How To Watch A Gig For FREE!

By Matt Drake

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Times are hard at the moment and gigs are expensive. Summer is approaching fast, bringing with it a packed roster of summertime events.

You probably have your sights trained on a few shows here and there that have perked your fancy, but if you want to go to even just one of them the whole enterprise is going to set you back between £10-£100.

“There’s no way I’m going to be able to see everyone I’d like to see this summer” – I hear you cry.

But what if I told you that there was a way to go to gigs absolutely free of charge? Would you believe me? Probably not! But it’s actually surprisingly easy, and I’m going to tell you how…

Last night I watched the Foo Fighters play at Manchester Cricket Ground completely free of charge—the tickets were £55 each. As a part time job I flyer around town, which brought me to the cricket ground, or outside at least.

It was lugubriously dismal last night in Manchester (which I’m sure comes as a shock), it was rainy, windy and felt more like late winter, or early autumn than late spring – again I’m sure you’re absolutely stunned by this. However, I didn’t particularly mind working it.

One of the reasons was that the sound system was constructed so well that you could hear the music playing as clearly as if you were in the grounds itself! What’s more is that the supporting act was “Teenage Fanclub”, whom I’m a big fan of. It wasn’t even just that you could hear the music from outside the venue, but one of the entrance gates gave a perfect view of the stage – albeit from far away. In fact it was such a good view/set up that locals walking their dogs, commuting home from work stopped outside to look and listen.

“What? That’s it? That’s how you saw a free gig? What a cop out!” – I hear you scream….

This wasn’t the way I saw the gig, don’t 2

The traditional way to get tickets for a gig that’s sold out is to go to a “tout”, however these people tend to jack up the prices when selling, and dramatically lower the prices when buying. I’ve heard countless times people complaining to touts when trying to sell their tickets to them:

“What!? A tenner? It cost me £XYZ though!”

So what can you do? Break in? Well I was tempted, don’t get me wrong! I was outside for over two hours – in fact I put in a bit of unpaid overtime to listen to Teenage Fanclub and the Foo Fighters – I started to recognise the patterns of the security and the police.

There was a changing of the guards, a blind spot that could be exploited. I knew all I had to do was to take a running jump over the fence, and then sprint into the crowd.

“What? So you broke in then?”

I didn’t have to! I felt a tap on my shoulder, I turned round to see a man brandishing a ticket, he said to me “you want this?”, and I took it. It’s as simple as that! It’s no fluke either, last week I saw The Super Furry Animals free of charge, and my friend – who also flyers – got a free ticket to see Morrisey a little while back too.

Why is this though? I believe it’s a combination of two things: the first is philanthropy, and the second is that people resent being exploited by touts. People would genuinely rather give tickets away for free than being taken advantage of. Of course the downside of this method is that you can’t guarantee it will work 100% of the time, but believe me, you’d be surprised just how often it does.

Just keep this in mind the next time you can’t get tickets for something that’s sold out. When The Stone Roses played a few years ago tickets went on Ebay for £10,000 a ticket! Not necessary! Just keep your cool, and wait outside. Or, if you want a cheap night why not just check out the local gigs and take your chances? What have you got to lose?

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