Concert Seating – Does it Pay to Wait?

Jim Nash V wants tips on getting the best concert seat in the house!

In my last article I mentioned that Carrie Underwood was performing on Long Island on November 5th.

Since I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make the show, I did not purchase tickets right away. The Monday before the concert I start checking Ticketmaster to see what kind of seats were still available. Each day I checked and every result only offered tickets near the rafters just about parallel with the stage. Not the best seats for a concert.

Friday afternoon around 3:00pm I find out that I WOULD be able to make the show, and decide it’s better to have lousy seats than miss it all together.

Back on to Ticketmaster. You know the drill. Enter the number of tickets. Select Best Available section. Click Find Tickets. Attempt to enter in the virtually impossible to decipher – even as humans – security check nonsense words (thanks scalpers) and click Continue. Wait for the spinning Searching… graphic to come to a halt (is it just me or does it feel like we’re playing slots at this point?)

Eventually, the best available tickets appear and to my amazement, they are in section 101 (right off the floor section, 2 rows back but not quite parallel to the stage.) For 5 hours before the show, these are pretty darn great seats! I complete the transaction without incident and enjoyed the show. I’ll relay 2 other experiences.

A few years ago, as soon as tickets for a Brad Paisley show at a Live Nation open amphitheater in New Jersey went on sale, I go online right at Public Onsale and scored what I thought were pretty good seats. The day of the show, we find out 2 friends want to join us so I go online and got them tickets. Guess whose seats were better? Guess who swapped seats?

The most frustrating experience was at a Tim McGraw show. Same scenario as the Paisley show – Live Nation event, open amphitheater, get tickets minutes after Public Onsale. Our seats were last two right next to the wall. We sat there for the 2 opening acts waiting for the 23 other seats in our row to fill up. By the time Tim McGraw got on stage we moved to the complete other end of the row, closer to center stage. The row was still otherwise completely empty. Unbelievable! And we got the best seats?

Anyone else have experiences like these?

Why are the best seats not released first? I’ve heard from fellow concert goers that if you wait until the last minute, you can still get decent seats – but you run the risk of the show getting sold out though.

Are tickets held because of hoarding scalpers or some other secret reason? Or do you need to join every fan club to get good seats?

Keeping it Countriversy,
Jim Nash V.

Jim Nash V is a contributing writer with a passion for country music. Jim works to promote line dancing and country music in Long Island New York. For more on Jim, find him on Facebook at or visit
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