6 Tips On Sundance Ticketing
Registration for Festival Passes and Ticket Packages to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival opens Tuesday, September 18, and we’ve called upon our sagacious staffer and senior manager of ticketing, Linda Pfafflin, to dish out six shrewd ticketing tips—while also pointing out some common fallacies. If you’re planning to attend the Festival in Park City, Utah this January, Tuesday is your first opportunity register to become eligible to receive a timeslot to purchase. Registration is open through October 10 and purchase timeslots are assigned randomly. Whether you’re a Sundance Film Festival devotee or a casual cinema fan, check out our tips below and take your first step toward attending the 2013 Festival. Click here for more on how to buy tickets.
1. What’s the most common inquiry your receive regarding ticket sales?
Linda: After "how much are tickets?" (a reasonable $15 each), the question is often "Do I have to be in the film industry to attend?" No! Only about 20% of our attendees are press or industry folks; the other people are film fans or aspiring filmmakers. We pride ourselves on being accessible to the public.
2. What’s the best tip you have for Festivalgoers who are purchasing Individual Tickets?
Linda: Be flexible. Choose films that might not come to your local art house. See films in Salt Lake City where almost every film from every category is played. And the screening you think might be an "obscure" film could be an undiscovered film gem. Our Grand Jury prize Winner and possible Oscar contender of the last Festival, Beasts of the Southern Wild, had 200 empty seats at its first showing.
3. Which Festival category is typically the quickest to sell out?
Linda: Premieres, then Dramatic Competition films, sell out first. But the best attended categories last year were U.S. Documentaries and Shorts Programs.
4. What’s the biggest misconception about ticketing at the Sundance Film Festival?
Linda: That we are sold out. Beyond the first screenings of films in Park City on the first weekend, we only totally sell out about 30% of our 600+ public screenings. Most previously off sale films have new tickets released on the day of show and it's very rare that no Waitlisters are admitted.
5. What’s the best ticketing option for attendees who are most interested in panels, music, and other Off Screen events?
Linda: If you haven't already bought a ticket package or a pass (which automatically come with a credential), then purchase a credential for $200 to gain priority access to non-theatre events. Only two or three panels that occur in theatres are ticketed like films; other panels are free to credential holders at the Filmmaker Lodge. Or, become a volunteer and use your volunteer credential to attend Off Screen events when you're not on shift.
6. Is it worth it to try my hand at Waitlist Tickets—do I really have a shot at getting a seat?
Linda: Absolutely. Fifteen percent of our audience is admitted by buying Waitlist tickets. The theatre teams will inform Waitlisters of the average number of people admitted to that venue or if it looks hopeless, which rarely happens. Last year, we admitted 102 people to the first Day One screening at the Eccles theatre.
Please contact ticketing at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further questions.