Concert ticket prices can be outrageous. Here’s how to get them for less

The Toronto Star spoke with financial expert Kelly Ho about the outrageous price of concert tickets —but with a little planning — and luck — you can scoop them up at a discount.

Tickets to see your favourite performer live can cost an arm and leg. In Toronto, people are willing to shell out $740.02 for their dream concert, a budget that includes the ticket price, accommodation and transportation, per recent data from, an online gaming authority.

Scalpers have made the issue worse by scooping up hundreds of tickets at a time to resell them at outrageous prices. Are there ways to see your dream performer at a fair price, or a better price, or even at all?

“I buy my tickets through presales because they’re cheaper than buying them during on-sale or resale,” says Ashan Mahendran, a concert enthusiast based in Pickering.

There are even some credit cards that avid concertgoers can look into, explains Kelly Ho, certified financial planner at DLD Financial Group. American Express cardholders, for instance, can get Front Of The Line access, which allows them to purchase presale and reserved tickets for select entertainment events, including big-ticket concerts.

Mahendran has also had great luck scoring cheaper tickets for shows through social media, especially at the last minute. “I bought tickets to Beyoncé about two hours before she came out,” says Mahendran. “I paid just $160, whereas, on Ticketmaster, they were reselling for over $220.”

And in January, Mahendran was able to get a last-minute VIP ticket from someone on Twitter to see Suki Waterhouse for $50 instead of $200.

If you’re using social media to find concert tickets, just make sure you ask for a screenshot or screen recording of their ticket, Mahendran recommends. With a reported rise in concert ticket scams, he adds that it also doesn’t hurt to ask for proof of ID.

While tickets are usually the priciest part of going to a concert, other costs can quickly add up.

“If the concert’s your main thing, then you may need to make concessions about food, drinks and those types of things,” says Ho.

If you’re coming from out of town for a concert, Ho suggests booking a hotel or accommodation a bit farther from the venue itself. “Sometimes it helps to just maybe stay a little bit further and commute in.”

Food costs can also catch your budget off-guard. Ho recommends eating before the concert at a location a distance from the venue, where menu prices tend to be cheaper. She also recommends checking out shows that may be happening if you’re travelling.

“If you’re planning on going away anyway, maybe work your concert around your getaway,” she says.

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Published August 20, 2023