Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Tickets

Got questions about getting tickets to events? Ever wondered what those service charges are for? Check out this ticket-buying guide and find out everything you ever wanted to know about purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster.

Ticket Availability Explained
Buying Tickets
Customer Service
Where Can I Buy Tickets?

Ticket Availability Explained

Can I improve my odds for getting tickets by purchasing through one particular distribution channel?
When an event goes on sale, tickets can be purchased online, by phone or in person. We do not reserve a specific amount of tickets for different distribution channels, so the odds of getting tickets are the same no matter how you choose to get your tickets.

From time to time, promoters conduct "internet only presales" or other promotions that are available via only one distribution channel. In such a promotion, you can only purchase tickets through that particular distribution channel.
Find out more.

Why do tickets sell out so quickly for popular events?
When a popular event goes on sale there are literally hundreds and sometimes thousands of customers simultaneously attempting to purchase tickets across all distribution channels. Like any limited commodity, tickets are sold as long as seats are available, and sometimes they go quickly. If 500 fans are simultaneously buying four tickets each, 2,000 tickets can be sold in a matter of seconds! It's the same reason why a typical 18,000-seat arena can sell out in a few minutes.

Also, in many cases, tickets are held by the promoter or venue or have been pre-sold to season ticket holders for the entire run of the event reducing the quantity of tickets available for purchase through Ticketmaster by the general public.

Why are "better" tickets sometimes available...
...a few minutes after the event goes on sale?
When customers find available tickets either online or through any of the other access points, those tickets are actually reserved while the customer considers the purchase. During that period, which lasts for only a few minutes, no one else can view or purchase those tickets. If the customer decides not to buy the tickets, they are "released" and become available to other purchasers. So if a customer is looking at 10th row centre seats and decides not to buy, those seats become available for another customer.

...days after the event goes on sale?
A venue may release more tickets for Ticketmaster to sell as the event date approaches. This happens for several reasons such as 1) The artist or team may no longer need the tickets that were held when the event originally went on sale, or 2) Once the stage or event area is set up, the venue has a better idea about which seats are obstructed. Sometimes events are so popular that even seats with obstructed views are released for sale!

Additionally, sometimes a customer attempts to buy tickets but their credit card is declined. If Ticketmaster is unable to contact the customer to secure a valid credit card or billing address, Ticketmaster may cancel the order and release the tickets for sale. Tickets may also be re-released if a customer does not follow Ticketmaster's published ticket limits or other terms of use.

May I exchange my tickets if better seats become available later, or if a second show is announced?
No. As with all Ticketmaster ticket sales, there are no refunds, exchanges or cancellations.

Why does Ticketmaster enforce a time limit when making purchases online?
When you are shopping for tickets, you are "holding" real inventory. No one else can purchase those tickets unless you release them. Due to high demand, we've implemented a time limit during the checkout process. Each checkout page is assigned a different time limit based on the type of information we need from you. If you exceed the posted time on the page, the tickets you are holding are released for others to purchase. You have about 5 minutes in total to complete your purchase. This gives as many people as possible a chance to purchase tickets.

TIP: To speed through the checkout process, register your billing information with Ticketmaster prior to purchasing tickets.You can do this by setting up a personal account on our site, by clicking on "My Account," located at the very top, right-hand corner of the home page.

Why are there limits on how many tickets I can buy?
The venue or artist/event management will typically impose a ticket limit per customer, credit card or address in order to provide ticket access to as many fans as possible. Ticket limits vary depending on the type of event or the anticipated demand for tickets. Check the event information area of the purchase page for more information on ticket limits for your event. Please adhere to published ticket limits. If we determine that a ticket limit has been exceeded, we may cancel an order, or part of an order, without notice, and may even cancel a ticket that has already been delivered rendering it unusable without notice.

Prevent your tickets from being released
Please use only one browser window at a time (on the same computer) to hold tickets. If you open a new browser and order a different set of tickets, the tickets held in the previous browser will be released for sale to other customers. This helps us to prevent attempts to use automated programs to block other customers from getting tickets.

Last-Minute Ticket Availability
As the event date approaches, the venue may release tickets that were previously held for the artist or team. Why are tickets released?
  • The artist or team may no longer need the tickets that were held when the event originally went on sale.
  • Once the stage or event area is set up, the venue has a better idea about which seats are obstructed. Sometimes events are so popular that even seats with obstructed views are released for sale!
TIP: Check back often!

Buying Tickets

Are there other ways I can purchase tickets to events I am interested in attending?
Promoters sometimes conduct presales or special promotions. A presale typically occurs online a few days or weeks before tickets go on sale to the general public. A percentage of all tickets for the event are made available during the presale. Check our website often for new presales or register at Ticketmaster and sign up to be notified of upcoming special events.

Many venues also make tickets available at their box office. To find contact information for a specific box office, search for the venue name on our website, then click on the venue information link.

What is an Internet Presale?
Occasionally, some events will be available to purchase over the Internet in advance of the general public onsale. These presales frequently require a password that may be distributed by the venue, artist, team, or promoter of either the event or the presale, or distributed by Ticketmaster. Often, these passwords are distributed to exclusive members of clubs or certain other types of groups and cannot be offered to members of the public. Links may be published on the Event Information page at the time of presale. Ticketmaster contact centre and Customer Service representatives usually cannot give out passwords. If an event is scheduled for presale and we are authorized to publish so in advance, the event page may list an "Internet Presale" date in the ticket onsale information. When entering your presale password into a promotional page, window or box in an email, please ensure you are entering it in the appropriate box: A presale password is not the same as your My Account password.

Internet presales are usually sold from an allotment of seats, which may not reflect the same availability during the public onsale. Internet presales provide the advantage of exclusive purchasing windows in advance of the public onsale, which often results in less people competing for the pool of available seats. However, Internet presales may also have limited seating available in various areas - these presales are intended as advance purchasing windows and do not necessarily provide access to better seating. In fact, it is possible that you may be able to obtain tickets for better seats at the general public onsale than those that you purchase through a presale. We must remind you that Ticketmaster does not offer refunds or exchanges, so you will not be able to replace the tickets you obtain at a presale with other tickets that subsequently become available.

Why is it that sometimes I hear about an event that is supposed to go on sale, but when I call Ticketmaster or visit a Ticketmaster Outlet, they don't know anything about it?
Often, the venue or promoters prefer to wait until all terms about the event are finalized to protect the consumer from being misinformed. We don't release any information until we receive authorization from the promoter or venue; sometimes, this can happen after the media has already begun publicizing the event.

My tickets say "General Admission." What does that mean?
General Admission refers to seating or standing areas that are not assigned or reserved, and are occupied on a first-come, first-served basis. When purchasing tickets for a General Admission event, you may be quoted section, row, and seat numbers, however these are for inventory purposes only and do not reflect any actual seating location. Please ensure you carefully read the Event Information and Ticket Information screens when purchasing tickets: Any information on whether your tickets are General Admission will be posted on one or both of these screens. Seating arrangements vary for each event, and there may or may not be seats of any kind available. Ticketmaster cannot guarantee seating for any event that is sold as General Admission.

Customer Service

Who handles refunds?
The decision of whether or not to allow refunds is made by the venue or promoter. Ticketmaster assumes no responsibility for making any such decision, and will have no responsibility to issue refunds. However, if a refund is issued, then it will be Ticketmaster who will process refunds for those tickets sold through our Internet sites, call centres and retail locations. Please note that delivery prices and certain other fees associated with a ticket order will not be refunded. Please see Cancelled/Postponed Events for more details.

How are cancellations, postponements and artist venue changes handled?
Occasionally, events are cancelled by the promoter, team, band or venue. Should this occur, and if you purchased your tickets online or through the phones, you may receive a refund or exchange for that event. Please note that delivery and order processing fees cannot be refunded.

What if I don't receive my tickets?
If you do not receive your tickets by 3 business days prior to an event, call your local Customer Service Department immediately. Be prepared with the confirmation number for your account, or the purchasing Credit Card. The agent will determine the nature of the problem, and if your tickets are replaceable, instruct you as to where and when to pick up your replacement tickets. This is normally done at the Box Office prior to the show, and the tickets are marked as "Replacement" so that they are easily identified as the valid tickets. Replacement tickets can only be picked up by the Credit Card holder with the original credit card used in the purchase.

Where Can I Buy Tickets?

Buy tickets securely, at your convenience, day or night, 365 days a year

(Note: For a brief window, late each night, transactions are not processed, as our ticketing system undergoes maintenance.)
  • Find event and venue information 24 hours a day
  • Select TicketFast® as your delivery option and you can print your tickets
  • Get venue information:
    - Easy-to-read, color seating charts for most venues
    - Venue information, such as directions and parking
    - Schedule of all booked events

Contact Centre
Find your local Contact Centre number to order by telephone.

Located at all major cities
Business hours vary with each outlet.
Speak to a ticket agent, view a copy of the venue seating chart, pick up your tickets.
Find a local Outlet.

Box Office
Located at most venues
Hours of operation vary
Venues typically sell tickets only for their events.

Third Party Resellers
Ticketmaster does not guarantee the authenticity of tickets purchased from any third party reseller (such as brokers or individuals).

Ticketmaster recommends that you purchase tickets directly through Ticketmaster or from the venue's box office. Authorized Ticketmaster locations include, Ticketmaster Contact Centre, and Ticketmaster Outlets.