July 10, 2010

Concert Ticket Prices

(click to enlarge...unfreakin believable isn't it. $8.75?)

I heard an interview on NPR while driving home from work. I thought it was interesting and copied some of it below. For me personally, I have only two concerts planned for this summer: Bad Co. and Rush. (I may be flying to Colorado to see Rush at Red Rocks!)

One part of the interview said something like "It used to be that you could see a concert a month and afford it, now your lucky if you can afford one or two a year" SO TRUE!

The bottom line:

  1. Promoters are charging way too much for concert tickets (um, no kidding)
  2. Consumers will not pay outrageous prices unless its a MUST SEE band
  3. Lots of bands tour every year and lose their appeal because its "no big deal" to see them
  4. Consumers have been trained to wait to the last minute to get a better deal on tickets which affects advance sales and sometimes causes a concert to have to cancel.
"Pollstar reports that the average ticket price is actually down from last year — to $60.77. You can still sit on the lawn at most summer shows for less than 40 bucks. But if you want to be anywhere near the stage for Bon Jovi or Ozzy Osbourne, you'll have to spend well over $300 per seat.
'They're Just Greedy'
Longtime industry observer Bob Lefsetz says artists and promoters have finally gone too far.
"They're just greedy," Lefsetz says. "[It] used to be people went to concerts on a regular basis, maybe once a month. Now, going to a concert is like going on vacation. The face value is 250 bucks. Times two, plus parking and food. You're in for 750 bucks — if there's just two of you."
Lefsetz says there's a limit to what consumers will pay, especially for a show they've already seen.Take The Eagles, one of the most dependable touring acts of the past two decades. The band simply may have toured too frequently, and it's been forced to cancel dates this summer. Still, with sales of recordings in decline, Billboard's Peoples says the concert industry is looking to squeeze out every last dollar it can.
"Everybody is trying to do more with ticket prices," Peoples says. "Earn more while on the road, stay out on the road longer. And it's not surprising that it might eventually come back to bite them in the butt."
But veteran talent manager and former label executive Danny Goldberg says high ticket prices aren't the main problem.
"I think it really depends on the artist — how recently they were in the market," he says. "If someone just played last year, it's less sexy or exciting than if they haven't played there for 10 years."
Stars like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are doing very good business in 2010, Goldberg says. So is a tour pairing veteran songwriters James Taylor and Carole King.
"The interest in seeing live music is very healthy. If there are some concerts that are overpriced, believe me, next time into the market, the artists and promoters will adjust the prices," Goldberg says.
Lilith Fair's McBride, for one, says concert prices are due for an adjustment.
"I think the consumer has said this summer, 'Too much,' " he says.
And not just by staying home. McBride says fans are more savvy about waiting until the last minute to buy tickets at steep discounts as promoters scramble to fill empty seats.
"They know if they hold out long enough, the chances of getting tickets on a two-for-one promotion will actually happen," McBride says. "So they just hold off. It's like the consumer's been trained to hold off buying tickets until the last minute."
The trouble is, if everyone waits until the last minute, there won't be enough advance ticket sales, and the show will get canceled. That's a lesson many artists, promoters and fans may learn the hard way before the summer is over."
Entire article HERE


chez bez said...

Agreed. I paid $100 to see Tom Waits four years ago. For anyone else, $30 is probably about as much as I'll pay. Of course, that means I hardly see any shows at all anymore. It's ridiculous.

Have fun at the Rush concert. I saw their documentary recently and was so moved by both what was on screen and how the crowd reacted throughout. It was almost transcendental.

Ruralgurl said...

I couldn't take the Eagles price & when they went half off I still didn't go, just as a boycott against the concept of the original price. Plus it was for a stadium. Ants on stage. I did shell out $52. a tix for the Jackson Browne / David Lindley show, but it's in a theatre & we're only 12 rows back center. It's all relative, I guess.

E.T.'s Gravity said...

very true!! i'm trying to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers this month and the tickets are $100 and above!! i got lucky two years ago when i went to see The Police's final concert for $60. i also want to see Rush, but i can't spend $200+ if i want to see both Tom Petty and Rush! Wow. Have fun to the concerts you're going to. I think it's gonna be worth it anyway.

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