What It’s Really Like Trying To Buy Harry Styles Tour Tickets

Columbia Records

Whether you’ve been a devoted One Direction supporter since the band’s earliest days, or you joined the Directioner fandom somewhere along the way, there is one truth you likely hold true to your heart: there’s not a whole lot we wouldn’t do for the boys. We helped sell out arena tours globally, rabidly voted for any and all award shows they were nominated for, and called in to radio stations to get their latest singles played hourly. I personally even tried to track down all the guys’ custom album art for their Made In the A.M. physical CD. (I only got Liam Payne‘s though. What can I say, it was a hit!)

So of course, now that the guys are all pursuing solo projects, I find myself supporting five times as many business ventures as before. (Yes, I still count Zayn. Yes, I always will.) Have I had Louis Tomlinson‘s “Just Hold On” and Niall Horan‘s “This Town” and “Slow Hands” releases on Spotify replay since they dropped? Girl, what kind of question is that? Did I pre-order Harry Styles‘ debut album on digital download, CD, and white vinyl? You better believe it. It is expensive. It is exciting.

Naturally, I registered for Harry’s elaborate “Verified Fan” process on Ticketmaster the second he announced his tour too.

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If you tried out Verified Fan and/or have a Twitter account, you’ll know that it wasn’t the most well-liked of options in the fandom. In theory, the process was supposed to make sure actual fans had a fair early shot at the tickets to Harry’s super small venues, not auto-generated bots and scalpers. By registering early through Ticketmaster, the company would send verified profiles a special access code that would be texted out a few hours before pre-sale. Which is all amazing — again, in theory — but not all fans who got a code would be guaranteed tickets.

In fact, to try my hand at getting Harry Tour tickets the first time around in May, I set an alarm 5 minutes before pre-sale opened. I signed into my account early, made sure I had my credit card info on file, and sat poised at my desktop computer with another tab open on my phone just in case. I forwarded my texted codes to my email so I could easily copy-paste it. I watched the countdown clock tick down on the site, all while calm, cool, collected, and ready.

Maybe I shouldn’t say “calm,” because as I entered my info in lightning speed, I sat crazy-eyed as the site searched for two open seats. Exactly 24 seconds later, I was presented with a popup prompt saying no seats were available. I tried again for a single seat (sorry friends!) and still nothing. Harry sold out New York’s 2017 Radio City performance in less than a minute, and all we could do was take to Twitter and scream, “We TOLD you so!” into the abyss.

When Harry saw this all go down for every show he announced, he promised he would be back in 2018.

I tried to be optimistic, thinking my second chance was here.

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The only detail I was pleased to see about the Verified Fan process is that the registration carried over to this tour leg. I got an email from Ticketmaster saying I was already pre-registered for the second release of tickets, and I got texted another early access code. I genuinely appreciate that they didn’t even have to ask if I was interested.

So this morning, I set another 5-minute warning alarm on my phone and emailed myself the codes, prepping for Harry’s Madison Square Garden show. I perched at my laptop ahead of the 10 AM on sale time, shooing my dad away as he decided that 9:58 AM was the perfect time to come ask me some questions about my life (!!! I need to focus !!!). I tried to convince myself I’d snag tickets no problem, as MSG is a huge venue, as Radio City is decidedly not.

But then I watched history repeat itself. Even before the clock showed 10:01 AM, no seats were to be found. I took to Twitter and was finding comfort with other disappointed darlings who were similarly locked out of their second chance.

But as I was tweeting up a storm, I got another, unexpected text from Ticketmaster announcing a surprise second show was added for MSG, available RIGHT THIS SECOND, GO NOW.

You’ve never seen a human jump up and run to a computer so fast.

As I broke the sound barrier rushing back to Ticketmaster, my inner monologue convinced me that now was my time. “People weren’t expecting this,” I told myself. “You are ready.” A few seconds in, I still wasn’t able to pick up a pair of tickets. I tried again, this time looking for a set of three. Nothing. Another “Sorry, friends!” crossed my mind, and I put in a search for a single ticket.

And I finally got one! It was waaaaay up in the top balcony, so far from the stage that Harry would look like a tiny ant. Somehow, I talked myself out of it. Nearly $100 to sit alone in the rafters and be sad and lonely as I strained to see? I couldn’t do it. I tried again for two tickets, and failed miserably.

“But it’s Harry,” the voice in my head told me. “Don’t be picky. You’ll have a great time.”

When I re-entered a search for a single ticket, I was presented with a beautiful prime spot: a floor seat. I clicked “checkout” so fast, I didn’t even blink.

Third time was the charm, and now I am going to Harry Styles Live on Tour. By myself. Next year. And I am still thrilled. If you see me there, say hello. If you still haven’t grabbed tickets, stay strong because miracles will always find their way to you.

If you’ve had a similar shopping experience with getting Harry tickets, make sure to let us know with your reactions below.

Written by Kristine Hope Kowalski

Kristine is a writer and celebrity entertainment news journalist with a specific obsession with Nickelodeon + Disney Channel shows, boy bands, K-Pop, Broadway, and international series dramas. If she's not writing or tucked away in a good book, she is most likely traveling the world and spamming her friends' Instagram feeds with photos from her adventures. Kristine has a BA in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University (2011), and an MA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Thought from NYU (2013). She is currently pursuing her second Master's in Journalism at Harvard.