Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. tour, supported by James Blake, provoked salivation from music fans across the UK and Europe last week when it was announced. However, things took a turn for the despairing when it became clear that thousands of fans struggled to overcome technical problems on the main ticketing sites at the minute of the sale’s release, and subsequently lost out on an opportunity to see The Absolute GOAT. Even still controversial, were the costs; £80 not including postage for most UK venues. Grumbles and weepings of discontent are entirely justified.

Buying tickets for live music, my favourite pastime and I’m sure plenty of yours’ too, can be a stressful and infuriating ordeal. Here’s five sites that help make that less so.

Songkick

Starting off with the obvious option, but still the arguable best one. More of a central hub for ticket price comparison that collates millions of events together, it links to all the larger sites like Ticketmaster and Ticketweb while being impeccably designed and easy to use. Its device apps are also hugely intuitive, and its sale alerts are life savers.

Ticket Crusader

Ticket Crusader performs the task of a martyr. In a bid to screw over the prick armada that is ticket touters and inconceivable ticket costs, the site offers plenty of hints, advice and tips about how best to navigate the secondary market; as well as offering pre-sale passwords(!) in a bid to help us circumvent the astronomical prices, and prevent the despair of a poorly administered payment processor. The Robin Hood of the business. Thank you deeply.

Resident Advisor

A niche option, catering mostly for electronic and dance music, but a tremendously valuable one. Not only does it provide fluid access for the biggest acts and DJs around, but also helps promote and celebrate DIY events and smaller nights; it’s a community platform first and foremost, a ticketing site second. Their magazine equally offers some of the most insightful and eloquent writing on electronic music around.

DICE

A shrewd up-and-comer that’s just launched in America, DICE is all about cutting out the bureaucratic middle man and “making going out easy”; and sticking a very jaded middle finger up at ticket touts as tickets are locked to your account. As an app that’s 100% mobile it’s completely direct and ludicrously simple, merely requiring a few button prompts to organise a night’s entertainment, then smugly show your phone at the door.

Live Nation

While the other sites mentioned are here for their accessibility and forward-thinking, Live Nation is one of the more traditionally structured ticket sites; what distinguishes them is twofold. Firstly it’s the stresslessness of buying tickets for BIG events from Live Nation; while other “major” ticketing sites will crumble under site issues with huge demand (as with Kendrick), Live Nation’s servers hold up the most consistently. Secondly, their recommendation emails are absolutely top notch. Can’t beat a good rec email.