently charging an annual fee of Â£ 7.50), The Audience Club (Â£ 5 donation to charity required), Central Tickets and Play by Play UK. These services typically require members to remain silent about how they got their tickets.
Individual theaters also offer annual subscriptions which unlock cheaper tickets. The Royal Court Theater in London has just increased the cost of its annual âFriendsâ membership. It starts at Â£ 40 (that’s that price if you’re 30 or under, 65 or over, or want to sign up with auto-renew) and it’s a good deal because it lets you book the best ones Home advance seats for all of its major productions on Monday evenings for Â£ 12 a time.
Membership in RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon costs Â£ 50 and is popular with many for its benefits, including priority booking and free seat upgrades.
Bet on cheap seats
This is where you buy the cheapest tickets for a show that sells slowly, usually in the upper circle or on the balcony. On a quiet night, the theater may close them and move you to more expensive seats downstairs.