General Admission Scams: How to Spot Them

If you gone to a lot of shows and buy tickets from resellers (like SeatGeek, StubHub or Vivid Seats) you may fall for “general admission scams”. In a previous post we talked about “How Last Minute Tickets Are a Unicorn“, in this post we’ll help you spot and avoid general admission ticket scams.

General admission shows are shows where all the tickets are the same. Virtually all general admission shows are standing room only shows; shows were you have to stand to see the band. While there are a few venues that have general admission seating, this is an exception. These are venues that operate their seats on a first come first seated basis.

General admission shows are great (if you like standing and getting close to the band). But some ticket brokers who sell tickets on resellers like SeatGeek or StubHub can be a little shady in how they market these tickets. You’ll often see multiple listings for tickets to a general admission show. And these tickets vary widely in price. You’ve probably wondered what the difference is between a general admission ticket with a row GA and a row 20. The simple answer is “There is no difference!!”

It’s a Trap: General Admission Shows Do Not Have Rows

Some ticket brokers try to trap fans by making them believe that they will be closer to the band if they buy a general admission ticket in “Row 1” vs. “Row 20”. The truth is there are no rows at a general admission show. They are all the same ticket. Here’s an example from a General Admission show. Many sets of tickets. One set say it’s a General Admission “Row 20” ticket for $224 each and another says Row 5 is $356.

This is a great example of a general admission scam. There is no such thing as a row at a general admission show.

There is NO DIFFERENCE where these tickets are because general admission shows do not have rows. The ticket broker selling the “Row 5” tickets is hoping that someone will think this is a better ticket than the “Row 20” ticket and buy it with the idea that they’ll be standing only 5 rows back from the band. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that determines how close you stand to the band at a general admission show is how early you get to the show. This my friends is a clear example of a general admission scam.

Buy the Cheapest Ticket

The easiest way to avoid falling into this scam is to just buy the cheapest ticket that says General Admission. Sometimes resellers display these tickets as “Gen Adm”, or “Gen Admission”, but they’re all the same. Second, in order to ensure you know the “cheapest” price, you need to see the ticket with all the fees included. We cover how to see the all in prices for tickets in this blog post: How to Find the All In Price for Concert Tickets. Also, resellers like TickPick already have fees included. And lastly, always check the venue site to see if they still have tickets available, those are almost always the cheapest tickets out there.