Note: This blog posting is a tidy up of several previous older postings with details of recent changes to procedures.
The next tickets release date is Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 2pm
As a regular attendee of the recordings of HIGNFY, I am quite often asked how to get tickets, so I have on occasions written up the details – but over time, the pages end up inaccurate thanks to changes made by Hattrick TV, so here is the updated version.
The key point to note is that getting tickets is both very easy, and yet also a matter of some luck – and even if you get a ticket, you are then going to face standing in a long queue for at least an hour on the night.
OK – here goes:
There are two series per year, in the spring and winter, with tickets released in March and September.
To apply for tickets, you first have to open a (free) account on the Hattrick website, and it is worth doing that before the ticket booking date as on the day, their website can slow down alarmingly.
If you don’t get tickets for the first few shows of a series, a second batch of tickets is sometimes released a few weeks later for the second half of the series.
Having registered, you will probably get an email closer to the date that the tickets are released, but I also track their website through an automated system and always note the date on my events calendar.
On the day, log in to the website and you will then be able to select up to four tickets for one show. Once you book your tickets, you will be blocked from requesting any other dates. Having made a reservation, you have to wait for an email to confirm your request was accepted – just occasionally it isn’t.
Also note that the website slows down as few million people (only a slight exaggeration) try to book tickets at the same time!
Anyhow – presuming you got the confirmation email, print out a copy and wait until the night in question.
Due to people booking tickets then deciding not to bother turning up on the night – the show always overbooks and if you turn up late, then there is a chance you wont get in, although anecdotal chatter suggests you will be offered tickets for another date.
The doors open roughly around 6:45pm, but keen fans will be in the queue from 5pm to get the best seats.
There are no toilets outside, but if caught short, then go to the top of the queue and the security staff will usually let you inside to use the loo.
As you go in, the staff will take control and they tell you where to sit – the earlier you arrive the better the seats you get. Even if you arrive late and end up with an obscured view, there are loads of TV screens dotted around the place, so in the very worst case, you will still get a 2-hour TV show.
A warm-up act will try to wake the audience up – sometime very good (Jo Caulfield) or less good (seemingly, everyone else).
The guests, host and regulars, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton are brought on – a bit of fiddling with microphones and the like occurs, and then the recording starts.
The show is generally recorded in one continuous take and edited later. At the end of the recording, they do a few reruns of comments where the editors think they need to change how a sentence ends (or starts) as they have already decided what to cut or keep. Weirdly, that last bit is some times the funniest bit of the evening as the presenters relax a bit, and it is a bit surreal to hear the jokes a second time round.
Then that’s it – off you go while the staff start dismantling the set.
The key details!
The next release date is Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 2pm.