Rush is a Band

A blog devoted to the band RUSH:
Neil Peart, Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson

Sun, Feb 1, 2015

Rush ticket sales and pre-sales guide/FAQ

Fri, Apr 16, 2010@4:11PM | comments

LAST UPDATED 1/27/2015@4PM

Live Nation or Ticketmaster?

Both! The 2 companies merged in early 2010. Although events and ticketing information are listed on the Live Nation website, most actual ticket transactions generally take place via Ticketmaster although Live Nation does still handle the transactions for some venues. VIP Nation (just a subsidiary of Live Nation) now separately handles some of the VIP ticket packages.

Local time or venue time?

Pre-sale times are given in the time local to the particular venue unless otherwise specified. So a pre-sale that starts at 10AM in Los Angeles means 10AM PDT. A pre-sale that starts at 10AM in Chicago means 10AM CDT.

When will tickets go on sale for [INSERT CITY NAME]?

Ticketmaster/Live Nation will generally start listing shows at least a week or two in advance of their on-sale date, and usually at least a few days before any pre-sales start. The only way to know for sure is to periodically check the listings at Ticketmaster, which are continually being updated. You can also sometimes see them advertised in advance on the venue's website. Once an on-sale date is listed, then this will give you an idea of when pre-sales will begin as well, even if those aren't listed yet. Pre-sales ALWAYS occur the week prior to an event's on-sale date. You can also see all the latest tour on-sale/pre-sale dates and information in the Rush is a Band tour section. Here's a timeline of when the various pre-sales/on-sales will occur based off whenever the on-sale date occurs:

FRIDAY, 10AM: FAN, VIP (with password) pre-sales begin
MONDAY, 5PM: FAN, VIP pre-sales end
TUESDAY, 10AM: CITI pre-sale, VIP on-sale (no password) begin
THURSDAY, 10AM: LIVE NATION, Venue, Radio pre-sales begin
THURSDAY, 5PM: CITI, LIVE NATION, Venue, Radio pre-sales end
FRIDAY, 10AM: general public on-sale

Note that these play out a little differently for Canadian dates, but follow the same general pattern.

Might they add additional dates/shows to the tour?

Once the tour itinerary is announced it is very unlikely they will add any other shows. If they do, it's usually a second show in a city they are already scheduled to play (usually in big markets like Toronto, Los Angeles, etc.) and it must fit into their schedule/pattern. For the last several tours Rush has been following a fairly strict pattern of taking AT LEAST one day off before shows. They also typically will take around a 10-day break between legs of the tour, where each leg consists of about 10-12 shows. It is very rare for them to do back-to-back shows, or cut their 10-day break short, although they might do it under extenuating circumstances such as a cancellation or postponement.

Music Today (Tickets Today) fan pre-sales

Music Today/Tickets Today is the company that has been handling Rush's fan pre-sales for the last few tours. It looks like they recently re-branded themselves as Tickets Today although both musictoday.com and ticketstoday.com take you to the same site. To participate in these pre-sales you simply need to visit the Rush Tickets Today website; it is free, you do not need to be a member of any Rush fan club (there isn't any official Rush fan club), and there are no pre-sale passwords. There will be a fan pre-sale for all of Rush's North American tour stops, including Canadian dates. The fan pre-sales for any given date generally occur the week leading up to the general on-sale date and usually run from 10AM Friday until 5PM Monday local venue time, or until the allotted number of tickets runs out (this often happens). The upcoming week's pre-sales are announced via the Rush.com mailing list but that varies; sometimes they give several days notice and sometimes there's no information until the night before (or day of!). When you are on the Rush Tickets Today site and a pre-sale is open, you will see a link to buy tickets on the Rush Tickets Today schedule. From that point things play out like most ticketing websites; you choose the level and number of seats (usually there is a max of 4 or 8) you want, they find tickets for you, you choose to either take the tickets or try again. If you decide to move forward with the purchase then you are asked to enter your payment information. Ticket prices are face value although the fees might make the final cost slightly different from Ticketmaster, but not significantly so. The system often runs very slowly - especially right when pre-sales begin. So you will often be presented with a no tickets currently available message. This doesn't mean they are sold out - it just means their system can't accommodate your request at that time. Just keep trying. It often takes several tries until any tickets come up. These pre-sales are called out as FAN pre-sales in the Rush is a Band tour section.

Rush VIP Premium Ticket Package pre-sales

The Rush VIP or Premium Ticket Package pre-sales simply allow ticket buyers to purchase a ticket bundle which guarantees premium seating (floor rows 1-10 for the GOLD package, floor rows 11-16 or 1st 6 rows of lower bowl for the SILVER) along with a package of Rush swag as detailed here. These pre-sales are available for most Live Nation sponsored shows and run during the week leading up to the general on sale date. Most of the VIP pre-sales are just conducted through Ticketmaster, but for those venues that don't use Ticketmaster, the VIP Packages are sold directly by VIP Nation. For those pre-sales you will need to sign up for an account on their system at this link to purchase VIP ticket packages, so make sure to do that in advance. All VIP pre-sales require a password of RUSH2015 for the duration of the pre-sale (usually from 10AM Friday to 5PM Monday the week prior to general on-sales). After this point they will become available for public on-sale without a password for a few days typically starting at 10AM the day after the pre-sale ends (so usually from 10AM Tuesday until 5PM Thursday) or until they run out. They will have a fresh supply of GOLD and SILVER packages available for the public on-sale, so even if they ran out for the pre-sale there should be more available for the public on-sale. If they have any packages left after this point, they will be available for purchase at the same time as the general public ticket on-sale. Any VIP pre-sales sold through Ticketmaster will tell you where your seat is at the time of purchase, but those sold through VIP Nation do not; they instead tell you that you will find out where your seat is when you pick up the tickets at will-call on the day of the show. These pre-sales are called out as VIP pre-sales in the Rush is a Band tour section. The VIP package pre-sales will begin at the same time as the fan pre-sales (typically 10AM on the Friday 1 week prior to the general on-sale date). The ticket packages will cost around $300 for the SILVER package and $400 for the GOLD package depending on the venue. Here are the package details:

VIP Gold Package

* One premium reserved ticket in rows 1 through 10 on the floor!
* Specially designed RUSH gift item (exclusive to VIPs)
* Tour Program
* Official VIP laminate
* Rush VIP Wooden Pick Set (limited edition, exclusive to VIPs)
* Crowd-free merchandise shopping
* Dedicated VIP entrance (where available)
* On-site VIP host

VIP Silver Package

* One premium reserved ticket in rows 11-16 on the floor or first 6 rows of lower bowl! *
* Specially designed RUSH gift item (exclusive to VIPs)
* Tour Program
* Rush VIP Wooden Pick Set (limited edition, exclusive to VIPs)
* Dedicated VIP entrance (where available)
* On-site VIP host

VIP Nation also has a nice FAQ that answers many of the typical questions.

CITI Cardmember pre-sales

These pre-sales are sponsored by Citi Bank and are open to anyone with access to a valid Citi consumer or business credit card. These pre-sales are available for most Live Nation sponsored shows and usually run the week leading up to the general on sale date from 10AM Tuesday or Wednesday to 5PM Thursday or Friday. Tickets are purchased via Live Nation/Ticketmaster just like you would buy any other ticket through these outlets. When prompted to enter your Passcode or Member Code on the billing information page you simply enter the first six (6) digits of your credit card account number (no dashes) located on the front of your Citi card. You will then need to use a Citi credit card to complete your ticket purchase. You might be able to get away with using a generic 6-digit code you can find on the internet, and then not actually use a CITI card to complete the purchase, but people have mixed results doing this. These pre-sales are called out with a code of CITI in the Rush is a Band tour section.

Live Nation pre-sales

If a pre-sale is sponsored by Live Nation, members of their mailing list in the city where the show is scheduled may receive an e-mail in advance of the pre-sale which will include any necessary password information. For information on how to sign up for their mailing list go to the Live Nation website. The Live Nation pre-sales usually will use the same password for all dates but this is subject to change. You can typically get the password for a particular venue if you are signed up to receive alerts at the Live Nation website. These pre-sales are available for most Live Nation sponsored shows and usually run the week leading up to the general on sale date for one or two days. Tickets are purchased via Live Nation/Ticketmaster just like you would buy any other ticket through these outlets. When prompted for a passcode simply enter the passcode that was provided to you. I will post these passwords in the tour section as soon as I become aware of them. These pre-sales are called out with a code of LN or VENUE in the Rush is a Band tour section unless the password is known, in which case the password will instead be displayed. Live Nation also has a How do pre-sales work FAQ that explains a lot and suggests trying a password of headliner or presents if you weren't supplied a password otherwise.

Radio pre-sales

Radio station sponsored pre-sales often require that participants join the station's mailing list before receiving the password although some stations post the password on their site for all to see or announce it on air. Visit the specific radio station's site or check the Rush is a Band tour section for details. I will post any passwords I become aware of to the tour section as soon as I learn of them. These pre-sales are called out with a code of RADIO in the Rush is a Band tour section unless the password is known, in which case the password will instead be displayed.

Which pre-sale is better?

As far as the quality of the tickets obtained in the different pre-sales, the Rush VIP pre-sales will guarantee you the best seats. But if you want to pay face value then the Music Today or Citi pre-sales are your best bet and usually get fans better seats than any of the Live Nation or radio pre-sales. Opinions vary on this though, so I suggest you check the comments on the various pre-sales posts to get a better idea of the types of tickets and experiences fans have had purchasing tickets thus far. A good general rule when purchasing tickets is to go into it prepared. Make sure you are very familiar with the seating at the venue for which you are purchasing tickets, have your credit card handy and decide how much you are willing to pay for tickets along with the seating you'll settle for.

Ticketmaster Platinum Tickets

For the 2012 Rush tour Ticketmaster started making Official Platinum tickets available. This essentially amounts to Ticketmaster scalping their own tickets as the prices are marked up significantly over the regular price and you have to buy the tickets in pairs. These tickets are not pre-sale tickets - they become available when the general on-sales begin. They can be accessed by going to the Ticketmaster page for the selected show and clicking on the Official Platinum Seats tab. More information on these tickets can be found at the Ticketmaster site.

Ticket Brokers

If you miss out on the pre-sales, or don't get the seats you were hoping for there are always third-party ticket brokers. These are just companies that buy up tickets and resell them for profit. A couple of the major players are StubHub and TicketLiquidator. You can usually get very good seats through brokers, but at a significant cost increase. Opinions regarding brokers vary, so do your research.

Ticket Auctions

Another way to get good seats is through ticket auctions. Very good seats can be obtained through auctions, but you always run the risk of not winning the auction and being left without a ticket. Information on Ticketmaster auctions can be found here, and there's also eBay ticket auctions.

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