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Try Mobile Ticketing for Quick, Easy Access to a Concert or Sporting Event

Skip the will call line and use your smartphone instead

Woman holding a smartphone while scanning a QR code, Smartphone reads "Ticket"
Getty Images

Last summer, two friends in their 70s were locked out of a Rolling Stones concert in Arizona. They had purchased their tickets from a resale site that required redeeming them on a smartphone; their printed versions weren't accepted.

Mobile ticketing, in which you display a virtual ticket with a code on the screen of your phone, is becoming more prevalent at concerts and sporting events. Even when not mandatory, mobile tickets “are just more convenient,” notes Tamara Mendelsohn, head of Eventbrite's consumer business unit.

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That's particularly true if you're running late or don't have time to print the ticket. Tips for getting past the gates:

Read carefully

When you buy your tickets, you receive an email with instructions on accessing them. Different sellers have different processes.

Take a 'photo'

How to use your smartphone for mobile tickets

1. Install any needed apps.
2. Practice accessing your ticket at home.
3. Turn up the screen brightness.

One way you can ensure that your ticket will be handy is to save it in advance to the app where you store your photos. Do this by taking a screen capture.

Bonus: The image will be stored on your phone so you won't risk missing out because of a bad cellular connection.

Pass it on

Gone are the days when your group has to meet up for one person to hand out tickets. Instead, just text your friends their codes.

But what if you're like those Stones fans who just can't go digital yet? The nonprofit United States Minority Ticketing Group advocates for allowing printed tickets, too, to accommodate people without smartphones.

Scot Esdaile, executive director, says of mobile-only policies: “It's not fair; it's not equitable.”