The Lost Art of Ticket Queuing

Remember those good old days when performances would cause the same desperate overnight queuing as the release of the latest Apple product? That kind of response is a publicity dream. But maybe those days aren’t over . . .


Actually, I have lied. Never in my life have I camped out waiting for tickets. That is not to say I haven’t been desperate enough for tickets to sit on the Ticketmaster or Ticketek website waiting for a new bunch of tickets to be released at 9am frantically hitting the ‘Refresh’ button. But those overnight campouts were sadly before my time!

Some might say this is a good thing because there is no longer the need to spend an entire night on the streets just to secure a prized ticket. But unless a show sells out immediately, it is very difficult to convey the popularity of a show that sells tickets online. Whether they sell one or one million tickets, it all looks the same.

But when you get people queuing around the block for tickets, then you can actually generate publicity about how well the show is going to sell. And that means more people will want tickets . . . and want them NOW!

Well, this online ticketing issue didn’t stand in the way of The Book of Mormon when they opened on the West End.

To create some hype about the popularity of the show the producers used The Book of Mormon Facebook and Twitter pages to reveal a special preview performance that would take place the day before the first preview date which had been previously announced. All tickets would be £20 and the seating inside was unreserved meaning the first person into the theatre got the best seats.

There was just one catch . . .

Tickets for this special preview performance were only given away in person at the Box Office which opened at 12 noon. And combined with the first come, first served allocation of seats it meant that the line began at 10pm the night before (keep in mind that this happened in the middle of winter).

Over the next 14 hours, the line grew around the block stretching more than 200 metres. And that kind of dedication from fans brings one thing . . . news cameras and some valuable free publicity!

Free publicity that got The Book of Mormon brand into news segments and articles that money cannot buy (unless you own the news outlet). Like these ones from big British news networks the BBC, the Telegraph, and London24, just to name a few. And it conveyed to any audience members on the fence about purchasing tickets that they have to book NOW.

But the best thing . . . they didn’t even have to pay a cent! Good one, The Book of Mormon!