I was among the few actual Harry Styles fans in the U.S. to successfully secure tickets for his teeny weeny theater tour in fall 2017, and I want to share with you how I did so that hopefully you can secure tickets for his not so teeny weeny arena tour in 2018.
Register to be a Verified Fan
I’ve had the same Ticketmaster account since probably 2006. Did this give me an advantage? I can’t say for sure, but I would think they’d consider “old” accounts to be more likely to belong to fans rather than scalpers, versus accounts made the same day the Verified Fan registration became available. If you have a nice, mature Ticketmaster account (or your parents do), I would advise you use it.
Make sure you input all your correct information, especially your phone number. They’re going to text you your access code to that number, so it needs to be a mobile number. Also, I heard some fans had 5-digit numbers automatically blocked on their phone plan, so check that.
If you register more than once or for more than one date, I believe Ticketmaster only keeps the last entry. If you’re trying to get tickets to multiple shows, you have to use multiple Ticketmaster accounts. Team up with friends!
- EDIT: Ticketmaster changed their rules this time around. According to their FAQs, “Fans may register for more than one show, but only once per show.”
Receive a confirmation email
Ticketmaster will email you that you’ve successfully registered for the Verified Fan sale. Registering and receiving this email still doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive an access code though, unfortunately, but you’ve taken all the necessary steps. Now your fate is in Ticketmaster’s hands.
Receive your code
The morning of the date when the tickets go on sale, you’ll receive a text message that looks like this:
To speed up the checkout process – since it’s timed and all that – make sure you’re logged into your Ticketmaster account (the one you registered with!) and that the account has a valid credit card stored. You’ll need that 3-4 digit code on the back when you check out, so have it handy.
Type that URL they sent you into your web browser. I used a desktop computer for this; Ticketmaster is pushing their app, but I still personally prefer the computer for speed. Open up Stickies on a Mac or Notepad on a PC, and type in your offer code. (It’s definitely case sensitive, so make sure it’s PERFECT. Maybe email that entire text message to yourself and open it on your computer to eliminate any human error.) Copy that code.
If the Ticketmaster page doesn’t have an official countdown clock, your computer’s clock can most likely tell you the time down to the seconds. Once it hits exactly 10 am, refresh your webpage. I had to do this twice before I saw the place to enter my access code – don’t panic!
Paste your access code in. For the best chance of success, and the reason I believe I succeeded, only buy one ticket. At most, buy two. If you’re trying for three or four… good luck. Seeing shows alone is fun, I promise.
Select the number of tickets and “best available” as quickly as you can, then hit search.
If it says it’s searching for available tickets and not to refresh, DON’T REFRESH. You’re in some virtual queue, and you’ll be quite literally sent to the back if you refresh. This can take a few minutes, and it’s extremely nerve wracking, but refreshing will eliminate almost any chance you have at a ticket.
Once you get a ticket, check out quickly and calmly. Again, never refresh, even if the website is acting slow. There’s a zillion people using it, it’s going to be laggy. Use the credit card you have stored to pay, type in that CCV code thingy, decline the insurance (or get it if you want?), select e-tickets, accept the terms and conditions, blah blah, and hit submit.
Ticketmaster delays their distribution of tickets after the sale for a few weeks or more, just to make sure everything is spick and span on their end, so don’t panic if you don’t see the virtual ticket in your account just yet. You’ll get an email like this:
And that, my friends, is how the game is played. This round should be a lot easier, since he’s playing arenas that seat tens of thousands rather than little old theaters, so good luck to you all!