From elementary school through high school my daughter took both drama and choir classes, as well as private vocal lessons, which resulted in her mother and I watching a lot of plays and concerts. Some were better than others, but I can’t remember not enjoying a single one. Almost all of them were free, and recently while remembering those times I got to thinking about other ways to see free or very inexpensive performances. The following is what I came up with:
School plays and concerts. Most schools have an online presence where they offer a calendar of events and many newspapers have a section devoted to community events. Of course if you have a kid or grandchild currently in school you already have a great source of information, if they don’t loose the school newsletter on the way home.
College performances are usually free and open to the public. Again, check the website schedule.
Volunteer as a ticket taker or usher. A little work is involved at first, but once the show starts you will pretty much just watch it with the rest of the audience, for free.
Attend rehearsals by local bands and performers. Sometimes they will allow a small number of people to watch. Doesn’t hurt to ask!
Free park concerts. Here in Iowa there are free concerts in public parks all summer long. Many small towns hold festivals and celebrations for various reasons and free music is almost considered a must. Check the newspaper or town website calendars.
Mailing lists. Get on the mailing list (whether by physical address or email) of any theater, concert hall or comedy club you would like to get free tickets from. Our local comedy club sends us free ticket offers every few months, and once in a while we go.
Join fan clubs. Once in a while they will offer freebies, sometimes including tickets.
Sign up with local radio stations. They give away stuff from sponsors all the time, and when bands come around there are usually free tickets offered.
County and State Fairs. You have to pay to get into most state fairs but I don’t think we have ever had to pay to attend a county fair, and they usually feature bands or talent contests.
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