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8 Great Ways to See the SF Symphony on a Budget

Want to see the Symphony for as little as $20? The Winter Sale is here.
By - posted 1/21/2020 No Comment

A world-class city deserves world-class arts & culture. And thankfully we’ve got that covered with the San Francisco Symphony bringing great music to our beloved city for 107 years.

And you might think that culture is expensive (and it can be… premium tickets for some shows can run upwards of $200) but fortunately there are tons of more affordable ways to see the Symphony and make it perfect for date night (or date afternoon.)

Here’s our Funcheap ultimate guide to attending the Symphony on a budget in this special City Guide sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony.

1) The 2020 Winter Sale:
$45 Floor Seats, $35 Balcony, $20 Tickets

The San Francisco Symphony’s Winter Sale just got announced and is your only chance to get $45 floor seats to the Symphony.

The Winter Sale runs from January 21-31, 2020 and features discounted tickets for programs from February to June including many different concerts with the full symphony ($45 floor seats & $35 balcony) and Chamber and organ concerts with $20 tickets for those who like more intimate performances.

2020 Winter Sale Highlights Include:

  • March 22 – Buster Keaton Silent Film Night w/ Organist Cameron Carpenter – $20 all seats
  • March 27 – An Evening with Bernadette Peters – $45 floor / $35 Balcony
  • July 2 – Apollo 13 – Film with the SF Symphony – $45 floor / $35 Balcony
  • $20 Tickets for Music for Families, Youth Orchestra, Chamber and Organ concerts.
  • See the full list of 26 different Winter Sale concerts. Sale ends Jan. 31 at 11:59p.
  • Winter sale tickets are limited. Some sale allocations will sell out early do click quickly.

2) $25 Rush Tickets

If you don’t mind waiting until the last minute, a limited number of $25 Rush tickets for select performances are sold in person at the Box Office just a few hours before the show. Want to plan ahead a little? call the Rush Hotline at 415-503-5577 which will let you know if there are Rush Tickets available. The hotline is updated every day at 6 pm the day before the concert (or 6 pm Friday for weekend concerts.) Learn More.

3) Student Tickets are Just $20

Create a free Symphony account and every Monday you’ll get an email with a fresh list of concerts with student ticket deals. Choose from the best seats available – seriously, every seat from the balcony to the front row is just $20. Learn More.

4) $20 Terrace Seating

As long as you don’t mind doing a little research, for as little as $20, you can attend select Symphony concerts and sit behind the stage. OK, these seats aren’t fancy but the sound is still awesome and you get a great view of the conductor’s face, the sheet music and the musicians’ artistry. Unfortunately, there’s no direct link to events with $20 Terrace Seating, so savvy online bargain hunters will be rewarded by checking shows on main Symphony calendar.

5) Chamber Concerts:
The Best Seats in the House for $40

If you want to experience classical music right up close in the Premium Orchestra, the Symphony offers special Chamber Music concerts throughout each season with special prices. These more intimate performances typically feature 8-12 top Symphony musicians performing great masterpieces for small ensembles. For most chamber concerts all seats are $40 including side boxes and premium orchestra. Find Chamber Music Shows.

6) Special Symphony “Flash” Sales

From time to time, the Symphony offers great discounts on select concerts. Be the first to find out about these special offers and sang the tickets by getting the Symphony’s free e-mail newsletter. Sign-up for eClub.

7) Get Free Tickets if You Bring a Group

Are you a hustler and like to get lots of people out to see music? Groups of 10 or more save 25% on most concerts. Plus there’s a reduced transaction free (that saves you an additional $5 off your order). Got a bigger group? Group leaders get a complimentary ticket when booking for 30 or more.  Learn More.

8) Volunteer

If you love orchestral music and would like to assist others by creating a memorable concert experience, you can enjoy the music of the Symphony while you volunteer as an usher at Davis Symphony Hall. Email ushering@sfsymphony.org for details. And if you volunteer often, you’ll get first pick of shows. Or join the Volunteer Council (with leagues all over the Bay Area) and help out with special events such as the Opening Gala, Lunar New Year, or even New Year’s Eve. Learn More.