Being a concert fiend feels like a rich man’s hobby. To get a good view of the band and experience artists like Beyonce and Ed Sheeran while they’re still releasing chart-toppers, you’ll have to shell out at least $200 each time for a live show.
Concerts that sell out within 10 minutes are even pricier to get into. We feel you. After all, it’s not everyday that you get to see U2 jamming live in Singapore. The line-up for early 2020 has us pretty excited already – Bon Iver, Green Day, Pentatonix, among several anticipated tours.
So, here’s an idea. Instead of choosing between emptying out your bank account and settling for second-hand experiences through shaky recordings on YouTube, try these tricks to score more affordable concert tickets in Singapore. You might even get them for free.
1. Participate in giveaways
Follow every music brand, lifestyle publication, concert promoter, radio station, and personality on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look out for potential contests and giveaways when a concert is around the corner. You could also join Facebook groups such as Singapore Giveaways that alert you when there’s a freebie to be won. Granted, you’ll have to sift through a number of them to find what you’re looking for.
Alternatively, enter the name of the concert, along with “Singapore”, “giveaway, contest or free tickets” and the current year, into the Facebook search bar and start hunting for open entries.
As for radio contests, you’ll have to put in a lot more effort to tune in, and wait for your cue to spam call its hotline. With a little bit of luck, tenacity and creativity, you just might walk away with a free ticket or two.
2. Become a concert reviewer
Are you good with words? Channel your love for music into a personal blog, specialising in concert reviews and other music-related articles. You’ll have to start out with paying for your own tickets, but once you’ve amassed a good number of followers — say, at least 1,000 readers — you should be able to start approaching concert promoters and asking for free concert review passes.
If that sounds too arduous a feat, you could just write in to an existing magazine (for instance, Bandwagon, Spin Or Bin Music, Popspoken, Juice, or Youth.SG) as a freelance gig reviewer.
Try your luck at a smaller sites like Spin Or Bin Music first, if you’re new to the publishing scene. For those who’ve got the chops, this might be your ticket to a lifetime of free shows.
3. Sign up as a volunteer usher
Concert venues are always in need of volunteer ushers. The larger the venue the more hands on deck required. While this means you won’t have to pay to get into the concert, you might not be able to fully enjoy the show either, considering that you’ll technically be working. Mid-way assisting someone to the restroom, your childhood pop idol might have pulled a stunt that you’ll never get to go back in time to witness. Still, it’s a price you’d be willing to pay for a $200 saving.
4. Schmooze with the right people to get on the guest list
Without stooping to the level of being shallow, try to make as many friends as you can with the folks in the local music scene. Musicians and bands of a certain calibre, in particular, are more likely to serve as openers for international names and indie outfits. Let’s say one of your newfound friends happens to be opening for a band you’ve been looking to catch. You could sweet talk your way into convincing them to put you on their guest list and enter the concert grounds for free.
5. Rally your friends
Certain concert promoters may offer bundle promotions, where you buy more for less. This is the time to rally your friends and form a group to share the bundle with. No one from your social circle shares your music taste? Head to online fan pages and Facebook groups, and find strangers to share the bulk purchase with. Another way to get a cheaper ticket through friends is to ask if any of them are selling theirs. Hopefully, your friendship is strong enough to justify a lower resale price.
6. Subscribe to mailing lists for early bird deals
Go on a mass email subscription spree, and sign up to receive newsletters from every festival, band, concert promoter, and ticketing outlet imaginable. This way, you’ll be the first to know when there’s an early bird offer, instead of being one of the bozos who missed out on the chance to save a few bucks.
7. Go overseas
Some headliners aren’t into lingering in Asia for too long, and thus make Singapore their one and only stop in the region. Others might embark on a longer tour, hopping from Singapore to Malaysia to Thailand and the Philippines. Much like making the journey to Johor Bahru for cheaper food, this strategy involves researching how much it costs to travel to a neighbouring country (whether by flight or a coach) and purchase a ticket to a major concert, as opposed to watching it in Singapore. You’d be surprised by how much you could save, thanks to the different values of different currencies.
8. Wait till the last minute to buy tickets from scalpers
There will always be scalpers trying to earn a quick buck by buying highly coveted tickets to major concerts and selling them at a profit. It gets rather ludicrous for sold-out shows, where a $300 ticket becomes 10 times more expensive. The trick here is to wait. If it’s a day or a few hours before the start of the concert and the scalpers on Carousell haven’t found a way to sell their tickets, they’ll start lowering their prices and forgo the idea of making a profit. If you’re lucky or persuasive enough, you might land yourself a massive discount.
9. Look out for credit card discounts
Certain credit cards offer priority booking for select concerts. Others, such as the UOB YOLO and the OCBC Arts credit card grant you rebates on event ticket purchases. The former, for instance, comes with up to 8% cashback on entertainment-related transactions, which includes ticketing outlets. The latter offers 3x OCBC$ for SISTIC purchases. OCBC credit cardholders also get 3% rebates on tickets for events at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and National Stadium, among others.
By Marie Cheng
Marie is a self-diagnosed cheapskate, who once went dumpster diving and returned with a luggage of free loot. Nothing excites her more than stumbling upon vintage gems with wholesale price tags at the flea market.