Concert tickets have been skyrocketing lately, with the average price for a ticket on resale site SeatGeek jumping from $125 in 2019 to $252 in 2023.
For the cost-conscious, this can make it seem like attending live concerts and other events is out of reach. But there are things you can do to score free or greatly discounted tickets.
Here are 15 simple solutions to help you keep more money in your wallet without missing your favorite shows.
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Pay with credit card points
If you have one of the top credit cards for rewards, you may be able to use points to cover the total ticket price for concerts or other events.
Many people use this approach to land discounts on things such as travel. If you save up applicable credit card points until your favorite artist comes to town, you might be able to use those points to pay for tickets or at least shave off some dollars from the total price.
Become a seat filler
Sometimes, show promoters need to fill seats at events if a show is undersold or if they're just looking to make a venue look packed. You can become a seat filler by signing up for a monthly membership with a site such as SeatStir.
For $9.50 a month at SeatStir, you can choose which events you want to attend and land tickets to whatever interests you. Your choices will be based on what SeatStir has available, of course.
Enter radio or social media contests
Sometimes, concert promoters give away tickets through radio contests or social media. Hopefuls can listen to local radio stations and call in or enter online to win tickets.
To win through social media, consider following some local venues and your favorite artists and keep tabs on concert giveaways.
Check out Groupon
Groupon members can score discounts for all sorts of events — from ticket packages to concerts to discounted sports tickets and admission to theme parks.
While it won’t be free, vigilant members who keep their eyes peeled for great deals can score significant discounts.
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Volunteer at events
You may be able to score free entry to a concert or event by volunteering to help organizers. This could mean selling merchandise at a booth, helping with crowd control, and other tasks.
Check a venue or festival’s website to see which volunteer positions are available.
Start a local music blog
Gain free access to concerts and other events by starting a blog and requesting press access.
This will probably work better if your blog covers a niche market, as you likely won’t score free access to a high-demand event like Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.
However, you might be invited to see bands trying to make a name for themselves in your local scene.
Work a security gig
Working security at a concert, event, or festival is another way to get free entry. Plus, you’ll be paid for your time.
Of course, you will be working the event, so you may not be able to fully enjoy it as a spectator. However, this is an option if your goal is simply to gain free entry and enjoy the music.
Take advantage of employee benefits
Sometimes, employers offer benefits that include free tickets to local concerts, sporting events, shows, and more.
If you’re unsure exactly what your job offers, check with human resources to see if the company has any deals with local venues.
Check resale apps for day-of discounts
On the day of an event, people who have tickets they can’t use may sell them at a significant discount, hoping to get any cash they can.
If you can deal with the anxiety of waiting until the day of a concert to nab your tickets, you may be rewarded with some serious discounts.
Check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace
People who suddenly cannot attend an event may opt to list their tickets on a site such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Such tickets often are available at a significant discount. If you're lucky, you might even get them for free. Keep an eye out for deals on concerts, events, and plenty of other items.
Work as a photographer
Photography is another side hustle that can double as a way to land free access to concerts. If you have some skill with a camera and a solid portfolio, local news outlets might hire you as a freelancer to cover events, including live music.
Musicians and venues might also need photographers to snap photos at certain events. So, making local connections is a great way to earn free access.
Become a rentable friend
It may seem a bit unconventional, but some people who buy concert tickets and don’t have anyone to go with may turn to a service such as RentAFriend.com.
This site lets people rent friends for a variety of purposes. You can sign up to be a rentable friend and make it clear in your profile that attending local shows is something you love doing.
Work at a venue
Getting a side job at a venue is another way to land free event tickets. We’ve already discussed working security, but venues need plenty of other staff — from retail workers to ushers who help people find their seats.
You may not get the best view of the concert while you work, but it will get you in the door. And you’ll make extra cash in the process.
As with radio and social media contests, this one requires a commitment to finding the right contests to enter and a bit of luck.
Websites like Sweepstakes Fanatics list contests and giveaways such as free access to concerts, sporting events, and more.
Become a freelance entertainment writer
If you’re not interested in starting your own blog, you might be able to get press access to events by freelancing for a newspaper, website, or someone else’s blog.
For some, freelance writing is a great way to make extra money. And if you have the writing chops and can make some connections, freelance writing can land you free access to plenty of events.
It may seem like attending concerts is a luxury those on a budget simply can’t afford these days.
However, with careful planning and flexibility — like a willingness to work an event or wait until the last minute to nab tickets — you can still enjoy your favorite shows and stay ahead financially.