You have various options if you want to buy tickets to see plays, shows, concerts or events. If you want to see a local show then you can, of course, simply pop down to your local theatre and buy tickets at their ticket office. But, this isn’t always easy if you want to see a show elsewhere, if you are pushed for time or if your local theatre sells their tickets a different way.
Going to your local ticket office to buy tickets may be quick and simple. You can pay for your tickets when you’re there and pick them up immediately. You may also be able to choose your seats into the bargain. But, there are other ways to buy tickets as well. These include:
- Online ticket sales -- many theatres and venues now allow you to buy tickets from their online ticket office. You can do this if you live in the next street or miles away. Often here you simply need to go to the venue’s site, choose what you want to see and where you want to sit and then order your tickets. These will then often be posted out to you but you may have to pick them up from the venue if you order tickets close to the actual show date.
Some venues nowadays don’t actually handle their own ticket sales any longer. Many will use a ticket broker to do this for them. Here you just have to log on to the broker’s site or follow a link from the venue’s site to book your tickets. Many people will bypass the venue completely here and will simply go direct to an independent ticket broker to buy the tickets that they need. This can be especially useful if you are trying to get hard to find tickets as brokers may have supplies that other places can’t provide.
- Phone ticket sales -- as an alternative to going to a ticket office or using online sales/ticket brokers, you can often also book tickets over the phone if you prefer. This may involve calling the venue or, if they outsource their ticket sales, you will have to call their chosen ticket broker. Again, you can simply call an independent broker if you prefer.
Buying tickets over the phone is also simple. You just need to tell them what you want to book and when and they will talk you through your options. You pay over the phone by credit or debit card and your tickets will be posted to you or, once again, left for collection at the ticket office or box office at the venue.
Whichever ticket office option you choose you may be asked where you want to sit in the theatre or venue. There are a variety of options here. In basic terms the closer to the stage you are or the better your view of the stage, the more your tickets will cost. Most theatres/venues will offer the following kinds of seating options:
- Stalls -- the stalls are the seats on the ground floor of the theatre that lead out in rows from the stage. In some theatres the stalls will be on an incline to help you see wherever you sit (i.e. the front seats are at a lower level than those behind them). In other cases all stalls seats may be on the same level.
- Circles -- some theatres have one circle whilst others have more than one. So, for example, a theatre may have a dress circle and an upper circle. Circle seats are at a different level to the stalls and you’ll often have to use stairs/lifts to reach them. These seats are sometimes referred to as balcony seats because the circle itself sticks out over the stalls like a balcony.
- Boxes -- many theatres and venues will also allow you to buy seats in boxes. These are usually found at a circle type of level and are small areas of seating that are divided up into boxes. This is kind of liking sitting in a little room or compartment of your own. In some cases you will have to take tickets for all the box seats, in others you may be allowed to share with other people.
You’ll generally find that the ticket office that you use will either show you a seating plan or talk you through your options. Most theatre seats are numbered nowadays -- you are supposed to sit in the seats that you buy. So, you will usually be shown/told what is available and you’ll be able to make a choice from there