When you are buying tickets on Ticketmaster, you will often see tickets listed as “General Admission”. This means that the tickets do not have assigned seats. Instead, general admission tickets allow you to enter the venue and pick any open seat once you are inside.
What are the key things to know about general admission tickets?
Here are some of the key things to understand about general admission tickets on Ticketmaster:
- No assigned seats – You do not get an assigned seat with a general admission ticket. You can sit wherever there is an open seat once you enter the venue.
- First come, first served – Since there are no assigned seats, it is first come, first served. The earlier you arrive, the better your options will be for seats.
- Standing room – For concerts and festivals, general admission usually means you will be standing on the floor with all the other fans. There are no seats on the main floor.
- Cheaper prices – General admission tickets tend to be cheaper than reserved seating since you are not paying for an assigned seat.
- Plan to arrive early – Make sure to arrive early if you want the best options for finding seats together with your group or getting close to the stage.
When are general admission tickets used?
Here are some of the main events and venues where you will typically find general admission ticketing:
- Concerts – Most larger concert venues use general admission ticketing for the floor/pit areas. This allows fans to get closer to the stage.
- Festivals – Outdoor festivals and concerts are almost always general admission in front of the stage. People bring blankets and chairs to claim a spot.
- Clubs – Small music clubs primarily use general admission ticketing since they have open standing room areas instead of fixed seats.
- Theater in the round – Theater productions in circular theaters with seats all around the stage often use general admission.
- Sporting events – Some sections at sporting events like student sections may be general admission seating.
In general, any event without preassigned seat numbers will use some form of general admission ticketing.
How does general admission work at venues?
If you are attending an event with general admission tickets, here is a typical workflow of what to expect:
- Enter queue – There may be queues to enter the venue for bag checks and ticket scanning. Get in line early.
- Ticket scan – Scan your mobile or printed ticket at the entrance to be allowed into the venue.
- Wristband – You may be given a wristband or hand stamp for general admission access.
- Find your spot – Head toward your desired section and find an open spot to claim.
- Hold your place – Take turns with your group holding your spot if you need bathroom or concession breaks.
- Enjoy the show – Now that you have your spot, you can relax and enjoy the event!
The key things to remember are arriving early, getting through security quickly, and moving decisively to claim your viewing spot within the general admission areas.
Strategies for getting a good spot with general admission
Here are some tips for improving your chances of getting a prime spot with general admission ticketing:
- Arrive early – Get to the venue at least 1-2 hours ahead of doors opening to be at the front of the line.
- Check venue maps – Many venues will post maps ahead of time showing the layout of GA sections.
- Go straight to your section – Have an entrance strategy and move directly toward your desired section.
- Back corners – The side and back corners often fill up more slowly than central areas.
- Split your group up – Have some friends go claim spots while others get drinks and merch.
- Low recorded acts – Less popular opening acts mean smaller crowds early on.
- Save restroom visits – Use the restroom before the main act comes on to avoid losing your spot.
- Stay hydrated – Bring water and snack to avoid having to give up your spot frequently.
While there is an element of luck involved, having a solid game plan can greatly improve your chances of getting the best general admission spots.
Pros of general admission ticketing
There are a few key advantages that general admission ticketing provides:
- Better prices – General admission is usually cheaper than reserved seating tickets.
- Get closer – You can get right up near the stage instead of being stuck in an assigned seat.
- Flexible spots – You can pick the exact spot you want instead of being limited to available reserved seats.
- Find friends – It is easier to join up with friends already inside compared to fixed seating.
- Change locations – You can shift around to different spots throughout the show.
For many music fans, the ability to get close to bands and freely move around is worth the hassle of waiting in lines and jostling for prime spots.
Cons of general admission ticketing
There are also some definite downsides to keep in mind with general admission:
- Long lines – You may have to wait in long queues outside the venue well before the doors open.
- Rushed entrance – Trying to beat the crowds to your section can be stressful.
- Standing only – Your legs and feet may get tired from having to stand for hours with no chairs.
- Crowd issues – Tightly packed GA crowds can lead to pushing, friction, heat, and dehydration issues.
- No guarantees – Even if you wait for hours, you may not get an ideal spot due to factors outside your control.
For lower key events or people who value guaranteed seats, general admission may not provide the best experience.
Purchasing general admission tickets
When buying general admission tickets on Ticketmaster, there are a few things to look out for:
- GA sections – Make sure you are buying tickets for the general admission sections and not reserved seats.
- Single or group – Decide if you want to buy individual tickets or group tickets for better chances at spots together.
- Ticket limits – Check if there are ticket buying limits for popular shows.
- Sell outs – Be ready to purchase quickly for hot shows that may sell out rapidly.
- Price differences – General admission floor tickets often cost more than bowl seating.
Always read the ticket details carefully to ensure you are getting the right type of general admission tickets for the event you want to attend.
General admission strategies for different events
Certain types of events will require some specialized GA strategies:
- Bring a blanket and supplies to stake out prime real estate near stages all day.
- Hydrate frequently and use sunscreen for outdoor festivals.
- Study the schedule ahead of time and note set times for must-see acts.
- Arrive early if camping on site to claim a good camping spot.
- Check venue policies – Some ban early lining up, camping out, etc.
- For reserved seating shows, arrive later to avoid long waits.
- Review the stage setup and face the best side for lighting, screens, etc.
- Wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet for hours.
Theater in the Round
- Aim for aisle seats in the center sections near the stage for prime viewing.
- Arrive very early – 30-60+ minutes – for popular theater shows.
- Read reviews to determine if any side/back sections have obstructed views.
- Bring small binoculars if worried about distance from the stage.
- Research fan rituals – body paint, chants, etc. – to fully join in.
- For highly contested rival games, arrive 6+ hours before gates open.
- Bring or buy team gear to show your allegiance and avoid opposition harassment.
- Study the layout to find GA sections near your team bench or the student section.
Taking the time to tailor your GA approach can greatly improve your experience compared to just winging it.
General admission etiquette
To keep the GA experience positive for everyone, be sure to mind these etiquette guidelines:
- No saving long rows of spots – Keep your claimed space reasonable.
- Take turns with breaks – Don’t leave your group to stand for hours.
- Respect personal space – Avoid pushing or creating unnecessary crowd crush situations.
- Help fallen fans – Stop to safely help up anyone who goes down to avoid trampling.
- Consider VIP – If you want guaranteed premium spots, consider VIP packages when available.
- Stay kind – Keep fun banter friendly and avoid overly aggressive language or behavior.
Treating your fellow fans with courtesy and respect will ensure you are not the problem fan everyone will remember.
Is general admission worth it?
At the end of the day, whether general admission offers a worthwhile experience comes down to personal preferences.
For fans who value:
- Getting closest to the action
- Having flexible movement and viewing options
- Saving money on tickets
- Being in the thick of the crowd energy
General admission is an exciting venue format that offers great rewards for the savvy fan willing to put in the effort.
For those who prefer:
- Having an assigned seat
- Avoiding long waits in lines
- Guaranteed good views with no obstructions
- More relaxed, laid-back enjoyment
General admission involves inherent uncertainties and inconveniences that may not make it worthwhile.
There is no universally right answer – general admission offers a unique experience with tradeoffs that each person will value differently. The key is to understand the GA format and setting proper expectations heading into an event you are considering.
General admission ticketing on Ticketmaster provides a special opportunity for fans to get closer to the action without being stuck in preassigned seats. By arriving early, moving quickly through lines, and strategically claiming spots, general admission allows you to tailor your concert or event experience more than standard reserved seating.
However, the lack of guarantees and logistical headaches of long lines and jostling for position in crowds are certainly downsides to weigh. Depending on the event type and your personal preferences, general admission may or may not provide the ideal experience.
Ultimately, general admission gives fans more control over shaping their event enjoyment, but requires more planning, effort, and coping with uncertainty. Understanding both the significant upsides and challenges of the general admission format is crucial for deciding when to embrace the GA experience and when it may be better to opt for reserved seats.