Collecting and preserving concert tickets – a few fun musical facts, plus how to’s and tips
Not that I’m still bitter about it or anything. Prickly might be the better word.
My two sisters and I had to stack three cords of chopped firewood for my Dad so we could earn money to see Barry Manilow’s 1977 concert in Charleston, W.V.
Pretty smart of my Dad, I have to admit. What he didn’t know was that I thought blisters and splinters were a small price to pay for the chance to see my dream performer. Nothing would stand between me and that ticket. So I gritted my teeth and got to work.
I still have that ticket and a bunch of others. My concert ticket collection represents the musical iterations of my life. From Barry Manilow, Bread and Kenny Rogers to America, Foreigner and Chicago. Next iteration -- my rock phase. Journey and Styx in the late 70s. Next up, multiple concerts for Aerosmith (three times), KISS (three times) and finally Cher (Cher??), two concerts.
Yea, I know. It’s a weird variety.
But it’s that quirky variety that makes a concert ticket collection so much fun to relive year after year. As kids, we don’t realize how much fun it will be years later to see how our musical tastes changed and remember special memories linked forever to music.
“If I could have time in a bottle….”
Maybe our old concert tickets make us feel like that same excited kid we were when we saw our first concert. A concert ticket collection acts as a gateway to all those specific times in your life and all the emotions, and memories of being a particular age, at a certain time and place.
Styx’s “The Best of Times” always puts me right back in my senior year of high school, hanging out on the seniors-only porch with classmates, eating candy bars and drinking Dr. Pepper for lunch.
Neil Young’s first musical instrument was a cheap plastic ukulele he got in his stocking at Christmas in 1958.
“We are liv-ing in an electronic world… and I am an electronic girl”
Sadly, paper tickets are harder to get because the way we purchase tickets has changed. Now we buy tickets online, not at the box office, and download them to our phones..
Yes, it’s easy. But what’s fun about it? How do you remember a concert without having a ticket stub to touch, turn over and remember?
There’s just something missing if you don’t have a paper ticket to add to a concert ticket album.
Don’t lose hope. If you’re lucky enough to get an actual paper ticket, odds are you’ll get to keep it intact. Since 2003, most tickets have been scanned, not torn. Now you can keep your intact tickets, called “fulls.”
The first ticketed concert
The Moondog Coronation Ball dance/concert was organized in 1951 by legendary disc jockey Alan Freed, who hosted the popular “Moondog Show” on Cleveland, Ohio’s, WJW-Radio.
Thanks to widespread ticket counterfeiting and overbooking by the event’s sponsors, there were about twice as many tickets printed as there were seats in the arena. The concert lasted for one song before fire authorities shut it down due to concerns over rioting.
Freed said, “If anyone…had told us that some 20 or 25,000 people would try to get into a dance—I suppose you would have been just like me. You would have laughed and said they were crazy.”
Madonna published her first children’s book, The English Roses, in 2003. Since then, she’s published a total of 10.
Is my ticket stub collection valuable?
Most of us who collect old concert tickets do it for fun. Because once you start, how can you throw any of them away?
But if you collect concert tickets for value, the “big three” are the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. Tickets to see the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965 and Candlestick Park in 1966 (the band’s last paid performance) are good ones. Globe tickets to Woodstock in 1969 are valuable, too.
If you’re trying to figure out whether you may have a valuable ticket in your collection, you may want to consider:
- How old is the ticket? The earlier in the artist’s career the better
- Condition of the ticket – does it have sharp corners – is it still colorful?
- Is it intact – not torn or ripped? An intact ticket is called a full and became common after bar codes were added to tickets for scanning.
- How much information can you see on the ticket – name, date, time, venue price, etc
- Venue often affects price – tickets from The Whisky A Go-Go or The Fillmore may be more valuable
- Who is the artist and how often did they tour?
Over 20 million people wanted to see Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion concert in London - which may explain why someone paid over $14,000 for tickets to see them.
Organizing, preserving and storing a concert ticket collection
Ok, so maybe my KISS, Cher, Styx and Kool & The Gang concert ticket stubs aren’t your thing, but they’re my paper treasures. And they certainly deserve a better home than their current one - a small wooden box that’s crowded with other relics from my childhood, like Christmas gift tags, bracelet charms and Girl Scout pins.
There are so many scrapbooks hat would work just fine. But I don’t want to put my concert ticket collection in just any plastic sleeve or mount them permanently in a scrapbook style album.
Here’s one I discovered that’s really different.
UniKeep's Concert Ticket Stub collection binder is a fully-enclosed, mini case-style binder that includes ten archival quality ticket protector pages. Each page has four pockets, so the case holds 40 tickets (or 80 back to back).
The best thing about this concert ticket binder is you won’t damage your tickets by permanently mounting them with tape or spray. Just slip your tickets inside the included archival safe page protectors.
See how UniKeep’s Concert Ticket Stub binder works here:
UniKeep’s concert ticket binder protects tickets individually inside crystal clear mini sheet protectors made of durable, 100% recyclable polypropylene.
- Archival poly protects tickets against yellowing and won’t pick up ink from photos and tickets
- Your tickets get the double protection of the snap locking case plus polypropylene sleeves that protect your tickets against dirt, damage and exposure to the elements.
According to the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), The Eagles’ Greatest Hits 1971-1975 is the best-sellng album of all time. It was certified at 38 million units in 2018, five million more than Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
How to personalize a concert ticket collection mini-binder
You may want to turn your UniKeep ticket binder into a personalized concert ticket stub scrapbook album.
Here are a few ideas how.
- Grab some colorful pens and paper so you can journal your memories
- Purchase a few music-related scrapbook embellishments: stickers, colorful scrapbook borders and papers;
- Assemble concert mementos - photos, articles, trivia, recent concert reviews
- Add a few extra UniKeep mini-sized page protectors in different sizes and shapes and get busy!
Mini-Binder page protectors and ideas for using them for your concert ticket binder
- Use this single pocket mini page protector for newspaper or magazine articles and photos about the band
- Insert a piece of card stock, add stickers and notes about the concert, special memories, set list for the concert, did the sell out the venue
- Add stickers, embellishments, or doodle your own decorations with colored pens.iews about the concert
- This photo page protector is perfect for two 3” x 5” photos - insert your note in the small middle pocket
- Print photos from your phone of you and your friends before and during the show.
- If you’ve seen the concert before, make a note about what was different about this show - new set, new band members.
The single photo page pocket shown here is great for scrapbooking and journaling your concert memories:
- Using a notecard, write about who you went to the concert with; what you did before the concert; your favorite songs played during the show, etc.
- Use this pocket to create a special binder page for your e-ticket - mount your ticket on colored paper and add special scrapbook decorations like stickers, borders, photo frames, etc.
- Use the small pocket at the bottom to highlight an interesting fact or two about the band
This guitar pick mini-protector sheet is made of tough, 3.5 mil poly that keeps picks and other small items firmly in place so they won’t fall out.
- Use the small pockets to store extra page embellishments so as you add more pages, you’ll have decorations at the ready.
- These small pockets are also great for smaller, torn ticket stubs you’ve collected over the years.
“Just a song before I go…”
Once you’ve used the UniKeep Concert Ticket mini-binder to make a personalized concert ticket album, you’ll be able to enjoy everything in a single location -- concert photos, tickets, notes and memories. As you attend more concerts, add pages or buy more binders so your collection can continue to grow.
If you have more ideas or would like to share how you use UniKeep binders, let us know! Post a review here on Unikeep’s concert ticket binder page.