How to Get Press Passes for Concerts
By John McDaniel
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Contact information for publicists
Whether you represent your local blog or The New York Times, obtaining a press pass is the key to getting the inside scoop on concerts and shows. The expense of attending numerous shows and difficulty of obtaining tickets can prevent certain press outlets from reviewing concerts in the area, and press passes allow the press to have a presence at a relatively low cost. Obtaining a press pass simply requires that you follow these steps and remain persistent throughout the process.
Determine the show or shows that you hope to see far in advance. Typically, two or three months is the appropriate amount of time to prepare to obtain a press pass. It is often a good idea to make a calendar of the times in which you hope to see shows. This allows you to prioritize and determine the time constraints on your various pursuits.
Find the contact information for the press agent for the various performing acts. The information should be online, and it could be on a Facebook, MySpace or social media page. Larger acts might have multiple press agents for different continents, and less-known acts might simply have band members who act as the press agent.
Contact the press agent for the act in plenty of time in advance. Explain what company or group that you represent, and politely inquire about obtaining press passes. For writers or photographers, do not promise to write a story or publish photos. Explain that you are interested in publishing something, but do not guarantee any publication, as this might cause legal problems if publication does not happen. Simply state your interest in the group and your intentions.
Call the venue ahead of time and ask where you should pick up your passes. Once agents agree to give you a press pass, they tell the venue to put your name on a list. You should always call ahead to make sure that you are actually on the press list. Find out whether you should wait in line or go to a back door to pick up your press passes. This way, you don't have to try to discern your course of action during the actual hours of the concert.
Show up early. It is rude to be late to a concert after you are given free passes. Showing up early might be a good way to meet members of the band as well. This can be a good way to turn a concert review or photo session into an actual interview.
Always be polite and patient. Keep in mind that press agents have many things of which to keep track. Do your best to be easy to work with.