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#1 musicals fan

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 01:45 PM

Apologies if this has been covered before, but I am currently trying to book for a very popular play and the advice on the web site is to "telephone the box office" because of limited availability.

The ticket agencies all seem to have tickets (at a premium) and it led me to wonder roughly what percentage of seats the agencies get and what deals they have with theatres.  This seems a possible explanaion for empty seats at otherwise "sold out" productions.

#2 Gavin

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 02:07 PM

QUOTE(musicals fan @ Mar 4 2007, 01:45 PM) View Post
This seems a possible explanaion for empty seats at otherwise "sold out" productions.


Ummm,it IS the explination.

#3 teaboy

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 07:16 PM

Most agencies will get an allocation of seats for each show. This is negotiated by the agencies before the show opens, and will (generally) stay the same for the whole run.

This allocation can then be sold by the agency (eg Ticketmaster) either via their phone lines, or on-line. The allocations will be different on-line and on the phone to avoid double-bookings from the same allocation of seats.

Any agency can legally add up to 25% of the ticket price as a booking fee.

Tickets that are un-sold by the agencies will be 'marked back' to the theatre on the day of the show, and will then be available from the theatre only.

For 'sold-out' shows it may be worth contacting the theatre on the day you wish to go on the off-chance that anything's been returned, of released for sale from the Producer's House seats.
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#4 Paul

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 09:42 PM

QUOTE(teaboy @ Mar 5 2007, 07:16 PM) View Post
This allocation can then be sold by the agency (eg Ticketmaster) either via their phone lines, or on-line. The allocations will be different on-line and on the phone to avoid double-bookings from the same allocation of seats.


Not true - as I often book via Ticketmaster, and tend to check seat availibility online before phoning to book (due to it being with gift cards etc). I can view a particular seat as being available online, and as long as I leave it 5-10mins before phoning, I can book it on the phone.

The 5-10 minute delay is because tickets are temporarily 'reserved' when someone views it online (to avoid duplications) - if they do not pay up and book within a few minutes, the tickets go back on sale.
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#5 Blue

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 07:23 AM

What I would like to see is a proper system where you can view all of the available seats for a performance and then select the seat that you want to buy. The Mayflower in Southampton run a system like this and it is so useful and easier than ringing up and asking about particular seats.


#6 Biddy

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:43 PM

QUOTE(Blue @ Mar 6 2007, 07:23 AM) View Post
What I would like to see is a proper system where you can view all of the available seats for a performance and then select the seat that you want to buy. The Mayflower in Southampton run a system like this and it is so useful and easier than ringing up and asking about particular seats.


New WoS Thread where we can list Venues (& Agencies if we find any) which allow choice of specific seats

#7 Marius

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Posted 06 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

Although Blue do you ever find that Mayflower system works?

I cant get it to work on any computer (home or work) yet everyother system like ENO or national Theatre works fine.  NAtionals way of booking is best in my view. I like the fact they give you a a view from certain seats as well to give you an idea of the view

#8 Blue

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE(Marius @ Mar 6 2007, 04:46 PM) View Post
Although Blue do you ever find that Mayflower system works?

I cant get it to work on any computer (home or work) yet everyother system like ENO or national Theatre works fine.  NAtionals way of booking is best in my view. I like the fact they give you a a view from certain seats as well to give you an idea of the view


It has always worked for me. I always booked seats on the front stalls that way everytime I come down from London. I think you just need to make sure that you use the latest version of Java.

But I agree about the NT booking - its really great that you get to check out the view. I wonder why more theatres don't implement something like this to help people make their mind up whether they want to book or not for a particular seat.

#9 musicals fan

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 10:41 AM

Thanks for the contributions- I was particularly grateful for Gavin's comment.
I have been told by the box office staff at a West End theatre that the bigger agencies were getting about 40 tickets for the play I was hoping to see, with the smaller agencies getting about half a dozen. It seems that arrangements vary for individual shows.




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