Curious About How to Get Free Seat Filler Tickets?

How to Get Free Seat Filler Tickets

US & UK Edition

By Lu, OTL Seat Fillers & City Guides

Free. When you think of the word free, it’s probably initially appealing. But your excitement is quickly followed by “what’s the catch?” – at least it is for me and most people I know.

So, when you land on a page about free seat filler tickets, you undoubtedly have questions. That’s good, though, as I’ve got answers for you. And I think you’re going to like them!

Are free seat filler tickets a real thing?

I’ve seen so many websites with articles promising one thing to get your attention, only to reveal something else once they have it. That’s not the case here.

Yes. Free seat filler tickets are real – and they’re pretty easy to get if you know about them.

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What are seat filler tickets?

Seat filler tickets are privately issued “comps” available to members of official seat filler clubs like OTL Seat Fillers. Community venues like theatres, comedy clubs, stadiums, etc. request seat filling when they don’t anticipate a sell-out.

For example, if a comedy club in London has open seats and would like a bigger audience, the promoter provides a specific number of complimentary admissions. Seat fillers make reservations and pick up their free seat filler tickets at the box office right before the show. It’s a win-win, as the comedy club is livelier, which is great for the comics. Even though tickets are free, seat fillers buy drinks or merchandise, so the club makes more money. And, it’s a perk for seat fillers to treat themselves and friends to free admission to fun events.

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Who distributes free seat filler tickets?

There are two parties involved in seat filling.

  1. The event promoter or venue
  2. An official seat filling club (OTL, SeatStir, PluginVegas)

Free tickets are provided courtesy of the actual shows or events and are distributed on-site at the venue.

However, to claim complimentary admission, you need to be a member of one of the seat filling clubs. The clubs take the online reservations and submit will-call lists to the venues.

How does seat filler ticketing work?

It’s a pretty new concept to most people, so here’s a quick rundown of the seat filling process.

Time needed: 1 day.

Here's how free seat filler tickets are available across the US and in London.

  1. The process starts when shows anticipate having a few open seats.

    When a show or event anticipates having open seats (or has unlimited seating, like a festival) and wants more people in attendance, it partners with a local seat filling club, like OTL Seat Fillers.

  2. The promoter privately offers "x" amount of free admissions.

    Event promoters provide the club with details like dates, times, dress code, etc., and the number of free seat filler tickets on offer.

  3. Free seat filler ticket opportunities are privately posted for local seat fillers.

    OTL Seat Fillers or another seat filler club (SeatStir, PlugInVegas) privately posts the information for members – aka seat fillers.

  4. Seat fillers make online reservations in the club's members-only area.

    Members reserve anywhere from 2 to 4 tickets depending on their specific membership.

  5. Reservations are turned into a will-call list for the venue.

    The club submits the final reservation list to the venue on the day of the event.

  6. The venue (theatre, comedy club, stadium, hall, arena, etc.) handles the ticketing in-house.

    Complimentary tickets are issued by the venue based on the will-call list.

  7. Seat fillers pick up their tickets right before the show or event.

    Seat fillers present their ID at the box office to pick up their complimentary tickets. Note: If a seat filler brings a guest or guests, the party is seated together.

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What types of shows or events provide free seat filler tickets?

Venues are never publicly promoted so their regular ticket sales aren’t impacted. But, over the years, seat fillers have received free admission to a wide variety of shows and events. Theatre (plays and musicals) is number one on the list. But other opportunities include comedy, music, sports, burlesque, conferences, classes, film festivals, movies, parties, and much more!

If seat fillers are members of a club, what are the rules?

Yes, seat fillers belong to a club. However, there are no meetings – just entertainment. Each club has slightly different membership rules, but the big ones are consistent.

  1. Members pay nothing more than super-low membership rules, meaning all tickets are included.
  2. Seat fillers aren’t obligated to attend shows. But, when they make reservations, they must show up. Event partners count on those seats being filled.
  3. There’s no guarantee as to the number of events or tickets that will be available. Seat filler clubs are unique – they’re not ticket brokers. But, again, we’re not talking about discount tickets. These are pairs of free tickets.
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So, where CAN I get free seat filler tickets in the US and UK?

Local seat filling is still a relatively new concept. However, the top three seat filler clubs – OTL Seat Fillers, SeatStir, and PlugInVegas continue to expand their reach.

The following markets are the busiest for complimentary seat filling admission:

LocationSeat Fillers Club        
AtlantaOTL Seat Fillers
AustinOTL Seat Fillers
Baltimore - DCSeatStir
BostonOTL Seat Fillers
CharlotteOTL Seat Fillers
ChicagoOTL Seat Fillers
ClevelandSeatStir
DenverOTL Seat Fillers
Fort LauderdaleOTL Seat Fillers
Las VegasPlugIn Vegas
London - UKOTL Seat Fillers
MiamiOTL Seat Fillers
MinneapolisSeatStir
NashvilleOTL Seat Fillers
OrlandoOTL Seat Fillers
PhiladelphiaSeatStir
PittsburghSeatStir
Portland OROTL Seat Fillers
RaleighOTL Seat Fillers
San FranciscoOTL Seat Fillers
SeattleOTL Seat Fillers
St. LouisOTL Seat Fillers
TampaOTL Seat Fillers
Other US Locations - covered by OTL Seat Fillers On-CallOTL Seat Fillers

Love [OTL Seat Fillers]!  I've gotten to see a free theater show (normally $130 tickets I got for free!) and a few other theater shows as well. T.H., OTL Seat Fillers Austin Member

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Seat Filler Tickets

Are free seat filler tickets REALLY free?

Yes and no. Local seat fillers, like members of OTL Seat Fillers receive 100% free tickets to any shows and events they attend. However, they do pay low (very low!) membership dues that are typically less than one movie ticket for an entire month of free seat filler tickets – 2 or 4 tickets PER event!

Do local seat fillers get paid?

Local seat fillers across the US and London, like the members of the OTL Seat Fillers club, pay membership dues for the privilege of reserving free pairs of show tickets. They’re helping the venue by adding to the audience but are treated just like every other paying patron. So, the perk is the complimentary admission for seat fillers and their guests.

Where are seat fillers in the US and UK?

OTL Seat Fillers is expanding the local seat filling concept with seat fillers on-call to add to the growing list of US and UK seat filling locations. Currently, the most active locations include OTL’s preferred markets – London, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa Bay. PlugInVegas covers Las Vegas, and SeatStir offers free seat filler tickets in Baltimore/DC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, NYC/NJ, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

What types of shows can I see with free seat filler tickets?

As a seat filler (i.e. member of a club like OTL Seat Fillers, SeatStir, or PlugInVegas), you never know what’ll pop up for you – but that’s part of the fun! In most locations, more theatre tickets are available than anything else. However, over the years, free seat filler tickets have been available for comedy, music, sports, burlesque, magic, classes, conferences and expos, variety shows, opera, ballet, and the list goes on.

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