Where to find discount concert tickets in Sydney Australia. How you can get super cheap tickets for concerts, even Sydney Opera House tickets.
Old concert tickets jog the memory
It can be very expensive to buy tickets for concerts in Sydney Australia.
Prices for top seats are comparable to any other world class city and, except for student rush tickets, prices at the lower end of the scale are generally higher than those I've found in, say, Europe.
So it's good to know where to go to get concert tickets for cheap prices. Including Sydney Opera House tickets. And if you're into classical music, here's how to go to free concerts.
Of course you don't usually get super cheap tickets to smash hit, blockbuster, sold out concert tickets. It's unrealistic to expect that.
But for many of the other shows and concerts you'll stand a very good chance.
Here's what to try.
Halftix has been around for a long time. It started with ticket booths which would sell you a last minute ticket at half price on the day of the performance. It doesn't do that anymore (sadly).
Audience in the City Recital Hall, Angel Place
Instead it offers discount concert tickets to shows, theatre performances, tours and concerts - all of which can be booked in advance on the website.
The good thing about Halftix is that you can also walk into one of its outlets and book in person on the spot if you want to.
Entrance, State Theatre, Sydney Australia
Lasttix is another Sydney concert ticket broker.
It offers a broader range of concerts and shows than Halftix.
Lasttix specialises in last minute theatre tickets, half price tickets and discount tickets to musicals, comedy, live concerts and more.
It regularly offers '2 for 1' discount concert tickets.
Venues include the State and Capitol Theatres, two Sydney gems.
Outlets: Online bookings only
If you're under 30 or a full-time student you will often do better going directly to the venue you're interested in. Many offer special deals for under 30's and they often have rush concert tickets for students. Sales of these super cheap tickets typically open either one hour or half an hour before the start of the performance.
Youth discount concert tickets are offered by most theatre companies, including the Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Street theatre and Bell Shakespeare.
Waiting for the start of an Australian Ballet performance
And Under 30's tickets at affordable prices are also available from:
For example Riley Lee, Australia's only grand master of the shakuhachi (traditional Japanese musical instruments), generally sells under 30's discount concert tickets to his performances.
So you've passed that magic 30 year milestone. Cheer up! You don't have to forge a new birth certificate. There are other ways to get concert tickets for cheap prices.
Look for previews. Anything that's not a one-off will probably have several preview performances right at the start of the run for considerably lower prices. Not only will you save money, you'll be the first to be able to talk about the new 'hot' show.
Everyone offers deals online. Everyone. The trick here is to go direct to the source. Cut out the middle man. Concert and theater websites want subscribers. That's how they sell tickets. They want you to sign up and reward you with regular or occasional discount concert tickets in return for reading their newsletters.
Here's an example from the City Recital Hall. They offer quite a few really cheap concert tickets, especially for classical chamber music.
So subscribe. I'm signed up to lots of these newsletters and I haven't been bothered with spam or unwanted offers.They're pretty ethical. And you'll get lots of information about Sydney Australia while you're finding your discount concert tickets.
Here's another great example - the Sydney Opera House. Not their 'What's On', although that's good too. No, read on for the cheapest concert tickets price.
Subscribe to Inhouse for Sydney Opera House discount concert tickets. Inhouse subscriber offers and priority bookings will come your way regularly.
Not just classical music. Listen to jazz, comedy or even rock. See dance and cabaret. Or join local and international talking heads (not the group) grappling with dangerous ideas. All for much less than if you were to front up to the box office.
Sydney Opera House - inside the Joan Sutherland Theatre
But if you are fronting up to the box office and you want to see an actual opera at the Sydney Opera House, here are some tried and tested ways of getting the cheapest tickets. Even when the opera is nominally sold out.
Concert tickets aren't always released in advance.
The very cheapest tickets in the Joan Sutherland Theatre are for standing room. There aren't many of them and they're available only on the day of the performance.
There is a convention observed in opera houses all around the world that people with standing room tickets are allowed to sit down in any seats still unoccupied when the lights go down at the start of the opera. It's almost unheard of not to have empty seats dotted around. So it's highly unlikely that you will actually stand for the performance, although it's theoretically possible.
The Sydney Opera House also has discount concert tickets for seats that it doesn't sell until the day of the performance. These include seats with limited views of the stage. Limited views can mean that you see very little, or it can be no more than having a small corner of the stage cut off from your view. And producers are very careful not to have important action happening in these blind spots.
Australian opera point seats
The best of the limited view seats are the point seats.
The Joan Sutherland Theatre has boxes jutting out on both sides of the circle, making a zig zag horseshoe or "U" shape from the expensive seats in the circle to the stage.
The seats that are on the 'point' of each of these zig zags get a very nice view of almost all of the stage. As you go in from the point your viewing angle worsens.
As a final refinement, the further back you can get your point seat the better, especially if you want to read the surtitles.
You won't be able to read surtitles at all from the very front (true of all front row seats in the Opera House in Sydney) and you'll need to crane your neck a bit to read them until you're a few rows back. After that it's perfect.
There are no standing room tickets in the Concert Hall. The cheapest discount concert tickets there are the orchestra seats. These are seats behind the orchestra, so that you are facing the bulk of the audience. They're ok if you just shut your eyes and listen, or if you want to focus on the conductor, but its not really much fun watching people's backs while they play.
In the concert hall I'd prefer the side sections virtually over the stage. That gives you a side-on, birds-eye, close up view. They're still very cheap seats. I like them for the intimacy you get with the musicians - facial expressions, little nods and grunts of communication, sweat on the brow - nothing's hidden from you. I often find them more satisfying than the best seats up front.
More on Sydney Opera House tickets
January is a smorgasbord of concerts and shows in Sydney Australia. The Sydney Festival usually has so many things you want to see that you have to be very strong not to go completely over the top. But there's a problem for visitors - unless you're super-organised - tickets sell out very quickly. You've almost no chance of picking up a ticket to the more popular shows after the first day or two following their release.
But here's the good news. Not only is there lots that's free (can't get cheaper than that) but there is a booth in Martin Place (during the festival only) which is open from 0800-1200 (8am - 12 noon) weekdays and 1000-1400 (10am - 2pm) weekends.
Queueing for the cheapest concert tickets - it's still fashionable
Here you'll find a limited number of specially held-back, discount concert tickets released on the day of the show.
Named Tix for Next to Nix, they'll cost you just AUD $25 each.
There is a limit of two tickets per person per day and payment is by cash only.
It's the biggest bargain of the Sydney Festival.
Here's a tip worth knowing: the queues for these tickets get longer as the festival goes on.So, if you have a choice of dates, go earlier in the festival rather than later.
If it's later then get to the queue early.
Once the limited release of discount concert tickets is sold, that's it.