Introduction: How to Sneak Into Large Events

Picture of How to Sneak Into Large Events

This instructable will show you many ideas on how to sneak into large events. Large enough to have crowds of people. Please join me with real life ideas that have worked.

Disclaimer: I do NOT condone cheating/sneaking your way into a paid event and will not be held accountable if you get caught attempting to do so.

Step 1: Identity...

Picture of Identity...

The very first step, depending on the event, will be to secure an identity. If this is a business event/meeting of a competitor, this is your best option. This step is also very handy for conventions (AX, ComicCon, etc...).

Find a trash can/recycling can near the exit. When leaving events such as these, people are very likely to throw out their ID badges as soon as they are done with the event. Wait for the crowds to thin a bit and do some dumpster diving.

The badge will be found most likely in two forms: pin or around the neck. Figure out which it is by looking at visitors.

You may also want to keep in mind that there may be (for the conventions) a freebies bag. People are likely to put their badge inside the bag before throwing it out, keep this in mind and search the bags you find in the trash.

Once you have secured a badge, you may be worried that the person's name may be well known. To remedy this, slightly obscure it with clothing and walk inside.

Step 2: Clothing...

Picture of Clothing...

Make especially sure that you have the appropriate dress for the occasion. If it is a business convention, wear business clothing. If it is an anime expo, jeans and a t-shirt, but don't over-do it with elaborate costuming. Try and find what the majority of the crowd is wearing.

In a non-business convention, the most likely thing to be worn in blue-jeans. Guaranteed. Keep that in mind.

If it is a one day event you will want to bring a few changes of clothes with you in your car.

These clothes should include:
+Casual button up shirt with khakis.
+Business suit (women may want to bring a skirt just in case)
+Shorts that come down to the knee
+A simple one color t-shirt

Now you can go observe what the attendees are wearing and change accordingly.
The key is to BLEND in with the crowd.

Step 3: No Badge?

Picture of No Badge?

If you could not find an ID badge through your dumpster diving, this is the step for you...

Find all the exits and identify which is the most crowed. Also wait until mid-day at least, this is when more people will be leaving.

Only when you find the MOST crowded exit and time can you attempt this.

Move directly toward the exit and crowds. When you start rubbing elbows with people, stop moving.

Turn around and face the same direction as the crowd, but DON'T leave! Instead move backward toward the exit slowly, allowing others to pass you by.

Security will be looking for people coming in directly, but if you move in like shown above, they will think you are just walking slowly. It's like an optical illusion!

Step 4: Final Notes...

Picture of Final Notes...

If you are not in at this point, the only ways I know of are highly dangerous or disturbed. So good luck using those tips and have fun!

Disclaimer: I do NOT condone cheating/sneaking your way into a paid event and will not be held accountable if you get caught attempting to do so.


rockydsouza (author)2017-02-15

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What080 (author)2016-08-17

If it's a festival just walk around the perimeter of the field and find a hedge or fence that you can sneak in through. Avoid security and if you see someone you know hang with them if they've got a band and just say you lost urs. Most people throw their bands when they are drunk or on drugs so just pick it up and make sure it's the right band and say it fell off :) or just buy a ticket

3967 (author)2016-01-19

walking slowly backwards inside to perform an optical illusion sounds really funny idea xD

nanaverm (author)2016-01-19

My friend and I got into a museum free by going in the exit by mistake. Didn't even realize we were cheating them out of the admission price.

Javin007 (author)2012-01-16

Man, this just makes me feel like an old prude, and I'm only 35. When I was a kid, we never would have considered doing this, because back then we knew what "theft" was. Amazing that so long as you say, "Here's how to steal, but know that I don't condone stealing" that somehow makes it all better. 0 stars from me. (Well, 0.5, since we can't do 0.)

DangerHammock (author)Javin0072015-09-05

You're telling me kids in what, the 1980's would never consider sneaking into something they can't afford? I call B.S. I mean I believe YOU personally but come on, theft is as old as ownership...

Javin007 (author)DangerHammock2015-09-05

And 5hat somehow makes it okay?

Mikki G.W (author)Javin0072016-01-19

No, but it makes the argument "I'm 35, and when I was a kid we didn't steal" an invalid argument. I'm 30, and I stole tonshit of stuff when I was younger. Mostly useless stuff though.

glen.ryerson.1 (author)Javin0072016-01-19

You really can't pretend that your generation is infallible. If that were the case then there would have never been any need for event security until just ten years ago.

silveravnt (author)Javin0072016-01-19

I completely agree. This is on an Instructables list of 26 ways to get free stuff. Most of them are stealing.

silvermane (author)2011-06-17

I wouldn't recommend this in some locations. If the event requires payment for entry, then this can be seen as fraud, theft by taking, even identity theft (as mentioned before) and get you into jail. Add the fact that most of these events are over the weekend, you could end up spending 3 or 4 days in holding with the local crazies. Not my idea of fun.

TomasF1 (author)silvermane2016-01-19

"only in America" as the saying goes... in countries with a normal, non-militarized, police force that would never happen.

i concur.

DragonDon (author)2016-01-19

They may sponsor but they don't actively filter very well. A lot of 'ibles are thinly veiled adverts. This is at least an attempt to be original, if somewhat stupid to put here.

Zeltyc (author)2015-03-25

You could always try the "My kid ran inside!" thing. Works pretty well except if a gard helps you...

noelsgordon (author)2014-04-15

The only realistic penalty is the embarrassment of being denied access. If you really think than somebody will call the police for this then be chickensiht and buy a ticket.

giike3 (author)2012-12-09

Yeah not mine either I thought about doing this but then I reread and said to my self NO WAY are you spending 3-4 days in a Holding room with the people who have done stuff like try to kill a man or themselfs

smiley G.I JOE (author)2012-12-04

if the event is like a week long one bring a camera the first day and take a picture of a id bage. then go home and edit the bage picture with you photo.

grannyjones (author)2012-12-03

Carry in a mop and bucket.
--or a couple pizza boxes.

sonicx059 (author)2010-04-24

I disagree with not overdoing it for anime conventions. If you can make a cheap elaborate costume then more power to you. If you want to pay money for an awesome costume, then should have paid for entrance. Could always just volunteer, that's how I get in free.

mikmikau (author)sonicx0592012-03-16

I agree with you about volunteering or paying for entrance, but his/her angle is more about not wearing something that stands out or being in any way identifiable or memorable.

Costumes are rad and everywhere, but if you're trying to be a nobody that doesn't want to get stopped for pictures/questions then you'd be best blending.

Besides, who hasn't snuck in somewhere you shouldn't have? ;)

Garet (author)2011-06-16

Hi, I have noticed at some venues there is only interest in the security -
like no cameras etc. or leave bags outside. These are very easy to enter, just find someone to latch onto as checking is being done. I had a great success with this to see a travelling museum collection. This was desperation as the tickets had been sold out and I had no alternative other than to sneak in.

Plinko1 (author)2011-06-15

Is that megacon?

CAbeachguy (author)2011-06-13

Forgot to mention in my post below; I saw Neil Young 7 times during that three week run. 4 of those times on wristband samples.

CAbeachguy (author)2011-06-13

I took this even further. I lived for years in the the town that Neil Young lives in. We all knew that someday , maybe just someday....he would play one of the local bars in town.

One day I'm headed to work and as I'm taking the corner by the roadhouse bar just 500 feet from my office I notice 20 people in line at 8:30 AM. I knew right then. Called the guys at work and we all stood in line until 10 AM and bought wristbands for $10 each for the show that night.

Turns out that Neil and Crazy Horse are using this for a warm up to his next major tour, and he booked this bar for 13 nights over a 3 week period.

As soon as I got to work that morning with my wristband I flipped it over and got the name of the wristband manufacturer. I got their phone number/info of the internet and called them up right away. "Im in charge of ticket sales for a festival we will be putting on later this summer with an expected audience of 20,000 and need some samples TOMMORROW for my presentation to the festival board. Could you send me up samples of the different plastic, paper, metallic type wristbands you manufacture?" As a matter of fact, please send two samples of each so that I can pass them all around the boardroom table. I'll need pricing also based on a quantity of 20,000"

A day or two later they fed-ex'd me two bags of samples, with each bag holding about 40 different types, colors of wristbands, paper and plastic. So now i always take the bags with me and match up the closest wristband color/material I can from observing what people are wearing and just waltz in. It has worked numerous times over the years.

Note: RFID tags on the new wristbands (like at Bonnaroo this year) will put the squash on this for larger events with bigger wristband and technology budgets. Figure the more expensive the ticket them more they hae probaly invested in some technological solution. It's up to you to figure out how to one-upTicketmaster !

katandtonic (author)2009-01-08

I used to get into smaller shows without really trying by carrying my old manual camera with detachable lens. Often times, they'd just say "Oh, Press," and strap a wristband on me and escort me in. I also have a friend who has gotten into MacWorld every year by pretending to be the owner of a small, fictitious software company. While it doesn't get him in free, it gains him access to the "industry-only" events, like last year's Devo concert, which included 2 free drinks and complimentary swag.

purplemutant (author)katandtonic2011-06-12

I had a friend who was a photographer who would use the camera trick. She was able to get back stage at concerts by simply holding her camera in her hand and looking like she belonged there. If you look like you belong there, they aren't likely to bother you at all.

chrismoncus (author)purplemutant2011-06-13

Yep. A camera is your golden ticket. Or a clipboard.

Kruegem (author)2011-01-24

The next easyest way is if its outside and there is lots of people jump the fence, go in through an employes only door, or if you have a freind on the inside get him to open up a backdoor for you

claw789 (author)2010-04-12

Just an update:
Oftentimes it's not the badge that's important - it's the badge HOLDER. Big fan conventions like San Diego Comic-Con and Anime Expo have switched over to color coded plastic badge holders (i.e. a different color each convention day, a separate color for all-con). And both SDCC and AX badge holders are custom printed with the convention name and year to prevent re-use. Even the smaller cons are doing printed foil stickers, holograms, watermarking, embossed paper, etc. Just remember: if you're caught with a forged badge you could be banned for life. And using an ID with a 'fake' name is identity theft - which may be punished more severely by local authorities, not just con security.

teamcoltra (author)2010-01-19

 Wear a nice outfit...
get a Clipboard...
Just walk in... ignore anyone checking badges or anything... your supposed to be there, you have nothing to worry about right?
Just be thumbing throuh the papers on the clipboard.

If you REALLY want to be fancy get a copy of something that has their letterhead and then print out a few pages with some BS on it, and put that on the clipboard that way they can see the letterhead as you are flipping through it.

weasel999 (author)2009-12-10

 Well good tutorial but i would go for some more reassurance by buying a similar badge holder and reusing it. maybe buy other badge holders, stamps, ticket replicas can be printed on a printer and covered in cleat tape to simulate the shininess. The employees wont care to double check if it looks real it probably is.... 

zekiller2193 (author)2009-03-28

i saw this vid on youtube where a dude gets in practically everywhere by disguising himself as the DJ. He looks trendy has a cd bag and some headphones pops in and says that he's the dj there tonight and gets in for free. It could work.

RSquared15 (author)zekiller21932009-06-03

What's the name of the video / can you post a link?

zekiller2193 (author)RSquared152009-06-03

it was this vid on youtube but i saw it like a year ago

wtp1981 (author)temeno2009-09-16

That was funny!

zekiller2193 (author)temeno2009-08-11


zekiller2193 (author)RSquared152009-08-11

The vid is called How to Get into any Club. Somebody just posted it.

knex_mepalm (author)zekiller21932009-08-20

to get into a club: Say to the guard "Hey dog, Im the Dj no ible necessary

kidproquo (author)2009-05-04

I have gained entrance into comic book conventions by saying that I am a volunteer. You skip the line, get in early and get a free shirt.

alextippins (author)2009-05-02

i had a friend who we snuck into universal studios when he forgot his ticket by simply going in and then passing the ticket through the gate for him to use haha

Kactapuss (author)2009-04-07

The main thing to glean from all this is act like you know what your doing, and are ready to come up with an answer for any of your actions. Having a couple back stories is a good idea. Also, important to mention..... if you have friends in the venue and they are allowed to leave you can always do the simple bring two tickets outside with one person, and give one to the outside person.

bounty1012 (author)2009-04-04

Lol theres a mafiacon?

XVIIarcano (author)2009-03-26

By experience I know that especially (but not only) small events give free entryes to the press. You often need to demonstrate that you actually are a journalist, but for example in my country radio journalists are not registered nor have special ID pieces of sort. Anybody can show up at the accreditation desk, make up the first small Radio that comes in his mind and get an entry. Of course it requres a little face and you should not pretend you are a famous DJ because then somebody could debunk you on the spot... a local radio name will do, organizers prefer to loose a ticket than risk a bad radio review.

METALBLADE (author)2009-03-25

Some concerts and events use the raffle type tickets that they buy in a big roll from a hardware store. All you have to do is buy one of each color roll you can find, look to see what color they are using and there you go. The rolls would last a lifetime and almost definitely be cheaper than paying to get into all the shows!

jongscx (author)2009-01-01

Got into an anime-con by carrying a box of extension cords and crumpled newspapers... Use very general terms and act as though you were roped in at the last minute/helping a friend. It makes the security people that are checking feel that you're already going out of your way, so they will want to help you out as much as possible. However, it could backfire pretty badly if they suspect that you're carrying something in that you're not supposed to. If they say something like "Let me call and check..." I'll usually excuse myself "back to my truck to get my cell phone..."

jhas777 (author)2008-10-13

Elevators are very useful to get inside cons. Try to find the service elevator and use it. Try to blend in with the people working at the convention place. Be friends of the organization team or con staff. This is flawless. If it is the appropriate kind of event and you are of a choice call attention by saying to the people at the entrance that you where invited to give a conference but forgot your pass. And ask for what you should do now.

Lithium Rain (author)2008-07-22

It seems to be unfinished. Security will what?

Oh my! Thanks for pointing that out XD

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