Sundance Film Festival 2016 passes and packages go on sale Wednesday |

Sundance Film Festival 2016 passes and packages go on sale Wednesday

Scott Iwasaki

It’s never too soon to think about the Sundance Film Festival and to prove that point, the Sundance Institute will start online sales of festival passes and ticket packages on Wednesday, Oct. 14, for the 2016 festival that will run from Jan 21 to Jan. 31.

Sales will start at noon Mountain Time and the big change this year is there is no registration, according to Linda Pfafflin, the festival’s associate director of ticketing and customer service.

"We continually look for ways to make the process simpler for our patrons to access the Festival," Pfafflin said in an email interview with The Park Record. "Due to feedback from our community, we eliminated the extra step of registering in advance to purchase passes or ticket packages. Now you just log on October 14 and can purchase immediately."

The change will be beneficial to festivalgoers, she said.

"Because our audience experiences the festival in a variety of ways, we offer a wide variety of pass, package and individual ticket options," Pfafflin said. " eliminating the advance registration process, patrons have one less thing to remember. Everyone logs on at the same time which is very similar to the process of purchasing tickets for a concert."

Utah residents need not worry about getting lost in the shuffle, according to Elizabeth Latenser, Sundance Institute’s manager of media relations.

"When locals log on there is a spot to select ‘Utah local,’" Latenser said. "That will take a Utah local to a page specifically for Utah residents that shows them the ticket options available to them."

The differences between passes and packages are as follows, according to a statement released by the Sundance Institute.

  • Passes, which range from $300 to $3,500, do not require physical tickets. It’s a credential with your picture and a barcode on it to present at each screening for admittance. Passes are restricted by dates, location — Eccles Theatre, Grand Theatre, SLC/Ogden only — or time period. The benefit are that filmgoers don’t have to decide in advance which films they want to see, according to the statement.
  • Packages, which range from $250 to $600, are sold before the films are announced and tickets are selected in January. Most packages contain 10 tickets, and festivalgoers get to select their tickets before the general public. Furthermore, most packages also come with party tickets, the statement said.

    All festival passes and ticket packages will be available online, but there are other ways to see films. Pfafflin said,

    "Individual tickets go on sale on on January 14 for Utah residents and January 19 for nonresidents," she said.

    Also, a limited number of day-of-show tickets are available each day of the festival starting at 8 a.m. at the main box offices.

    "For those who love to be spontaneous, we offer waitlist tickets through our eWaitlist app," Pfafflin said. "[They can] simply sign up for the app, request a waitlist queue number two hours before the screening, be in line at least 30 minutes prior to showtime and if seats are available waitlisters get in."

    Another way to attend exclusive film screenings is by purchasing a Sundance Institute membership.

    "We have offered exclusive membership benefits for the last three years and each year we add new benefits, like these new screenings just for members, as that community grows," Pfafflin said. "Anyone interested in a deeper engagement with Sundance Institute and who wants to support independent artists can join our membership program. Our members come from all around the world and all walks of life."

    A membership is activated immediately so patrons will be able to access their new benefits as soon as they join, she said.

    However, a membership does not guarantee attendance to any exclusive screening.

    "Due to varying venue sizes and demand for different screenings, access to member screenings are filled on a first come, first served basis," Pfafflin said. "We have planned these screenings to give our members special access to some of our most buzzed-about films. [But] we recommend that audiences plan ahead and show up to theatres at least 30 minutes before showtime."

    Sundance Film Festival 2016 passes and ticket packages will go on sale online at on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon. For more information, visit

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