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A ticket usually has all of the data about a concert you'll ever need. Once you enter the concert venue it has about half the data because it is generally torn in two. I've compiled a few tips that might help you find the information to fill in the missing half.

Dating printed tickets from the '60s and '70s is very difficult if the critical information is not completely visible on the stub. The date is usually printed on the ticket vertically and horizontally. It is not uncommon for the vertical data to be removed completely and very little data left from the horizontal portion. Vendors did not start printing useful codes on the tickets until they switched to the computer generated tickets. These became more common in the late 1970s. The old printed tickets were used rarely after the late 1990s.

One of the best resources for dating ticket stubs can be found right on the ticket. Look at the codes on thisTicketMaster stub. This is also true of the Ticketron style tickets - used mostly during the '70s and '80s. Just look for the Event/Date Code, usually printed on the upper right or upper left of the ticket. Don't be confused by other data on the ticket that appears to be date-related. In this example the date of the ticket is July 30th, not July 27th.

No Event/Date Code? Not to worry, you still have a few options left. Look at the style of the ticket. Certain ticket styles are unique to certain decades. Here are some examples of tickets from the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s. This is not a foolproof method, especially since some ticket styles bleed into the next decade, but it can be helpful.

Another tool is the ticket price. A concert ticket in the '60s could set you back $3-$5. In the '70s tickets ranged from $4 to $9. Shows from the '80s were generally between $9 and $20 and concerts from the '90s, depending on the artist of course, are priced between $20 and $30.

You can get a little help locating the city or state that the concert was held in by looking for an address on the front of the ticket. Feed it to Google and you should find your venue. Checking the back of the ticket may also produce some clues. Many stubs, especially TicketMaster tickets, will have an ad on the back for a local radio station or restaurant. Just check for an address or Google the radio station's call letters and you are in business!

You can also get some clues on where the concert might have been held if the promoter's name is visible. You can generally find it just above or below the artist's name. Here's a partial list of promoters and some of the states that they were associated with. This list is only based on the ticket stubs in this database.

Identifying the artist can be very challenging. Of course if there are a few characters of the name visible you can scroll through the artist list on the front page of this site until you find a match. Sometimes the artist's initials or venue abbreviation are included on some Event/Date Codes on TicketMaster stubs. You can see by this example that this method is not used consistently. Here are a few venue abbreviations that I've seen:

If you know who the artist is then tour programs or fan sites are very useful. Be aware that occasionally shows are added after the tour program has been printed and that dates can get switched around for various reasons. This can also be true of the dates printed on the tickets. A date may be switched but the promoter will still accept the original ticket. The venue can also be changed (renovations, scheduling conflicts) after the ticket or program is printed.

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