Tickets to Academy Awards 2015

Oscars 2016: How to win Red Carpet bleacher seats

It's the most famous Red Carpet in the world and the Academy is giving away tickets to be a fly on the wall.

It's the most famous Red Carpet in the world and the Academy is giving away tickets to be a fly on the wall.

The Academy launched its annual global lottery Thursday to find fans to fill approximately 700 spots in the bleacher seats that flank the famous stretch of carpet.

Thanks to Minnie, one of our keen-eyed Twitter followers, we now know that People Magazine has its own bleacher contest. People has been the official sponsor of the "Oscar Fan Experience" in recent years and it looks like the Academy gave the magazine about 100 spots to give away to its readers.

Here's what you need to know: Enter here with your details. U.S. residents can enter once per day until the contest closes on Nov. 30. Three will win the grand prize, which includes airfare and hotel accommodations for them and a guest in addition to the bleacher seats. Fifty runners-up will receive bleacher seats and "deluxe swag bags." Retail value of the prizes is estimated at $3, 000 (for the grand prize) and $1, 000 (for runners-up). Winners will be notified via email and/or phone around Dec. 10.

Good luck to all who enter and let us know if you win!

Academy Contest
Head to the Academy bleacher seats website and submit your information: First and Last Name, Date of Birth, Address, ZIP Code and Email.

The random drawing officially began Nov. 5 at 11 a.m. PT and ended Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. PT.

Winners of the 2016 Oscars Red Carpet Fan Experience will be notified by email beginning Dec. 9.

Here's some bad news: The Academy is only awarding "up to 20 100 individual Bleacher seats (total number of eligible entries selected will depend on whether a winner wants one or two seats) from among all eligible entries received."

UPDATE (11/18): The Academy increase the drawing from 20 to 100!

2014 Oscar Red Carpet fan bleachers. Photo by James A. Molnar.

Some of the fine print:

  • Must be 18 or older to enter; a child 8-17 years old may attend as a winner's guest but only if the winner is his/her legal guardian.
  • All those selected to sit on the bleacher seats will be required to provide a valid social security number (or international equivalent) for the purposes of a security background check, and will need to sign a liability/publicity release form prior to entering the bleachers.
  • The invitation to sit in a bleacher seat has no monetary value. Bleacher seats cannot be sold, traded, or otherwise transferred.
  • Government issued photographic ID will be required for entrance to the bleacher seats.
  • All other expenses related to use of the bleacher seats are the users’ sole responsibility (including transportation to/from the bleacher seats, accommodations, etc.)
  • By entering, you are agreeing to receive further email communication from the Academy.

For those entering this year's lottery, good luck! And if you're among the lucky who are select, please let us know so we can follow your journey to the Oscars.

And continue reading for more information about the bleacher seats and the history.


The Gold Knight has been covering bleacher fans since winnning the lottery at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch stars stroll down the Red Carpet on the big night.

With more and more people learning about the lottery, thanks in part to the Academy's growing online presence, a spot in the bleachers is becoming more and more in demand.

Back in 2008, an Academy official told The Gold Knight that more than 20, 000 applicants entered for the previous year. That number has undoubtedly gone up significantly.

Each year brings different fans from around the world to the transformed 500-foot-long stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. 2006 archive photo.

The lottery system was put in place when the Oscars moved to its permanent home at the then-Kodak Theatre for the 74th Academy Awards in 2004. Previously, fans would camp out on city sidewalks in hopes to get a coveted seat. After the change, fans were required to fill out a request form early in the year and hope their application was selected. This lottery process was moved up to September in 2004, going entirely online. 2011 was its final year.

For the 2012 contest, fans could sign up via email during a two-month period to become an "Oscar Insider" for a chance to be entered.

For the 86th Academy Awards, the Academy decided to turn to social media to help find fans to fill its bleacher seats via "Fan Appreciation Week" in December of 2013. The nonprofit organization used social media to determine to whom it would give tickets, seeking out the biggest fans.

"This year we're going to give away Fan Experience tickets in a new way designed to reward our biggest and most active year-round Oscars fans, " said the email sent to fans Nov. 8, 2013.

Last year, the Academy had a similar email sign-up system in place.

Long-time Fans

Elmer Armstrong has been an Oscar Sunday staple in the bleacher seats for more than a decade.

Some frequent fans were missing from the bleachers earlier this year.

One bleacher fan group held spots for more than a decade, back when the Academy had people wait in line to get tickets for the bleachers — long before the Internet helped make that process easier and more accessible. They were grandfathered in with the new system. Until last year.

Armstrong, part of the "Oscar Chatter" group, said in February, "The story on the Oscars is that after 17 years for us and 29 years for our group leader Tina, of being invited as special bleacher fans, the Academy last year notified us that last year was going to be our last invite. They told us to play the social media game (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) So there you are."

For those entering this year's lottery, good luck! And if you're among the lucky who are select, please let us know so we can follow your journey to the Oscars.

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