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What Are Ticket Presales and How Do They Work?

Wondering how presales work or where to get a presale code? Discover how to get access to seats before they are available to the public!

Buying concert tickets can be a stressful process. But what if there was a way to get tickets before anyone else AND avoid ticket scammers? Well, there is! Ticket presales allow you to beat the crowd and get the tickets you want — if you know how to navigate through them. Here’s a guide with everything you need to know about how to get a presale code, how presales work and more!

Let’s talk Presales! 

First and foremost, a presale does NOT guarantee tickets. Presales simply give fans a chance to purchase tickets before the general public! To see what presales are available for your show, head to the Ticketmaster page of the event you are trying to attend. A list of various presales at different dates and times will be available like the one below.

Are presale tickets cheaper? No. Each presale has an allocated amount of tickets available at the exact same price of the general access seating aka at face value. The earlier you log in, the better chance you have of getting the best tickets possible.

Verified Fan Presale

Artists like BTS, the Jonas Brothers, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift have used Ticketmaster Verified Fan Presale to give fans early access to tickets. Register using the email address attached to your Ticketmaster account and select what show(s) you are interested in purchasing tickets to. If you are verified and selected, you’ll receive an email explaining what to expect next. You will also receive a text with a personal access code.

Please note: Verified Fan does not guarantee everyone with a code will get a ticket but it ensures that only fans are invited to purchase tickets! Also, there is typically a limit of four (4) tickets per access code. If you were verified and your code isn’t working, contact Ticketmaster Fan Support.

Ticketmaster / Live Nation Presale

If you have a Ticketmaster and/or Live Nation account, you will get email alerts about upcoming presales for your favorite artists. To ensure you don’t miss any, log into Ticketmaster on your desktop and “favorite” all of the artists you listen to and venues you love! 

Pro-tip: Live Nation uses the same, generic password for all shows that go on sale the same week. So if you see Live Nation’s presale code is “ENCORE” for a rock show in Philly this week, chances are it’s the same presale code for the country show in Nashville you’re trying to buy tickets for too!

Spotify Fan First Presale

Spotify sends out presale codes to the top fans of artists or bands based on streaming data. And no, you do NOT need to have a paid plan to get them! Fan First emails are sent to artists’ top listeners so make sure you’re opted in to receive concert notifications and artist update emails. 

Artist / Fan Club / Album Presale

Being a loyal fan pays off ! Subscribe to your favorite artist(s) email newsletter and you can get a presale code sent straight to your inbox for free. For some artists like Maroon 5, they have paid fan clubs where you can access exclusive ticket presales, store discounts and member-only perks. 

Pre-ordering an artist’s new album or buying a piece of merchandise from their latest collection can score you early access to tickets. Visit your favorite artists’ official website to find out about these types of opportunities (and check for alternative ways to obtain access with no purchase necessary). 

Local / Venue Presale

Subscribe to the email newsletters of all of your local venues. Plus, follow their social media pages. Then keep an eye out for presale codes they share to their social media followers and email subscribers!

Mobile Carrier Presale

Mobile carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T offer fans exclusive access  to see their favorite artists. For T-Mobile customers, you need to visit the Live Nation events page and click T-Mobile Reserved Tickets offer. Follow the instructions to verify if you’re eligible to receive an offer code. Enter your code to unlock available tickets and then check out!

Credit Card Presale

Credit card companies like Citi and American Express offer cardholders early ticket access and preferred seating as a perk for being loyal customers. Check to see if  your credit card company offers any benefits when purchasing tickets to live music events!

Ticketmaster Official Platinum 

Official Platinum Seats are NORMAL tickets. I repeat, Ticketmaster’s Official Platinum Seats are NORMAL seats. I know the name sounds important but they’re nothing special. Ticketmaster raises the price on the “best seats in the house” based on the supply and demand similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold. For example, a ticket to see Bruno Mars on the floor may be $150 but due to the high demand, Ticketmaster marks select floor seats up to $500 instead. They are no different than the other floor seats — no VIP, no private party, no free parking. Just a regular degular seat for twice the amount.

The Power of Social Media

When in doubt, search Twitter. If you don’t have a presale code and need to find one, chances are a fan account has posted it on Twitter. Search “the artist’s name” + “presale” or “presale code”. Like I mentioned earlier, presale codes can be generic and the same code for a show in New York City can be used to unlock the presale for a show in Los Angeles.


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