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Any music lover understands that finding cheap concert tickets can be a stressful experience. And in the age of pre-registration sales, exclusive fan access, ticket scammers, and endless internet bots, it’s safe to say that buying concert tickets is more confusing now than ever. But fortunately, a new study has revealed exactly when is the best time to buy cheap concert tickets from resale sites.

a view of the crowd and stage while Harry Styles performs at 2022 Coachella — a show for which it might have been difficult to find cheap concert tickets
Harry Styles performs at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA

Concert season is in full swing

Live music events were easily one of the hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic. And they are only just coming back into full swing. 

Because of this, concert tickets for popular artists like Olivia Rodrigo, Harry Styles, and Billie Eilish have become nothing short of a hot commodity. Plus, some artists might still be accepting rescheduled tickets from postponed or canceled tours. Take the Foo Fighters’ upcoming tribute concerts, for example.

For fans who weren’t so lucky when attempting to snag tickets to Olivia’s Sour tour or Harry’s Love on Tour, resale sites like StubHub, Seatgeek, and Vivid Seats might be a great backup plan. But odds are it’s going to come at a cost — unless buyers know exactly when to hit the resale market.

Do concert tickets get cheaper as the date gets closer?

So how can you get cheap seats for a concert? According to FinanceBuzz, patience is key.

To discover the best time to find cheap concert tickets, FinanceBuzz analyzed data on the resale market. It looked at recent concerts of some of the top acts currently touring, as well as major multi-day festival passes. 

It analyzed over 22,000 ticket sales for artists such as Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Chris Stapleton to uncover what thousands of people paid for particular events. The shows took place between April 9 and May 24 of this year.

FinanceBuzz found that buying tickets from resale sites the day of the show is when they’re the absolute cheapest — usually by up to 33 percent. Additionally, it discovered that concert tickets are typically 27 percent cheaper the day before the concert than on average.

But as it turns out, many already know this tactic. The findings further noted that 24 percent of resale ticket purchases take place within a week before the event.

The cheapest time to buy multi-day music festival passes

Thanks to the success of massive international music festivals like Coachella, Primavera Sound, and Lollapalooza, demand for festival tickets is just as competitive as the average concert. But the price of a VIP or multi-day ticket is enough to make a budget-conscious music lover wince.

Because of this, FinanceBuzz also looked at the sales of over 18,000 multi-day music festival passes purchased on the secondary market. The main festivals were BottleRock, both weekends of Coachella, Shaky Knees, and a few others that all took place between April 8, 2022, and May 29, 2022. 

The research showed these passes were upward of 30 percent cheaper 13 days prior to the start of the festival. And they were 24 percent cheaper 12 days prior. So again, the takeaway is to wait to make your purchase as long as you can prior to the event.


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Holding out for cheap concert tickets can be still a gamble

According to FinanceBuzz’s report, most music fans purchase concert tickets roughly three months before the event takes place. This makes sense when considering that concertgoers might have to book hotel rooms, child care, or house sitters if their favorite band is playing at a faraway venue. Plus, they might have to get PTO approved before they rock out at a show.

So it’s understandable that people want to plan ahead and secure their tickets well before the actual event. They don’t want their plans ruined — and potentially have to lose money on reservations and the like — if they can’t find tickets. But for those who are comfortable with being a little spontaneous, they might just find themselves getting a bargain on concert tickets if they hold out.