If you love going to the theatre, you know what a special experience it can be. The only downside to the theatre? It can be expensive depending on the show, venue and type of tickets you buy. And if you’re a huge fan who likes to go regularly, this really can add up over time.
The good news is, there are some handy tips you can use to help you get cheaper tickets. For example, buying seats closer to the back or perhaps with a restricted view. But if you don’t want to compromise on your theatre experience (and why should you?), then rush tickets are the perfect way to secure a bargain.
Not sure what rush tickets are?
That’s OK. We’ve put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know.
What are rush tickets?
In a nutshell, rush tickets are theatre tickets that are hugely discounted. But these are not for smaller performances; these tickets can be for some of the biggest shows in the theatre at the time.
They typically go on sale on the morning of the performance to fill up any empty seats, which is why they are so affordable. The key to rush tickets, as the name suggests, is to be quick, as these are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Are rush tickets good seats?
As we’ve said, these last-minute deals are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis; therefore, it is often not possible to select your seats as you usually would. Instead, seats are assigned at the discretion of the box office.
However, this does not mean they are all restricted-view or bad seats! In fact, more often than not, you’ll still have a good view from wherever you are seated. This is why these tickets are such great value for money.
How do you find rush tickets?
If this all sounds great, you might be wondering how you go about bagging yourself these bargains. In many cases, you can grab rush tickets online on the day of the performance. To do this, you’ll want to visit a ticket agency online, where they will announce any last-minute rush sales. As this is such a popular way of getting budget tickets, it’s likely you’ll be added to a virtual queue until tickets become available.
If you’re lucky enough to get through, you need to make sure you check out and pay within the set time limit. Otherwise, your ticket might be redistributed to someone else in the queue.
Alternatively, you can get these directly from the box office, though these may be very limited if they have also gone up online.
How much do rush tickets cost?
Of course, the price of the tickets will vary, though often, these are sold for just a fraction of the original price. In most cases, rush tickets are less than £30, and if you’re really lucky, these tickets can be as little as £5 for a show! This will depend on the performance you want to watch, the time, the venue and how many tickets are left, but you really can save yourself a great deal of money on theatre tickets this way.
Are there any rules or exceptions that I should be aware of?
While most websites will simply release the remaining tickets and start the virtual queue, there are a few exceptions to the rule. For some shows, certain theatres will only offer rush tickets as a concession. For example, they will only offer them to students or senior citizens. If this is the case, you’ll need ID to prove you are allowed to purchase the tickets, so don’t risk it and waste your money if you know you don’t fit the description.
Not only this, but you can’t just log on to the ticket agent and buy six tickets for yourself and all your friends. Often, a maximum number of tickets will become available to purchase per person. So if you’re planning on going with more than two people, you might be better off queueing at the box office in person rather than trying to secure tickets online.
Tips for securing yourself some rush tickets
We totally understand how exciting the prospect of rush tickets can be. For one thing, you’ll save yourself a lot of money, and for another, you might end up making last-minute decisions and seeing shows you might not have considered otherwise. So, to help you bag yourself some rush tickets, here are our top tips:
Be ready for the sale
As we’ve said, there will always be a limited number of tickets going up for sale that day. So, don’t miss out on tickets because you weren’t organised! Make sure that you log onto the ticket seller’s website with plenty of time before the sale starts, and don’t leave it until the last minute. That way, you’re ready to add them to your basket as soon as they become available.
Sign up for newsletters
It can be a great idea to sign up for newsletters from your favourite theatres or ticket agents. That way, you’ll be alerted to ticket sales before they happen. This will help you to be even more organised and ensure your phone or laptop is fully charged and ready to go on the day.
Don’t buckle under the pressure
Finally, you need to be quick to get tickets, and amongst the excitement and time pressure, you need to keep a calm head. Once you’ve added the tickets to your basket, check that they are for the right show, time and date, as there might be more than one performance that day. Vendors usually will not exchange or refund rush tickets once you have bought them, so you don’t want to get it wrong.
What’s more, you’ll probably have a limited time to check out, as we said, so be sure to type out your information calmly and carefully – especially your payment details! You don’t want the tickets being redistributed before you’ve had a chance to pay for them.