Navigating TIFF Part 6: Off Sale? Don't Panic!

I’m sure a lot of you have started to notice screenings are showing up as “OFF SALE” at the online box office (accessible here), “RUSH ONLY” on the boards at the Festival Box Office at 225 King Street West, or generally unavailable by phone at (416) 599-TIFF or 1-888-599-8433.

Don’t panic, there are still ways for you to get tickets. Here are a some options:

1) Don’t give up! Keep checking the various box offices listed above. Many of the seats for films listed as off sale were ticketed during the advance order process last week. Any of those ticketholders could change their mind between now and the screening and exchange their ticket for a voucher. If tickets are available, they'll show up at 7:00 AM when the systems update. FYI The systems only update once a day so there is no point in checking more than once a day.

2) If it is the day of the screening and you still can’t get a ticket at any of the box offices, your last resort is the rush line. Rush seats become available when people decide not to exchange tickets like I described above and simply just don’t show up. 

Remember, the festival's goal is to make sure that every seat in a theater is sold. The earlier you get in line the better. If the film is *HUGE* you want to get there at least 3 hours before the film starts. For midnight screenings the line will be crazy long, but it probably has a lot of people rushing a 9:00pm or 9:30pm screening. Once those people leave, you should be close to the front of the line. Make sure you are in the rush line (not the ticket holders line) and confirm which line you are in with a volunteer. The Ryerson seats over 1200 people so the odds are good if you are at the front of the line you've got a shot at a seat but there is no guarantee that seats will be available.


3) Catch a repeat screening. The atmosphere is more relaxed than the midnight screenings and there is always a chance that some of the talent is still in town to do a Q&A.

4) Watch social media. Keep your eyes on the Midnight Madness Facebook page and Twitter. If there are contests for tickets to sold out screenings, they're likely to be posted there.

5) Hang out in the autograph line. If you get to the rush line late and it is ridiculously long you might want to hang out behind the red carpet and hope the talent will offer you a ticket. It's rare but I've seen it happen. The autograph line is behind a barricade opposite from the entrance to the Ryerson.

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