Guide To Buying Concert Tickets

There are significantly more concerts coming to Singapore now, after the inevitable 3-year drought that Covid-19 brought upon us. Whether you’re a frequent concert goer or a newbie waiting to see your idol for the first time, you can’t deny the excitement of knowing that your fave artists are finally coming to Singapore.

But if you’re still unsure about the difference between online vs physical ticketing, or even what your ticket number means after securing them, here’s a detailed guide to have you navigate through concerts like a pro.

Disclaimer: This guide is mostly applicable for concerts that sell out fast AF. We’re talking about big K-pop groups like BTS and Blackpink, or western artists that fans have been dying to see IRL, like The 1975. Also, it’s based on my personal experience and what I’ve heard from the friends around me.

Online ticketing and queuing

Buying Concert TicketsImage courtesy of the writer

For starters, a concert announcement often comes with the actual concert date, a ticketing date, and a seat plan for you to start planning ASAP. 

If you opt for online ticketing, the concert organiser will also post a website link to the official booking channel. This means that you’ll be able to do ticketing at your own convenience, anytime and anywhere, via any of your devices such as your laptop, tablet and phone. 

Nowadays, Ticketmaster is the most common online ticketing platform in Singapore. But if you’re still unsure, a quick Google search will direct you to the official links.

Before the ticketing day

Creating a Telegram chat with my friends to help out with ticketing
Image courtesy of the writer

Once the ticketing details are out, check if there is a pre-sale to guarantee a higher chance of getting your desired ticket. Most pre-sales tend to have requirements, such as a Paypal or credit card pre-sale, signing up for a membership on the ticketing site, or a K-pop fan club membership.

Online ticketing doesn’t work on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it doesn’t matter how early you log into the page. The holding room opens around three hours before ticketing, and you’ll be redirected to a page with a timer countdown to when ticketing opens. 

Pro tip: Get as many friends as you can to help you out — the more the merrier. It’ll be good to plan out which sections you’re aiming for beforehand, so there’s less fuss to coordinate all your friends when ticketing opens. 

Once ticketing opens, you’ll be assigned to a random queue number. If you have multiple devices, pick the best queue number and bank on that. Ticketing is really just a numbers game — and of course, a whole lot of luck. 

According to TikTok, going to a LAN shop may increase your chances of a better queue number since the wifi is good. No guarantees though — I would only recommend this option if you don’t have a fast and stable internet connection at home. 

During ticketing

Now it’s time for the most stressful part of ticketing — the actual buying process. For Ticketmaster, if you were already waiting in the holding room prior, the page will automatically generate a queue number for you when it’s time. So don’t refresh the page. 

It’s normal for the system to lag a little once ticketing opens since there are many people accessing the site at the same time. But do make sure that you are already signed in too, so you don’t waste time wracking your brains to remember your password while ticketing is ongoing. 

As you are clicking your desired section, the seats may sell out fast. Don’t panic and just go back to click on your next best option.

Sold out


In the worst case scenario, a dreaded red banner that glaringly says “currently not available” pops out. It almost seems as if it’s mocking you for not being fast enough. This appears when tickets are sold out on the site.

Oftentimes, there are people still holding onto extra tickets, as customers can hold onto their tickets for 10 minutes before checking out. When you see this red banner, it’s time to start refreshing the page like mad. The banner disappears when a customer lets go of the tickets they’ve been holding on to, so you can quickly grab them. 

Pro tip: TikTok users have also shared that you can head down to a Singpost outlet to try for tickets after they have been sold out online, as the website may be slow to update on the leftover tickets. 

Post ticket purchase

When checking out your ticket, choose a preferred mode of ticket collection: print-at-home, collection at the venue, or delivery to your home. The cheapest option is print-at-home, while the most expensive is delivery.

If you originally opted for print-at-home but changed your mind and want physical tickets instead, no worries. You can call Ticketmaster to make the request to change, but note that there will be an additional fee of $5 for the reprinting.

Physical queuing

Apart from getting your tickets online, physical queuing is also available at all Singpost outlets islandwide. You may be wondering: why bother to queue physically if you can do ticketing in the comfort of your home?

By physically queueing, you get to skip the randomised online queue number and go into the ticketing website instantly. Not only will you have a higher chance of securing tickets, but it’s also more applicable to getting a barricade view for concerts with standing pen queue numbers. 

To put it simply, your chances of seeing your idols perform up close is higher. Oftentimes, K-pop fans opt for this so as to be able to score interactions with their bias.

Before the ticketing day

This is what the queue for NCT Dream tickets looked like at 2am
Image courtesy of the writer

The real warzone begins when you decide to queue overnight.

Pro tip: Before heading down, recce the Singpost you’re intending to camp at. Check if it’s open on the ticketing day and also how many counters will be open. If there is only one counter open, the process will take longer.

Queuing overnight is no easy feat. Make sure that you are prepared by stocking up on water, entertainment, snacks and even stools or mats to make yourself comfy on the floor. 

Just a head’s up: there might be people queuing right from the time the Singpost closes till the next day, so you have to strategise and decide on what time to start queuing. Your chances are much better when you are the first few in line. 

Check out the full list of post office locations and their operating hours here

Queuing overnight

Buying Concert TicketsGetting a queue number from Singpost
Image courtesy of the writer

Brace yourself for a long night ahead — but it doesn’t have to be tough.

Pro tip: Make friends with the people around you. It’s certainly easier since you already have a common topic to talk about, aka your idols, and time will pass faster. 

Queue orderly and don’t try to cut the queue or create your own queue number — you don’t want a cat fight to begin in the middle of the night. 

Some Singposts will give you an assigned queue number when they open, so you can chope your spot, go off for a break, and come back again when ticketing opens. Do note that not all Singpost outlets do this, so you might have to prepare to queue all the way. 

Pro tip: It’s common for fans to make Telegram group chats for concerts. Fans who are queuing overnight may update others on the Singpost queues, such as how many people are currently in the queue and how many counters are open. Join these groups for real-time updates.

During ticketing

By the time the sun came up, there were more than 10 people in the queue
Image courtesy of the writer

Once the queue is open, let the person at the counter know your account log-in email and the section that you want. Ensure that the process is smoother by paying via card — you don’t want to hold up the line.

It’s hard to gauge how long the queue will be since it depends on the popularity of the artist and the Singpost location. Based on my personal experience with NCT Dream’s ticketing, there were around 10 people in the queue by the time the sun rose, and when it was nearer to the ticketing timing, it extended to over 20 people. 

From here, the process moves fast since there is no waiting time to get into the website. All Singpost counters are able to access ticketing immediately at the time of opening. 

Pro tip: You can also combine tickets with the people in front or behind you to max out the transaction limit and make the queue move faster. 

For example, if the limit is four tickets per transaction, and both you and the person in front of you want two tickets each, you can combine and get them together in one purchase. 

Post ticketing

Buying Concert TicketsAll Singpost outlet tickets will be printed out on paper
Image courtesy of the writer

At last, the stars will align and the concert ticketing stress ends. After your tickets are secured, those who opted for a standing pen should check your queue number immediately. Fingers crossed that you manifested a barricade-worthy number. 

All tickets purchased at Singpost will be printed out on paper. But once again, you can opt to change it to a physical ticket by calling Ticketmaster to request and topping up the reprint fee. 

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Buying from 3rd parties


It can be a bummer to really hope to see your idols but not secure tickets. Sometimes, people purchase from third parties in their desperation to go to a concert. 

However, I wouldn’t encourage this. With every popular concert, there’s bound to be scalpers and resellers on Carousell and social media channels. These often come with hiked prices and risks of scam. 

If you really want to buy from a third party, make sure it’s from someone you trust, such as your friends or family members. There are also telegram channels set up for WTS/WTB (Willing To Sell/Willing To Buy) tickets from fans which tend to be somewhat “safer”, but it’s still a risk to take regardless. 

On the concert day

Now that you’re all set, it’s time for the day you’ve been counting down to — the actual concert day. A few days before the concert, the organiser will release an event guide online, so be sure to read through and familiarise yourself with the rules and restrictions. 

This is especially important when it comes to queuing on the day itself, as different sections have different queue locations around the concert venue.

Last minute tickets

Queuing up to go into the concert venue
Image courtesy of the writer

Not many people know of this, but Ticketmaster releases last minute tickets on the day of the concert. If you’re still looking for tickets, try your luck on the day itself. The exact timing of the release is unknown, but I’ve heard from others that it’s usually around 12pm. 

Scalpers who are unable to resell their tickets in time may also start selling for cheaper on the day itself. Sometimes, they may do so at the concert venue itself. 

Concert venues

My standing pen stage view at Singapore Indoor Stadium
Image courtesy of the writer

The most common venues for concerts are The Star Theatre, Singapore Indoor Stadium and National Stadium. These venues are arranged from the smallest to the largest capacity. 

As someone who has watched concerts in all three venues, Singapore Indoor Stadium has the best views. The Star Theatre’s stage is a little small, while the area at National Stadium feels too big to get a close view. 

For those who are curious as to what view you can expect with your ticket number, you can also find Twitter threads based on fans’ past concert experiences. Here’s a thread of concert views at Singapore Indoor Stadium, inclusive of the exact seat or standing pen queue number.

Be sure to double check what time the doors open as it differs between venues, concerts and sections. Most of the time, this information is also written on the ticket itself.

Standing queues

Seeing my idols up close from the standing pen
Image courtesy of the writer

For standing pens with a queue number printed on the ticket, this means that it’s not first come first serve. Your queue number has already been decided when you purchased the ticket, and you are not allowed to queue before the official queue time opens.

Once the queue opens, guests will be arranged in ascending order. Your queue number is the last three digits — for example if your pen starts with 1000 and your number is 1150, you are 150th in line to enter. 

The queues are separated by sections, with the number range written at the front so you can navigate around easily.

Buying Concert TicketsPeople mountain, people sea
Image courtesy of the writer

Be sure to ask around the people in the queue for their exact number to make sure that you are at the right spot. Multiple ushers will also be around to help you.

Note that the queue closes at a certain time, so if you come after the queue closes, you have to join the back of the queue. Of course, the smaller the number, the nearer you’ll likely be to the stage. So if you have a good queue number, don’t be late! 

When entering the venue, you have to stand in the standing pen for at least two hours, pressed up against the sea of fans. This is the biggest con of being in the standing pen, as it’s pretty tough to hold out for so long even before the concert starts.

Seating queues

Seating queues often open slightly later than standing queues. Since the individual seats are already assigned beforehand, it is more organised and easier to find your way to queue and look for your seat inside the venue. 

Regardless, do make sure that you join the queue in time before the doors close.

Buying Concert Tickets Is A Challenging Experience For Concert Goers In Singapore

Scoring a concert ticket to see the idols you’ve been waiting for a long time IRL is certainly more complicated than it seems. With this guide, hopefully, you’ll have a better understanding of all your options and what your ticket number really means.

Buying Concert TicketsManifesting barricade luck for everyone in your next ticketing
Image courtesy of the writer

My overall advice? Queue physically at Singpost if you want to get a good standing pen number and get your friends to help out online. But physically queuing isn’t really for everyone since it can be really draining, especially if you’re planning to queue overnight. 

At the end of the day, ticketing systems in Singapore really just boil down luck. So please think through all your options carefully before deciding. 

Lastly, have fun! Once the stress of ticketing is over, you now have the concert to look forward to. Here’s to manifesting barricade luck and front row seats for everyone in your next ticketing war. 

Cover images courtesy of the writer.

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