Getting tickets to Saturday Night Live is tricky.
The only way to get tickets in advance is to enter their August lottery and, if you are actually lucky enough to get tickets, you will not be able to choose which show you want to see.
So, what are fans who don’t have advance tickets to do? They have to jump in the stand by line. Usually, the line up starts around 2- 3:00 AM on the morning of a taping since they are handed out on a first come, first served basis. But, on a weekend like this (the musical guest for Saturday night’s show is the mega-popular group One Direction) you need to be in line a few days in advance (seriously!).
Stand by tickets to the show’s Saturday night dress rehearsal and live taping are distributed OUTSIDE on the 49th Street side of 30 Rockefeller Center at 7:00 AM the morning of the show.
Here are some tips for getting by in line:
First, make sure you have government issued ID and you MUST be 16 years old.
There is no guarantee you will get a ticket just because you are in the stand by line. Stand by tickets are given out only when there are extra seats (i.e. a number of ticket holders can’t make it to the taping) so it varies from show to show how many fans actually score a ticket inside.
If you can only get a ticket to the dress rehearsal, don’t be disappointed. They perform the entire show with the host and musical act once before the live airing.
Bring anything you can think of to stay comfortable in the line as you will only be permitted to leave for short, necessary breaks. A folded cardboard box, small folding seats, umbrellas, sleeping bags, water, snacks, plastic garbage bags, a change of socks, hand and feet warmers, and extra jackets or sweaters are all helpful.
This week, fans started lining up late Wednesday night so if you want to try to catch One Direction, or host Paul Rudd, we’d get down to 30 Rock now.
Tickets are non-transferrable and non-exchangeable, there are no exceptions.
NBC also reserves the right to revoke anyone’s ticket at any time, in others words you better behave in line or they’ll turn you away.
To clarify, everyone in the stand by line at 7:00 AM will be given a number and then be asked to come back later, no later than 7:15pm for the dress rehearsal or 10:45pm for the live show, and they will line up again in order. After all of the ticket holders are seated they will see how many seats are left and go to the stand by line to fill those seats.
If given the choice it might be smart to chose the dress rehearsal because there is generally a better chance of getting in. And remember, you are not guaranteed anything until your butt is in a seat so even if they start escorting you to the studio, don’t get too excited.
It can be kind of a long shot to actually get a seat in the audience but if you do, it is more than worth the wait!