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[] Wagner General FAQ
Section - A. How can I get tickets to the Bayreuth Festival?

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1. You can try writing, in English, German or French, to the box office of
  the Bayreuth Festival, not later than the middle of September, at the
  following address:

       Postfach 10 02 62
       D-95402 Bayreuth

  Ask for a booking form. When this arrives, you will need to complete it
  and send it back, to arrive not later than the closing date, which is 
  usually in the middle of October. 

  Now for the bad news. You won't get tickets. All you get is a 'negative'
  registered in the box office computer-system. You have to repeat this
  process each year until you have enough 'negatives' to qualify for
  tickets. Currently the waiting list seems to be about 9 years. The reason
  for this is very simple. In any season there are no more than 60,000
  tickets available.  Some of these are allocated to the Wagner Societies or
  to other organizations, and a few go to tour operators.  The remainder are
  sold via the box office, which gets about 600,000 ticket applications each

  If you are not concerned about attending particular performances, or about
  particular parts of the house, you can write "EGAL" across the appropriate 
  column. In other words, "I'll take anything".  You might also improve your 
  odds, by asking for older rather than newer productions.

  Do not rely on getting an order form automatically each year. Make a note
  in your diary to write in July.

2. You can join your local Wagner Society (see the list of home pages
  below). Each society gets a small allocation of tickets, which are then 
  allocated, usually  by a ballot for which only members can apply. 

3. Apparently non-European Wagner Societies are allocated more tickets in 
  proportion to their membership, than are European Wagner Societies.  So
  try joining a Wagner Society outside of Europe.  Or even better, start 
  one; there are still a few countries in western Africa without Wagner

4. If that also fails, the last thing you can do is come to Bayreuth and
  queue in front of the box office from early in the morning (with your
  evening wear in a bag, just in case) until just before the performance
  (when, sometimes, returned tickets appear as if by a miracle). 

5. After giving up at the box office, you can sit in front of the
  Festspielhaus, in your best evening wear, holding up a sign that says
  "Suche Karte" and with a sad look on your face. Do not give up even after
  the performance has begun; sometimes patrons leave during one of the
  intervals and give their tickets to some of the pathetic creatures sitting
  on the pavement. At least you get to see the last act. 

6. If money is no problem, buy a package tour that includes travel, hotel
  and a ticket. There are various opera-travel specialists who advertise in
  magazines such as 'Opera'. Call them and ask about Bayreuth packages. Try
  'Carlson Wagonlit' or 'Thomas Cook'. 

7. If you are wealthy, buy a ticket on the black market. WARNING! In recent
  years the attitude of the Festival management has hardened not only
  towards the "scalpers" who trade in black-market tickets but also those
  who buy such tickets.  A "scalper" is anyone who asks more for a ticket
  than its face value. The Festival management regard such tickets as void
  and invalid. There have been instances of individuals with black-market
  tickets being forcibly ejected from the Festspielhaus and in at least
  one case dragged from their seats. It is reported that offenders are
  advised to leave Bayreuth immediately and not to return. So if you use a 
  black-market ticket, you must be prepared to be black-listed for life.

8. If you are really wealthy, join the Friends of Bayreuth.  After an 
  initial period, friends are usually allocated a limited number of tickets 
  every second year. You will also gain a voice in the management of the 
  Festival, since the Friends are represented on the Board of Trustees.

9. If you are a writing person, then get a newspaper or a magazine to send
  you as their correspondent. You will have to write something for them, of

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Top Document: [] Wagner General FAQ
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Next Document: B. Where can I obtain the Ring Disc?

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