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The 5h Ticket Buying FAQ

Q. Will all the tickets be sold through Ticketmaster?

A. It depends on the venue. As PJ showed us several years ago, most (not all) venues in the U.S. have an agreement with Ticketmaster. For now, assume it's Ticketmaster. If it's not Ticketmaster, we'll list that specifically.

Q. I live in New York and I want to buy tickets to the Seattle show. Can I just walk down to my local Ticketmaster outlet and buy tickets?

A. No. If you want to buy tickets to a show that is not in your immediate geographical area (use some common sense here), you have two choices: by phone or by web site. Now, if the ticket agency is not Ticketmaster, there is usually at least a phone option. Your only other choice would be to get on a plane and fly to the city in question. (Don't laugh; we know people who are fans of other bands who do this.)

This one reason why putting all the shows on sale on the same day is so potentially disastrous.

Q. How do I know what my "immediate geographical area" is? If I want to buy tickets for the Seattle show, can't I call, say, Portland, thinking that phone line will be less busy? If you don't know, find out NOW. Call or go to your local Ticketmaster and ask them. As for the other question, yes, probably, but you'll have to research in advance. Every show is different.

Q. I don't have my own credit card and I'm using my mom's/dad's/aunt's. Will that be a problem?

A. This is only a problem if you have the tickets held for you at will call, which we do not recommend. We can only quote Ticketmaster's procedure here; other ticket agencies may have different procedures, and you will have to research this in advance. Ticketmaster will ask if you are the credit card holder. If you are not, you need to tell them that the credit card holder is not the person who will be using the tickets. They will need to speak to the person who's name is on the credit card, as well as make a note of this in the record.

Note: This only applies to Ticketmaster-purchased tickets, not to Ten Club tickets. We're not sure how that's going to work since the procedure is new.

Q. Should I have the tickets mailed to me or held at will call?

A. We would never have tickets held for us at will call if at all possible. This is personal preference; you can't lose the tickets if you don't have them, but we just get nervous and would rather have them sent to us.

Q. Ticketmaster wants to charge me a bunch of money to send my tickets via UPS. Should I do this?

A. We don't, and we've never had a problem. If you don't get them, you call them, and then they get reissued and you have to pick them up at will call with ID. If they were stolen and resold, as long as you have ID proving you are the person who bought the tickets, it's the people who bought the scalped tickets who are in trouble, not you. Save your money; send them via mail. UPS presents additional problems in that you have to be there to sign for them and they will not reroute to another delivery address. It's a big pain in the ass.

Q. What happens if I don't get my tickets?

A. Call Ticketmaster. They'll tell you to wait 10 days before the show or something like that; ignore that. Give it a few weeks and call them. You are paying them money; you are the customer; be polite, but insist on your rights as the customer and ask for a supervisor if necessary.

Q. Do I get any advantage in going down to the venue to buy tickets? My mom said she used to do this all the time and that the venue box office has the best seats.

A. In the days before computerized national ticketing systems, this was indeed true. Nowadays, unless specifically advertised, you will not have any advantage in going to the venue. Everyone has access to the same tickets since it's all done by computer.

Q. What's the best way to buy tickets: phone, outlet, or web site?

A. Because all of the tickets are going on sale at the same time, you have a slight advantage at the outlet provided you are one of the first few people in line. Phone is next. The web should be your effort of last resort; Ticketmaster's web site will slow to a crawl -- if you're on a modem, don't rely on it.

Q. How do I know what time tickets go on sale? Will they go on sale the same time for every city?

A. We list this in Going Mobile as we find it out.

Q. I've been to the Ticketmaster site a million times and I search on "Pearl Jam" and nothing is coming up. I call Ticketmaster and they tell me there is nothing in their computers. It's Monday, the tickets go on sale on Saturday, Help!

A. This is normal. There will be nothing online, and nothing in the computers, until the end of the week the tickets go on sale.

Q. What about second shows? How do we know if a second show will be added?

A. Look at the calendar, see if there are lots of empty days between your show and the next show, use your common sense. And it never hurts to ask, is there a second show on sale?

More questions? Write us and we'll try to answer.

Be sure to see our ticketmaster tips & tricks