Even though the 2017 Sundance Film Festival is still months away, if you want to watch several films this year, it's time to start planning. The Sundance Institute begins selling passes to the festival on Wednesday, October 26th to the general public, but Utah residents have the option of snapping up coveted local tickets the ahead of the rush. Here's the scoop on Sundance ticketing for local cinephiles.
Dates to Remember
- Tuesday October 25, 2016 at NOON MST: passes and packages go on sale for locals
- Wednesday January 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. MST: individual tickets come available for locals
Buying Sundance tickets isn't something you want to procrastinate as they are sold purely on a first-come, first-served basis until they are sold out. All tickets are sold online via the Sundance Institute website.
Types of Tickets Available
Depending on how and when you want to experience the festival, there are a few different ticketing options.
Instead of showing physical tickets at the door, purchasing a pass will get you a credential with your picture and a barcode to present at the entrance of a screening. The normal passes are restricted according to date, venue/location, or time period. If you want the Utah discount, your only option is the "Locals SLC Pass," which will grant you full access to all the SLC screenings for the duration of the festival. The advantage of buying a pass means you don't need to decide what films you want to see ahead of time.
Don't want to restrict yourself to SLC screenings, maybe the "Locals 10 Ticket Package" is a better option. This package is valid throughout the entirety of the festival and all locations. With the package you'll get two credentials and 10 tickets. Regular packages are split into categories for the first and second half of the festival, as well as one for only SLC screenings.
If you just want a ticket to a single film or want to carefully select only a few, then you have until early January 11th at 10 am MST when locals can begin buying individual tickets. At $20-$25 a pop, these sell out extremely quickly. You are limited to 20 tickets total and 4 per screening. A Utah driver's license or Utah ID is required to prove your residency when you pick-up the tickets.
Procrastinator and spontaneous types still have a chance to snatch tickets the day of a screening. The Main Box Offices release a limited number of tickets at 8 a.m. for that day's screenings. Tickets for each venues first screening of the day are released 8 a.m. the previous day. These must be purchased in-person.
Feeling lucky? It's also possible to get into screenings on waitlist tickets (though we don't advise this). You can request a waitlist queue number using the Sundance's eWaitlist app online 2 hours before a screening. Come to the screening 30 minutes before showtime and you may be able to get in if seats are available.
Eligibility and Ticket Pick-Up
Local discounts are only available to year-round residents, meaning part-time residents, such as out-of-state property management companies and time-share holders are not eligible. In order to prove residency, you must present a valid Utah driver's license or Utah ID and your purchase name and address must match the one that is on your ID when you pickup the tickets in January. There are no refunds if you cannot prove your residency so make sure you read all the fine print on the Sundance website before making any purchases.
More Local Benefits
If the race for tickets or lines just aren't your thing, there are still ways Utah residents can get special access to festival movies. In fact, on Townie Tuesday (January 24, 2017) there's a free screening for all Summit County residents and, after the festival closes, Sundance will offer free screenings of the award winning films at Best of Fest on Monday, January 30, 2017. Now that deserves a round of applause!