A college student’s guide to free concert tickets

I get it, concerts are expensive. It’s probably the only unappealing thing about them. However, if you love music, make music, or want to work in the music industry, it’s easy to find ways around that. Throughout my college experience, I’ve learned a few ways to enjoy free music and build a solid resume while doing so. Hang in there, because I’m about to tell you my favorite ways to earn free concert tickets for shows in and around Cleveland.

The Agora Street Team

If you want to get free concert tickets, your first step is going to be joining The Agora Street Team. As a street team member, you help promote shows that AEG Cleveland will be hosting in exchange for free tickets. There are various ways you can earn tickets by promoting events for The Agora and Jacob’s Pavilion. Promotion is as simple as a digital share system, poster routes, and flyer handouts after shows. Not to mention, they have some incredible shows coming up. 

Not only are some extremely talented alternative/rock bands like Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Young The Giant, Cavetown, and Fleet Foxes going to be performing here this year, but many other artists we adore of other genres will be too. Names you’re guaranteed to know like Modsun, Noel Miller, Brett Young, Sabrina Carpenter, Fantasia, Death Cab for Cutie, and Le Tigre will all be stopping here in Cleveland this year. To join The Agora Street Team, or to learn more about it, send an email to promotions@agoracleveland.com


Volunteering for Headcount is a great way to stay active in our country’s democracy, while enjoying live music. In the past, Headcount has gone on tour with widely known pop-stars like Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and Harry Styles. Along with having tables set up at concerts all around the world, they work festivals and other events mobilizing people to register to vote. As a Headcount volunteer, you go throughout the venue before the show, registering people and verifying voter information to increase voter participation through the music scene. Shortly before the show starts, Headcount allows you to redeem free tickets to the show you volunteered for, and you are allowed to experience the concert from the crowd. 

So far this year, Headcount has not announced all of their tour partnerships. Stay tuned to www.headcount.org for volunteering opportunities from Headcount all over the country.

Listen to the local radio stations

I can not stress this enough, please listen to your local radio stations. Radio is a classic way to stream music, but often enough, the stations in Cleveland do ticket giveaways. Rather than paying for concert tickets, spend a few extra minutes texting or calling the radio’s automated number and I promise it will pay off for you. 


While this is a less dependable option, always double check 1iota for free concert/event tickets. Occasionally they announce shows in Cleveland, or areas surrounding. In the past, 1iota has brought The Jonas Brothers here to Cleveland to perform on the outdoor stage at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during sunset. They truly will provide you with a memorable fan engagement experience and it’s always something to keep an eye out for. 

As if seeing a free show wasn’t good enough, 1iota is focused on filling up crowds for aired performances, so you’ll probably be on TV too. Check out www.1iota.com for more information.

Social Media Giveaways/Email Newsletters

Most of the venues in Cleveland participate in social media giveaways and email newsletter giveaways. Signing up for emails or following social channels for The House of Blues, The Grog Shop, and Beachland Ballroom can score you free tickets to the shows that they choose to promote. 

Whether you choose to take the old fashion route and listen to the radio, or fully immerse yourself into event promotion and get involved with The Agora Street Team, there are ways to enjoy live music on a budget. Experiences like these, especially volunteering and promoting, can help you develop your early career skills and help you make new connections within the industry you’d like to work in. I hope to see you at the shows!