If 2016 was the year of pre-sale frenzies and hand-wringing in online waiting rooms, then 2017 may be The Year of the Resale for San Francisco fans of Hamilton, An American Musical.
With the show’s Mar 10 start, Hamilfans have already been posting pics online of tix delivered by the mail…and resales have been trending since minutes after the American Express pre-sale began on Dec 5, 2016…as high as $1,500 or more each.
If you were not lucky enough to score tix in the first two official box office events…or the unannounced reposting of about 100 tickets (mostly premium) on Dec 23…or would like to score more, there will still be a few ways to get tickets to Hamilton SF:
Lottery – The lottery for tickets has begun! http://www.luckyseat.com/hamilton.html. Fill out the form by 9am the day before the show, and if you’re a lucky winner, you’ll get to pick them up at 4pm the day before the show. Your price…$10…what a score!
Cancellations – SHN has been cancelling tix methodically…they’re up to May orders now and releasing them right away, so keep checking the primary website for new tix, especially in the next two weeks. They've also been releasing additional premium seats, along with limited view orchestras at $200 per. New York makes cancelled tix available online and in person. Online entry is randomized and winners get an email with a link that’s open for an hour for them to buy tix. Any leftover ones are sold in the live cancellation line at the box office.
Later shows – Hamilton goes to LA Aug 11 through Dec, 31, 2017, so SF’s first run won’t be held over for long here. But could it come back??? After LA, there’s a six-month window until it’s scheduled to begin in DC, mid-2018. This is pure speculation on my part, so stay tuned.
Resale – If you venture onto the black or gray market for tickets, beware, be smart and follow the tips below, because you do so at your own risk.
#HamiltonSF – How to Buy Resale Tix
Full disclosure – I am not an expert in buying tickets from resellers. Instead, I’ve turned to a couple of sources who know the market well: A pro shopper (my good friend and street-smart, Brazilian music fan, Rejane, who has her finger on the pulse of the SF concert and club scene) and a pro ticket broker (An East coast-based reseller…a.k.a. scalper…who is selling tickets for Hamilton in New York, Chicago, and now San Francisco).
Here are their tips for minimizing your risk in the resale market:
Know what you’re in for – When you buy resale, you there are a lot of dishonorable people out there. Even talking to someone and getting a good gut instinct may not help you.
SHN is selling all tickets in old-school paper format – issued in print by and delivered by mail – There are no PDF, online, or print-at-home tickets for Hamilton SF. Anyone selling tickets this way is a fake. Run!
Use a trustworthy resale site – In resale tix, as in life, there are no guarantees, but you can minimize your risk by using certain sites, like Vivid Seats (the only SHN-authorized reseller, where ticket authenticity can be verified!) and StubHub.
Unless you are a pro like Rejane who has been buying from the pros for years, has “scalpers” on speed-dial, knows how to bargain hard for face-value and can handle a big wad of cash, stay away from Craigslist. The lack of seller verifications and rate of fraud means you are taking a big risk and will have no recourse if you get scammed.
If you have questions, connect with the box office by phone or even online on Twitter @shnsf or on Facebook – they have done a great job of answering people’s questions from every channel, and are super knowledgeable and helpful.
Once you have your ticket confirmations in hand, you might want to consider economizing on accommodations. Hotel prices are already through the roof according to one San Diego family that scored tix in August. Consider homesharing or staying in one of the Bay’s near-by towns, like Sausalito. You can rideshare to the show or take a ferry into the city.
And if you don’t score tix to the live show, you can always console yourself by getting out of town for the weekend… it will probably cost you less than tickets for a family of four!