Broadway & West End Comp Ticket Requests for Free Tickets


Exactly like most of my my peers, I must receive at least 3 or 4 requests per week from friends, extended family and business partners for free comp tickets, or backstage visits, or some other special request pertaining to either Broadway or West End show tickets. Please understand that tickets to shows are our product, just like purchasing an Apple TV from Apple. (indeed, a pair of tickets is about the same monetary value to us as 2 Apple TV’s).

Could you imagine asking your friend that works at Apple for 2 free Apple TV’s?  No.  The same applies to our tickets. It’s always embarrassing to tell your best friends cousins niece NO, and I hate being put in that position. Today “house seats” are purchased and sold at full value – most starting at about $130 per ticket, but sometimes this means $1,000 per ticket for a hot show. (Even then, sometimes even those are difficult to buy due to insider industry wait lists).    Long, long gone are the days of buckets of complimentary tickets, filling seats, and freebies.

Today, with most shows hitting 100% occupancy, giving away a free pair of tickets is insanity, and a legal breach of most investor agreements. On the very, very rare occasions I do have free tickets available (typically to a show in rehearsal or previews), I will advise my closest circle of family and friends on WeChat only. Similarly, backstage visits, autographs, meet and greets, free posters etc.. etc.. are rare, and typically limited to press and PR opportunities, close friends of the company or large scale company supported charity events.


Recommendations from Playbill. Some great tips from the New York Post…:

Download special apps 

Yes, there really is an app for that — several, in fact. TodayTix is a good option for ticket deals, lotteries and rush sales alike. You’ll also find discounts at BroadwayBox and TKTS. Those still longing to see “Hamilton” may want to download the show’s own app and enter the daily $10 ticket HAM4HAM lottery. Looking to throw a few hats in the ring? Download BroadwayADay to be automatically entered in several lotteries of your choosing every day.

Head to a TKTS booth

Actually, there are three of them. The TKTS booths in Times Square, at Lincoln Center and at South Street Seaport sell tickets discounted up to 50 percent off. The Times Square booth sells only same-day tickets, but its two satellites let you buy tickets to the following day’s matinee. Before you go, check the TKTS app to see what shows are available, and for how much: These days, even half-price Broadway tickets command as much as $100, plus the booth’s $6 service charge. Make sure you have a Plan B, in case your favorite show sells out before you reach the ticket window.

Join TDF

The Theater Development Fund (TDF) is TKTS’ parent organization, and offers other discounts as well. An annual $40 membership fee gives you access to Broadway shows for just $11 to $49 a ticket. Teachers, nonprofit employees, civil servants, students and a number of other groups are eligible for TDF membership, so check their website to see if you can sign up.

Enter lotteries

Some of the most buzzy Broadway shows release a handful of discounted tickets through daily lotteries. Depending on the show, they may be day-of tickets or for showings within the next few days, and you’ll typically be able to buy up to two tickets for under $50 each. TodayTix and the Hamilton app have some lotteries and BroadwayADay allows you to enter several automatically every day.

Join the rush line 

Box offices at many Broadway shows sell day-of tickets at steep discounts to fill any empty seats. Sales start when the box offices open: generally, Monday to Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at noon. For very popular shows you may want to start lining up a few hours before then to increase your chances. Tickets are often limited to two per customer. Some shows offer even more steeply discounted rush tickets for students with IDs. Playbill is a good source for the latest rush ticket information.

Check the discount websites

BroadwayBox often supplies discount codes for many shows, both on Broadway and off. They’ll redirect you to major ticket-selling sites like Telecharge and Ticketmaster. The average service charge per ticket is $10. Other discount sites include TodayTix, which sells rush tickets without your having to plant yourself at the box office.