It can be frustrating when you go on Ticketmaster to buy tickets for a concert or sporting event, search for seats, and then get the message “We couldn’t find the tickets you searched for.” There are a few common reasons why this happens:
The event is sold out
The most obvious reason is that the event is sold out. Ticketmaster allows you to search for tickets even when none are available to give you an idea of what seats were offered. If an event is very popular, tickets may sell out extremely quickly, especially during presales for fan club members or credit card holders. By the time the general public onsale occurs, there may be nothing left.
The tickets haven’t gone on sale yet
You may have searched for an event too early before the seats were available for purchase. Ticketing onsales vary for each event. Promoters and artists often announce tours and shows months in advance to start building hype. However, the actual ticket onsale date may not happen until weeks or days before the event. If you search Ticketmaster too early, it will look like no tickets exist yet.
The seats are held for presales
In the ticketing industry, it’s common practice to hold back most of the seats for presales before the general public onsale. Presales give special access to groups like fan club members, credit card holders, Spotify listeners, venue email subscribers, etc. For example, American Express cardholders may get access to tickets 48 hours before everyone else. So if you search Ticketmaster at the wrong time, it will seem like no tickets are available because they are temporarily held for these presale groups.
Ticket limits during presales
During presales, there are often ticket limits in place to prevent resellers from buying up all the seats. Limits can be as low as 2 or 4 tickets per person. If you search for a quantity above the limit, Ticketmaster will not show results even though there are tickets remaining. The limits encourage more real fans to get access. You may need to split your large group into separate orders to work within the restrictions.
The tickets are reserved but not on sale
Venues will sometimes reserve sections for their VIP groups before tickets get released to the general public. These seats may show up as unavailable even though they haven’t officially gone on sale yet. Groups like season ticket holders, corporate partners and venue employees may get the first option to purchase them before they become available to you.
You searched the wrong section
Large venues are split into sections and zones. Make sure you are searching the correct one for the tickets you want. For example, if you search the lower bowl at a stadium but your preferred section is only available in the upper deck, Ticketmaster will return no results. Double check that you are looking at the right area.
You used the wrong presale password
If you attempt to access a presale without the proper password, it will seem like no tickets exist. Make sure you have the correct presale code before searching for tickets. Codes are usually promoted by the artist or venue ahead of the presale to verify you have special access.
The tickets are held for dynamic pricing
Some events now use dynamic pricing which means ticket prices fluctuate based on demand. In this case, seats may be temporarily held back from onsales to be dynamically priced later. The tickets have not been released for sale yet at fixed prices. Dynamic pricing is common for very high demand events where scalping is likely.
You have filters and requirements enabled
If you have filters enabled for criteria like price range or ticket quantity, viable listings may be excluded from your search results. Try searching again with all filters removed, especially if looking for a large number of tickets. The right tickets might be available, just not matching your specific filters.
When does Ticketmaster release more tickets?
If an event does appear to be truly sold out, more tickets may be released in the future. Here are some of the ways additional tickets can become available on Ticketmaster:
Last minute production holds
Venues will often hold back some seats until the last minute for production purposes like equipment, crew, staging, etc. As the event gets closer, they will release holds that are no longer needed. These tickets get released into the public pool.
Cancelled season tickets and group orders
Season ticket holders and group orders sometimes cancel orders for a variety of reasons. These unused tickets will go back on sale. Availability opens up as early as a few weeks out or as late as the day before the event.
Additional sections opened up
If demand is high enough, promoters may decide to open up more seating sections that were previously held off market. These new levels of tickets get added and go on sale to the public.
Change of venue or venue capacity
If a concert or event changes venues, especially to a larger one, more tickets will likely become available. Also, temporary venue changes can allow access to more seating.
Last minute stage or production tweaks
The stage set up, production design, and in-the-round capacity may shift last minute based on the artist’s preference. This can sometimes release tickets if a stage is moved or viewing angles change.
Reclaimed Platinum tickets
Platinum tickets are dynamically priced and fluctuate based on demand. If prices drop, Ticketmaster has the ability to take unsold Platinum tickets off the market and relist them at normal prices.
Additional VIP packages
If there is enough interest, more premium VIP ticket packages may be created closer to the event date to generate additional revenue. These special bundle deals put new tickets on sale.
So in summary – keep checking back if an event is sold out! You just need patience and good timing to catch newly opened seats. Sign up for venue and artist alerts so you are notified the moment more tickets are released.
Tips for finding tickets on Ticketmaster when the event is sold out or no tickets are showing up in search results
If Ticketmaster is showing no ticket availability for an event you want to attend, don’t lose hope yet. Here are some tips for uncovering tickets:
Keep searching leading up to onsale time
Oftentimes, tickets are gradually released leading right up to the public onsale, not all at once. Persistently search as it gets closer to the onsale. You may suddenly see seats popping up as holds are released. Have multiple devices ready to search from.
Use multiple Ticketmaster sites
Ticketmaster has different domains for different countries and regions. Try searching on multiple Ticketmaster sites (ticketmaster.com, ticketmaster.ca, ticketmaster.mx) to uncover differing results.
Take advantage of any presales you have access to via credit cards, fan clubs, Spotify, etc. Presales give you early access before the general public. Create accounts with various presale providers and be ready to buy.
Check resale sites
Once an event goes onsale and sells out quickly, resale sites like StubHub are sometimes the only place left to buy tickets. Be prepared to pay a premium, but tickets are obtainable. Set up price alerts and buy at the right moment.
Know the venue seating chart
Study the detailed seating charts so you know the best areas to search for tickets and can act fast. Have a plan of attack for buying preferred seats. Familiarize yourself with zones, sections, rows, and seat numbers.
Use Ticketmaster Verified Resale
Ticketmaster’s own resale site vets sellers and tickets, so you avoid scams and fakes. Sort by “Best Value” to find deals. Prices drop as event approaches.
Check venue box office
Sometimes the box office releases a select number of tickets onsite even when online shows sold out. Know venue box office hours and travel there if you are able to. Note that box office typically charges higher fees than online sales.
Buy VIP packages
VIP packages that bundle tickets with perks like premium seating, backstage tours, and merchandise often remain available after regular tickets sell out. These packages are expensive but guarantee you a way into sold out shows.
Get waitlisted tickets
Some venues offer waitlists you can join when an event is sold out. You are notified if seats open up. Waitlist notifications typically happen 48-24 hours pre-event.
Follow ticket partners and fan sites
Well connected fan sites and ticket partners like AEG often advertise ticket opportunities on social media. Follow them for special access code giveaways when new tickets are released. Turn on notifications so you don’t miss their announcements.
How are so many tickets on resale sites minutes after a Ticketmaster onsale?
Seeing large quantities of tickets already posted for resale within minutes of a Ticketmaster onsale leads many fans to wonder – how is this possible? How do resellers get such immediate access? There are a few explanations:
Bots – Ticket Brokers use special software bots that rapidly search for and purchase tickets the moment they are released on Ticketmaster. These bots enable them to buy up hundreds of the best seats in seconds, outcompeting regular fans. The tickets immediately end up posted on resale sites at higher prices.
Presales – Professional brokers will leverage all presales, creating multiple accounts to get early shopping access before the general onsale. They gobble up the majority of presale allotments and reduce general onsale inventory.
Multiple Accounts – Resellers setup and simultaneously utilize thousands of Ticketmaster accounts with individual credit cards and contact info. This allows them to circumvent ticket limit rules and checkout faster than a fan with one account can.
Onsite Box Offices – Having team members lined up at venue box offices allows brokers to buy tickets in-person even when online sales show sold out. Box office inventory is separate from online allotments.
Season Tickets – Sporting event season tickets are often purchased in bulk specifically for reselling individual games at a premium. Season ticket holders sell off less in-demand games via brokers.
Deals with Venues – Some shady ticket brokers and resellers actually have undisclosed business relationships with certain venues, enabling backdoor access to tickets.
Credit Card Presales – Major credit cards like American Express often sponsor concerts and provide cardholder presale codes. Resellers obtain these codes en masse to get early ticket access.
Buying from Venues – Venues will sell some tickets directly through their own box offices or websites, and brokers have the resources to buy in bulk the moment sales open.
The reality is that large secondary market ticket companies have huge technological and logistical advantages over regular consumers in obtaining the best seats quickly in bulk. While frustrating for fans, as long as there is money to be made from ticket resale markups, these practices will continue.
Ticketmaster stating “We couldn’t find the tickets you searched for” is always disappointing to see, but don’t lose hope! As explained above, tickets are still likely available through various avenues if you are proactive, diligent, and flexible. Understand why you may be seeing no results, and leverage the many tips provided to secure tickets to your desired event. With persistence and creativity, you can beat the competition from resellers and get into the event. Never stop searching – new seats open up all the time!