Hamilton. It’s been dubbed the ‘game changer’ of 21st century theatre and has received countless five star reviews (even from me). Now you have a second chance to see what all the fuss is about.
A second batch of tickets for the West End show will be released on Monday 29th January at 12 noon for performances from 30th July to 15th December 2018. The first batch sold out within hours, so don’t throw away your shot and have a read of these top ticket buying tips.
1. Get to grips with the ‘paperless ticketing system’
The Broadway production has had endless problems with ticket touts, so to avoid this in the UK the producers have teamed up with Ticketmaster to introduce paperless ticketing.
This is unlike any other West End production so make sure you have read the terms and conditions before booking. Here are the basics:
- The original cardholder who books the tickets MUST attend the performance.
- The name on the card must match the name on the account and therefore the booking confirmation.
- This person must take the booking confirmation, the card they booked on and a form of official photo ID to the performance to gain the tickets and therefore entry.
Don’t get caught out. Sorry, no ‘gifting’ allowed here folks – you’ll have to transfer the money to someone actually seeing the show and get them to book it. The rules may seem strict but trust me, they’re there for a reason. Touts are trying to charge thousands of pounds for tickets and you don’t want to pay that much for this awesome show.
2. Don’t even think about buying tickets from anywhere else
Despite the new system, touts are still trying to sell tickets on resale sites for extortionate amounts. If you don’t manage to secure tickets this may seem like a good alternative, but don’t be tempted. You will be caught and your tickets cancelled, which means thousands spent and no Hamilton. Not worth the risk!
The official and only place to buy Hamilton tickets for London is here.
3. Be prepared to buy before 12 noon
Have everything ready so as soon as those tickets hit your basket you are ready to buy!
- Make sure you have a Ticketmaster account set up and that you know your login details.
- Log in to Ticketmaster beforehand.
- Have your payment card ready.
4. Be flexible on dates
Organise a list of potential dates that you and your guests can see the show. You may not be able to get tickets for your first choice date so have several options in mind to maximise your chances.
The dates earlier in the new release (July/August) will probably be the busiest when booking opens as fans will wants to see the show as soon as possible. It might be better to try the later dates first if you’re not desperate to go right away.
5. Be flexible on prices
Hamilton is a hot ticket, so be aware that some of the seats will set you back around £200! From personal experience of buying tickets in batch one, here’s a rough guide to how the seats were priced (this is not 100% accurate and of course subject to change).
- £20 – severely restricted view tickets in the grand circle slips (only 8 per performance)
- £37.50 – many seats at the sides and back of the grand circle, occasionally the odd seat in the front row of the stalls
- £57.50 – seats towards the front of the grand circle, a few select seats at the back of the royal circle and stalls, some restricted view boxes next to the stage, some seats in the front row of the stalls
- £75 – some of the boxes next to the stage, seats towards the front of the grand circle, some of the boxes at the back of the dress circle, some seats in the front row of the stalls
- £89.50 – some seats towards the back and the sides of the stalls and royal circle, some seats in the front row of the royal circle
- £100 – some boxes at the back of the stalls and royal circle (can include a butler service)
- £200 – premium seats that cover the majority of the stalls and royal circle
The details currently on Ticketmaster are showing the price range to be £20 – £250 which indicates a slight price increase on premium tickets from the previous batch. Ticketmaster also use dynamic pricing, which means they can change the prices of tickets whenever they want if a performance is proving popular. I have seen the same seat cost anywhere between £37.50 and £89.50 on different days.
So my advice is to have as much money available as you can afford and be prepared to spend it if you want a ‘good’ seat.
6. Work out where you want to sit
The view is pretty important when seeing a show. If you don’t want to miss anything, but also don’t want to spend a lot of money, it’s worth doing your research beforehand on the views from seats in the theatre.
Generally, any £200 premium seat will give you a perfect, unobstructed view. Anything less than that price may be considered ‘lacking’ in some way although some people may still consider those views good ones. It depends what you want.
The front few rows of the stalls are quite low in comparison to the stage so you may miss the floor. The view from the back few rows of the stalls and royal circle will be affected by the ‘overhang’ (the floor above you) so you may miss moments at the top of the stage. The boxes at the side of the stage are very side on, so you may miss action on that side of the stage. Some seats in the upper circle may have a railing in view. Row G backwards in the upper circle seems to miss the upper part of the stage, however views in the upper circle have been considered quite good for ‘cheap seats’.
If you want to see actual pictures of the views from seats, there’s two places to go:
- Seat Plan – a great website that shows views from seats all over the West End. However be careful – some of these photos are from the theatre BEFORE it was refurbished so they may not be entirely accurate. Try and find photos with the Hamilton set so you know they are current.
- Hamilton West End Facebook group – this is for fans of the show and they also help you to find tickets (such a nice bunch!) They have a dedicated post where members have been posting photos from their seats, so join the group and take a look.
7. Use the right browser
Previous ticket buyers have reported varying success with certain browsers when buying through Ticketmaster. Here’s what I have learnt.
Ticketmaster sometimes allows you to view a seat map, where you can see exactly what tickets are available and where. You can literally click on the seats you want. However it also uses a system where you select how many seats you want at which price band and location, then it chooses the seats for you. In times of high traffic (which it will be on Monday as tickets go on sale) it will often turn off the seat map option so you have to use the automatic selection method.
Some people have reported that certain browsers will give you the seat map and others will only ever give you the automatic option. Google Chrome doesn’t seem to let some people choose seats. In my experience Internet Explorer always gives me the option to choose seats. A lot of fans have said that the Puffin browser is the best, but it’s probably a good idea to have several open on the day and see what happens as it varies with different systems. Of course, Ticketmaster may just turn off the seat map for all performances as it’s so busy!
8. Keep refreshing and don’t give up
When those tickets go live, it might take a while to get them, but don’t lose hope. In the past the page has told me that seats are unavailable then minutes later I have refreshed and suddenly they appear. So don’t lose hope – keep refreshing and requesting tickets until the official social media channels have confirmed all tickets are sold out.
Be warned though – I have found Ticketmaster has played tricks on people before. Sometimes you can have tickets in your basket, click the pay button and they disappear and you have to start again. It’s aggravating but just keep persevering.
9. Don’t panic if you don’t get tickets
It’s not the end of the world if they sell out again and you’re still ticketless. There is a daily lottery via the Hamilton app where you can buy tickets for £10 if you win. There are also regular returns, so keep checking your preferred dates for tickets that are put back on sale. A limited number of premium tickets are also released online at 12 noon each Monday for all of the following week’s performances. Alternatively you can go and queue outside the theatre for returns on the same day.
Good luck and do not throw away your shot!