Let’s be honest: being a theatregoer certainly isn’t the most affordable hobby in the world, particularly as a disabled young person. Whilst there ARE affordable shows and tickets out there these days (which quite frankly is a blessing), we mustn’t skirt around the fact that the stagey life can leave you rather out of pocket.
Whilst I’m no Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert, over time I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that help make my savings go further. I should probably point out that I’m putting my blogging/reviewing shenanigans aside here, where I receive complementary press tickets in return for reviews: only the shows I choose to spend my own hard-earned cash on. Here’s four of my best tips for finding affordable theatre tickets to help you get started…
Student/ Young Person Schemes
The humble Student Discount is a glorious thing, and not only for the free McDonalds burgers. If you’re a student and booking tickets at your local theatre, it’s always worth double checking if there’s a discount for you: we all know how important it is to save those precious pennies for the Lambrini and Supernoodles. Believe me, been there.
My most often visited regional theatres happen to be very student friendly: York Theatre Royal offer concessionary tickets for students, Grand Opera House York* often run discounted ticket schemes for teens and young adults, and Sheffield Theatres have an AMAZING scheme called Live For Five. Tickets for upcoming performances are released to 16-26 year olds for only £5, and you can even get a plus one who doesn’t have to fall within this age range. Enquire with your local theatre or have a look on their website to see if there are any schemes or savings you could be taking advantage of: it’s always worth following their social media for any additional offers too.
Online Ticketing Platforms
Even just for the sake of convenience, online ticketing platforms are an utter blessing. You can book what you want, when you want, in a matter of clicks, and if you’re smart about it you can make some huge savings too. Particular favourites of mine include Encore Tickets* and Theatre Tickets Direct* who regularly run sales, offers and discounts alongside already low prices, however one thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of existing platforms are primarily focussed on London and the West End.
So that’s where Triple 7 Events comes in. Fellow Northerners rejoice: instead of focussing only on the London theatre scene, Triple 7 Events are working on adding affordable event tickets for regions all over the country. Users can buy, re-sell and even create and manage their own events on the platform, and there’s no cheeky hidden costs to worry about either. Naturally I gravitated towards their theatre and dance categories, but you can book tickets for all kinds of local events and attractions too. Group Flamingo Land excursion, anybody?
Access and Carer Schemes
And here we have what in my eyes is one of the best disability perks ever: concessionary tickets for carers. If like me you do tend to need a companion when going to see a show, most venues will have an Access line which you can call to book. Often you’ll receive a free or discounted carer ticket, and the cost of your seats may be a fixed price, meaning that you can get an upgraded view without the upgraded price. In practice, this usually means my best friend and I split the cost of one ticket between us and end up with seats that are both amazing and suitable for my needs. Everybody wins.
For most theatres you can simply ring the Access line and speak to one of the team to arrange tickets of this kind, however some venues have a more formal process. Bradford Theatres, for example, requires you to submit an application detailing your needs, which has to be added to the system before you can book these tickets. At the time it did seem a bit of a pain, but the good news is once you’re on the system, you’re on for good and don’t need to do it again. Either way, if you’re also a disabled theatregoer, the access situation is definitely worth investigating.
Competitions and Giveaways
If you’re on social media, my final nugget of advice (for now) is that following the right people can present a whole range of opportunities to enter stagey competitions and giveaways. A simple like or retweet could put you in the running for theatre tickets, soundtracks, merchandise, and sometimes even exclusive meet and greets with the cast and crew of a variety of shows.
Whilst as of yet I’ve never won tickets to a show myself, I’ve won gorgeous merchandise three times from Twitter competitions. Believe me when I say that nothing compares to getting that notification saying you’re a winner. Obviously you can’t rely solely on a potluck social media competition to get you free tickets to a specific show you need to see on a specific day, however for a production that’s slightly aspirational that you can’t yet justify booking tickets for but you’d see if you had the chance, this is the ideal way of trying to make that a reality.
So, who should you be following? I recommend most of the large ticket partner websites (Encore Tickets and See Tickets usually have some good ones on Twitter), and also the social media of individual musicals, e.g. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. However, let it be known that if anybody finds giveaways and manages to win tickets as a result as a result of this blog post, it’s only fair to take me along as your guest. Believe me, I’ll have a bag packed and waiting.
And there we have it: an introduction to how to save a bit of cash whilst enjoying all the theatre your heart (and your bank account…) desires. There’s no better time to book theatre tickets than as the seasons are changing, so take this post as a blessing to treat yourself and make some stagey plans. Do let me know what you go for, and in the meantime you can find my theatre wish-list for 2019 here. Yay!
How do you save some pennies when shopping for theatre tickets? If you have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear them!
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