Buying a ticket for a concert, a show or a sporting occasion can be a daunting task. There are dozens of primary ticketing websites out there selling tickets to various events at various venues, as well as a handful of established exchange sites, and other independent secondary sites. But there are also some sites that consumers should be wary of, and ticket buyers should think carefully before making an online purchase from any website that looks unfamiliar or isn’t included in one of the lists or links from this page.
When looking to purchase tickets online for a UK event, we recommend using only official and verified primary ticketing agencies, trusted secondary ticketing exchanges that provide consumer guarantees, or other established independent secondary websites.
If you plan to buy tickets from a primary site when tickets for the act or artist you’re interested in go on sale for the first time, then there are a number of steps you can take to increase your chances of making a successful purchase. Nothing is guaranteed of course as demand for the most popular shows almost always outstrips supply, but you’ll stand a better chance of securing the tickets you want if you follow some simple pointers.
Research the event you’re interested in
Check ticket prices and your bank or card balance
Know when and where tickets go on sale
We’ve provided a list of some of the main primary websites below, but this list is not exhaustive. A comprehensive list can be found in the Member Directory section on the website of STAR (the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers) at https://www.star.org.uk.
There are also a number of primary websites that sell tickets exclusively for specific venues, or venues within a particular town, city or region. We’ve included a few here from London but a fuller list including whole country can again be found in the STAR Member Directory.
Get ready to act - every second counts
If you don’t get tickets first time, keep trying
Have a spare credit card on standby just in case
If you’re not successful, keep an eye out to see if any new dates are added to the calendar.
Convenience of 24/7 ticket availability
Prices to suit all sorts of budgets
Handpick the kind of seats you want
If you decide to purchase tickets on the secondary market, then there are four main exchange websites selling tickets for UK events.
People often turn to the secondary market for the convenience, for the 24/7 availability, or because they want specific seats, and acting fast can ensure you get the tickets you want. Secondary websites don't reserve or hold tickets, even while you're entering credit card details, so don't hang about too long during the checkout process.
If you’re thinking of buying on the secondary market, it’s worth comparing the prices of identical or similar tickets across all four of the above platforms. Some are more upfront and show the full price earlier in the checkout process than others, so although they might look more expensive from the outset, by the time you get a grand total, they might actually be better value.
You’ll also find that some secondary websites are official partners of venues, events or primary websites and offer additional guarantees when you purchase tickets from them.
For example, StubHub! is the official partner of both The O2 and Wembley Arena – tickets purchased through StubHub! for events at these venues are reissued as brand new tickets with brand new barcodes so they can't be sold twice, further protecting consumers.