Summer’s Hottest Events: Where and How Much?
With summer just around the corner, make sure you’re not left without a plan. KAYAK and SeatGeek have partnered to bring you the information you need to attend the summer’s hottest happenings by analyzing the wealth of travel and ticket data. To start the list, SeatGeek first looked at its search data to find out which events are in high demand. After narrowing it down to five and analyzing average ticket prices, KAYAK took over to pinpoint the median airfare and hotel rates for travel to each event. Together, they comprise a mini-guide to give you all the information you need to catch the hottest events of the summer.
Copa America Final
Celebrating its 100th year, this is the first time in its history that this international soccer tournament will be hosted in the United States. With 16 teams playing matches in 10 US cities, the main event is the championship final in New Jersey. So, pack your face paint and soccer scarf, and get ready to cheer on your national team.
Called “The World’s Largest Music Festival,” this annual event on the shores of Lake Michigan spans 11 days and features more than 800 acts on 11 stages. It’s the perfect venue for you and nearly 900,000 of your closest friends to dance the night(s) away. Headliners this year include Paul McCartney, Blake Shelton and Selena Gomez.
MLB All Star Game and Home Run Derby
Grab a seat at the Midsummer Classic to see your favorite American and National League baseball players swing it out in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game. Bonus: if you’re already sick of ballpark franks, the stadium is just outside San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter where you can find virtually any type of cuisine to satiate your cravings.
The concert where “Alternative Nation” began celebrates 25 years in 2016. A festival mainstay from the ’90s, Perry Farrell and his band of merry grunge rockers have turned this into one of the most sought-after tickets for music lovers. While it once traveled throughout the US, now Chicago is the only American town where you can catch the show. This year’s lineup includes rare performances by Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The musical that’s taken Broadway (and America) by storm puts a modern twist on one of our founding fathers. From a Pulitzer to a record-breaking 16 Tony Award nominations (and scores of viral videos to boot), the Hamilton cast has made showtunes hip again.
Tips for Attending the Summer’s Top Events
It may pay to procrastinate
When looking for event tickets, prices on the secondary market will often drop in the days leading up to an event. For example, at last year’s MLB All-Star Game the average resale price of a ticket was $716 when purchased 30+ days in advance. That dropped to $422 for fans who bought tickets within the last 3 days of the exposition (a 41% difference). Data also shows that waiting until the very last minute can sometimes provide the best deals for hotel rooms as well.
Festivals can be a great value
While music fans may face a little sticker shock when checking out the price of a ticket to a festival, oftentimes these multi-act, multi-day events are actually a great value for those who take the plunge. Even after you add in hotel costs, you’re seeing performers that would normally combine to command more than a thousand dollars to experience individually.
Summer is the perfect time for a road trip.
If you’re feeling priced out when your favorite artist or team comes to town, consider hitting the road. Ticket prices can vary dramatically between locales. For example, a ticket to Beyonce’s first show at Citi Field in NYC has an average resale price of $254. However, in nearby Pittsburgh, the average resale price is only $93. Need wheels? A recent analysis of KAYAK’s data shows that you should book your car at least 2 weeks in advance (three weeks for larger cities like Chicago and New York).
Know when to Go.
Recent studies show that you may be able to unlock those savings on airfare if you choose to fly on off-peak days (relative to your event’s dates). For example, data shows those looking to save on travel to Summerfest should try to arrive on July 8th and depart on July 10th, which produced the lowest combined trip cost (flight + hotel). Similarly for Hamilton, if you’re looking to get to NYC on the cheap you may want to fly in on a Tuesday and out on a Thursday — which KAYAK data showed produced the lowest airfare for summer travel to NYC. To be sure you’re getting the best deal on travel, use Flex Search on KAYAK to see flight options up to 3 days before and after your preferred dates to hunt down any savings.
Find out when airfare, hotel rates or ticket prices change. Both KAYAK and SeatGeek let you set alerts to see when prices go up or down. Go to KAYAK.com/alerts and track your favorite artists or teams on SeatGeek to set up notifications for travel and tickets.
KAYAK and SeatGeek both aggregate inventory from across the web to get you the information you need to make the right decisions on travel and entertainment. Whatever the season brings, we’re ready to help you plan your best summer yet.