Reading and Leeds Festival: a ticket-buying guide

Give yourself the best chance of getting tickets!

Chris Eustace - 17 March 2011
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Strong rumours suggest Teignmouth stadium-slayers Muse, New York comeback kings The Strokes and emo heroes My Chemical Romance will all be there, but Reading and Leeds always throws up a few surprises, too, and demand will be huge as always.
 
Click here to see the latest Reading & Leeds rumours.

 
Don't get put off, though. Have a read through these tips and tactics and you should have an excellent chance of getting through to the best way to spend an August Bank Holiday weekend.
 
Step 1: Which one's it going to be?
Make sure you and your friends are all agreed on which site you're going to - you might not be celebrating so hard about going to Reading when everyone else is going to Leeds!

Step 2: Try for the Vodafone VIP presale
Vodafone customers registered with the Vodafone VIP service will have access to a presale for Reading & Leeds tickets from 9am on Thursday 17 March. Grab that SIM card quick! Check here to get Vodaphone tickets!
 
Step 3: Live in Reading (for, er, Reading Tickets only, obviously)
If your postcode begins with RG1, RG2, RG4, RG6, RG30, or RG31, you could be eligible for the Residents' presale.
Tickets can be purchased from here www.seetickets.com/readingresidents from 7am on Sunday 20 March until 2pm on Monday 21 March.
 
If neither of those are an option, then going through these should set you up nicely. Just make sure you're back from work/school/wherever and primed and ready for 6pm Monday!
 
Step 4: Register on ticketing websites in advance
Having an account makes the checkout process faster, and sites like SEE Tickets and Ticketmaster insist on you opening an account when you try to buy a ticket from them anyway. It'll be far less stressful to have that already sorted as time ticks away, especially as card details can be stored, too. Also, the more outlets you're registered with and trying to get through to when the big rush starts, the more chance you have!
 
Step 5: Get your team together
A bit of coordination could definitely help things go more smoothly. Get everyone in your group to try for tickets individually and your chances are improved even further. If you're all in contact when the tickets go on sale, you can make big decisions easily and quickly. For example, if coach packages are all that's left or one leg sells out before the other - more on that later.

If one of your number gets through and buys tickets, that could mean "click, refresh" time is over for another year, or they could send you the backdoor link to the payment page so that you can get yours then, too. Talking of which...

Step 6: Get the links you need in advance, and keep an eye out
Know which kind of ticket you want, and save the link in your browser. Then just load it up before tickets go on sale, and keep refreshing 'til you get through. Don't waste time scouring Google - VF will keep you up-to-date on how the sale is going on our Twitter, Facebook and homepage.

Keep an eye on music and festival message boards, too - many triumphant ticket buyers kindly post a link to the payment page they got through on once they've got theirs.
 
Reading Festival
Click here to buy Reading Festival Weekend tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival early entry tickets and coach travel through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets and coach travel through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival Friday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival Saturday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival Sunday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets through Ticketmaster.
Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets through Ticketline.

Leeds Festival
Click here to buy Leeds Festival Weekend tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival early entry tickets and coach travel through SEE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets and coach travel.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival Friday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival Saturday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival Sunday tickets through SEE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets through Ticketmaster.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets through Ticketline.

Step 7: Try Ticketmaster Ireland
IF you're having no luck on the UK sites, try Ticketmaster Ireland as less people will be buying from there as it's a UK festival.

Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets through Ticketmaster IE.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets through Ticketmaster IE.

Step 7: Don't forget the the phone!
In the internet age, it's easy to forget ticket agencies have phone lines. Save the numbers of the ticketing agencies to your mobile on speed dial and have a go while you're trying to get through online. It may well be even harder to get through to the phone lines, but it's another chance of a ticket nonetheless.
 
Contact Numbers:
See Tickets – 0844 871 8816
Ticketmaster – 0844 844 0444
Ticketline – 0844 888 9991
The Ticket Factory – 0844 338 8000
Gigs and Tours – 0844 871 8816
Also note that Gigantic don't do phone orders!
 
Step 8: Consider coach travel
Okay, you can't arrive/leave as you please with a coach package (which includes a festival ticket as well!), but it's more environmentally friendly, and most importantly, they don't sell out as quickly as the standard tickets do. National Express are the exclusive coach partner - but if you're in a queue on SEE or Ticketmaster, don't waste your time trying to buy coach package there, use the National Express link.

Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets with coach travel through National Express.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets with coach travel through National Express.

Step 9: Buy from secondary ticketing sites
If you’re lucking out on the primary sites, try some safe secondary ticketing sites. Official ticket exchange partner viagogo will have a number of tickets available.

Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets through viagogo.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets through viagogo.

Secondary ticketing company Get Me In may also have tickets available. Get Me In’s FanGuard Guarantee states that Buyers will always receive tickets that are comparable or better than what they paid for. The guarantee also ensures that you will receive your tickets in time for the event and will be refunded if an event is cancelled and not rescheduled.

Click here to buy Reading Festival tickets through Get Me In.
Click here to buy Leeds Festival tickets through Get Me In.

Step 10: Remember that Leeds takes slightly longer than Reading to sell out
Not quite as much as a few years ago, but still. If you're flexible with location and travel and Reading Weekend Tickets are gone, check to see if Leeds ones are still available. You'll have a great time at either, and obviously it's the same bands!
 
Step 11: Keep the faith!
The fact is that it takes AGES to get through to buy Reading & Leeds tickets for most people because the servers get clogged up very quickly. You've got to stay the course and just keep trying. Don't get freaked out when everyone else online is bragging about having got theirs either. It can take 2-3 hours, but usually persistence is rewarded. If someone is on hand to deliver cups of tea or the odd bit of encouragement, so much the better! Keep the radio on, too - Zane Lowe will no doubt formally announce the line-up at 7pm, and if that won't motivate you to get tickets, nothing will!
 
Best of Luck!


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