Last Friday, December 2nd, 2016, was arguably the most talked about concert of the year: Solarity & OHOP Present: Illusion feat. Metro Boomin. While this series of 1990s buzzwords may mean nothing to you, to the Oberlin population, they mean a night of genuinely good mainstream live music (Metro Boomin is best known as a producer for huge hip hop acts like Kanye and Drake).
To get those coveted tix, Obies aplenty nervously shook in their blundstones as they queued a massive single-file line across the first floor of Wilder.
When I went, towards the middle of the first selling window, I was lucky enough to get one of the last thirty or so tickets available. The many people behind me would have to fight it out at a limited sale the next day, where only fifty tickets (one per person) would be sold, cash only.
Ultimately, hundreds of students lost out on a chance to see Young Metro because they were victims of the line. Many students who hoped to see last weekend's production of Spring Awakening faced a similar problem. Here is my guideline to avoiding such a tragedy for yourself:
This is kind of a given, but it's easy to forget one of my mom's favorite mantras: the early bird gets the worm. Know the selling windows, and get there early! With theater productions, do a quick search on Central Ticket Services (CTS) to find out when tickets go on sale, and set aside time to buy those tickets. This is really the best method to get any ticket for anything ever.
At every theater event, the tech crew gets a comp ticket. If you help out behind the scenes, not only will you get a surefire seat, but you'll get it for free! (Side note: The Theater Dept. is a super supportive and cool community and I can't recommend enough that everyone, to however small or large an extent, get involved. I got to see DNA earlier this year for free because someone who I was working with on Fly By Night wasn't able to make her comped performance.)
Get on the Waitlist
Oftentimes at plays and concerts, seats are not filled completely by folks who bought their tickets at CTS, but by people who got there several hours beforehand and got on the waitlist. Don't fear! There's no need to wait in the oddly shaped lobby of Hall for three hours before a two-hour musical, but if you show up around 6 and put your name on the list, you'll have plenty of time to go to Stevie for food before the play begins at 7:30. Dinner and a show!
Find a Proxy
For Metro Boomin, each person in line (on the first day) was allowed to purchase a maximum of two tickets. If you can't make the purchase window, ask a friend to buy your ticket at the same time as they buy theirs.
Find an Alternative Route
When I saw Spring Awakening, I didn't actually go to a scheduled performance, but to something called an Open Dress Rehearsal. I had to reserve seats online beforehand, so keep punctuality in mind here, too. Many plays do this to expand their audiences and open up their show to students who want to save money (Open Dress Rehearsals are almost always free!).
If all else fails, check old reliable FB. See if anyone posted in the event page or your class page. If that doesn't work, maybe make a cheeky submission to Oberlin Crushes saying, "I have a crush on whoever can get me Metro Boomin tix ;( ," or write "in Decafe thinking about how I missed the ticket window for spring awakening (ps hmu if u can help me)" on Oberlin Places I've Cried.
After trying all of these methods, you really have gotten a lot closer to seeing one of the many awesome cultural experiences Oberlin has to offer. If nothing worked, never fear. More cool events are never far away!