What is PaleyFest? It is an event that takes place every spring, in the Dolby Theatre, featuring the casts of several television shows. This celebration provides fans the chance to get up close and personal with actors, showrunners, writers as well as other crew members. While there are no guarantees that you can meet any of the stars, there is something so exciting about getting to be in the same room with them. Find out what you know before you go.
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You can listen to Shelby Parker and me discuss PaleyFest on the LA Dreaming Podcast. You can listen to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, or Podbean. You can follow our guest Shelby on Instagram here.
For this year’s spring festival, the following shows will have panels with appearances from cast and crew members.
March 31st at 7:30 pm The Mandalorian
4/1 at 2 pm Abbott Elementary
4/1 at 7 pm Yellowstone
4/2 at 2 pm Grey’s Anatomy
4/2 at 7 pm The Late Late Show with James Corden
4/3 at 7:30 pm Yellowjackets
4/4 at 7:30 pm The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tickets to PaleyFest LA 2023
Paley members and Citi Card holders are able to pre-purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public. Now, they are on sale for everyone but that is good to know for future festivals. You can purchase tickets here but there are also a lot of chances to win tickets as well. I would say if there is a panel you would love to attend go ahead and buy a ticket as they can sell out.
To be fully honest, 2023 was my first to buy a ticket to PaleyFest. In other years I was given a ticket as a birthday gift or won tickets. I have had luck winning tickets through the Dolby Theatre social media accounts, and LifeHacks LA. Radio stations as well as several bloggers also have tickets to give away. This year though I really wanted to make sure my husband got to see The Mandalorian panel so we purchased tickets but I’m hoping to win Abbott Elementary tickets.
What Happens at PaleyFest LA
Cast members from various shows as well as producers and writers come together to discuss their shows. I have gone to multiple panels over 3 years at PaleyFest. I have seen the cast & crew of Better Call Saul, Crazy Ex-Girl Friend, Jane the Virgin, Hacks and This Is Us. When I attended the Better Call Saul panel a few years ago they showed a new episode and then had the cast & crew talk about the new season. They had a good q&a session with the audience. It was a similar experience for the This Is Us panel where we got to see a new episode before it aired and they welcomed questions from the audience.
When I went to PalyFest for the CW night in 2019 featuring the cast of both Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend they did not have a q&a portion. They also did not show any episodes. Both shows were in their final season and they talked about the journey to get there and shared their favorite moments. The panels can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes depending on whether or not they show an episode.
One of the best reasons to attend this event is that if you get a seat in the orchestra section you have a great chance to meet members of the cast after. You are also in a great location to be able to make it to a microphone to ask a question. These tickets do sell out the quickest though so you would most likely have to purchase them during the pre-sale period. But, every time I have won tickets I have sat in the center orchestra section. Please note that on nights when more than one show is there you would only have a chance to meet the show that comes on last.
Friends of mine who had been to PaleyFest before told me what a great experience it is and they were correct. I love getting the opportunity to see the cast and crew from some of my favorite shows in person. Tourists visit Hollywood every day hoping to see some stars but it is very rare to see anyone famous just walking down the street. Events like PaleyFest are perfect for visitors because it gives them a memorable experience and a chance to see the stars in person.
How To Meet Celebrities at PaleyFest
Not only do fans get to see the stars some of the lucky ones will get to meet them. This is where sitting as close to the stage as possible comes in handy. Fans are able to approach the stage to get autographs and pictures with the cast and crew. Please note that for PaleyFest in 2022 I did not see this happen at either of the two panels I attended. But it is always a possibility this could happen at a 2023 panel.
However, if your dream is to meet one or more of the cast members it might be worth the money to get a seat upfront. The further away from the stage, you are the harder it will be for you to fight the crowd to the front of the stage.
The cast and crew of Better Call Saul did a great job of making the fans feel appreciated and cared for. But, it was the cast of Jane the Virgin who really went above and beyond. Since I had previously met most of the cast I was not very aggressive in getting to the stage but you can see I’m in a few of the stage selfies.
I love getting to hear others share their experiences. I get so excited listening to actors talk about their craft and I also enjoy getting to hear about the creative process from producers as well as writers. Even though I had never seen Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad before, I got so much out of listening to everyone on the panel. For fans of the show, it is a really great experience because you get to learn behind-the-scenes information about why things were done the way they are.
For those who live near the LA area or will be visiting this is a fun way to get to be around a group of very talented individuals. Plus, it is always fun to be in a room with people who are all fans of the same show.
If you want to learn how to get tickets to movie premieres & more you can find out more information here.