It's that time of year again. Time to plan your summer entertainment! Now you can't say no one told you.
The Hollywood Bowl currently has season (series) subscriptions for sale. This is great if you're into the package deal thing.
However, I know a lot of folks like to buy tickets for individual concerts instead. This is great if you really only want to go to one or two shows and don't mind paying Ticketb*st*rd an absurd fee for the "convenience" of printing your own tickets on your own paper, using your own ink.
But for my money, there's an intermediary option. This is my "big secret" about the Hollywood Bowl. It's called "Encore". If you go to www.hollywoodbowl.com, you can find it under <tickets> <special offers> <encore>. Or if you're lazy, you can click here. This will open up at the end of March (I think they said the 27th?). What it does is it allows you to build your own "season" before individual tickets go up for sale. Not only do you get to pay just one fee, one time (and to the Bowl, not Ticketb*st*rd), but it has an added benefit. A benefit they don't even advertise there.
Here's the secret: the Encore program allows you to get a 6th (Tuesday or Thursday I think) concert free when you buy tickets to 5 other concerts. Thing is, to get the free concert, 5 concerts must be in a certain seat level or above. What they DON'T tell you is that you can use this same feature to buy the cheapest seats offered (you just won't get the free concert). Now, with many (especially the more popular) concerts, the cheapest seats are sold out well before any normal person can get to them. This is how to beat the system. It's not perfect, and sometimes the absolute cheapest are sold out and you have to "settle" for $5 seats instead of $3 seats (awwwww...), but it works well. I've done it 2 years in a row. Last year I think I had pairs of tickets to like 8 shows and I spent a total of $88 INCLUDING the $10 handling fee.
So when this year's Disney-themed show comes up, don't say you weren't told about it! (And yeah, I know the website isn't updated yet, but I'm on their mailing list, and they have a bit more concert info in the printed schedule they mailed me. TRUST me on this one, and get your Sorcerer's hat ready)