A friend contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I was going to the Bruce Springsteen concert. I quickly jumped online to check the prices and knew the answer instantly… NO WAY! $400 was the low end for tickets, and many were going for $1,000 or more. Most of these were resale tickets, so I understand you’re out of luck unless you purchase early. Not a big deal, as I’ve seen Bruce before, and he puts on a great show. Out of curiosity, I did check new ticket prices for a show in Philadelphia (I live in the Detroit area) later this year, and every ticket I could find on Ticketmaster was a resale ticket, and the prices were astronomical. Not entirely his fault, but even the retail prices were too much. Seriously, this is from the spokesman for the “working class” people!
Turning to another fiasco for all the “Swifties” who were up in arms over their ticket-buying experience. You may recall that Taylor Swift recently faced criticism for her partnership with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program. This program was to combat ticket scalpers but ultimately left many fans frustrated and unable to purchase tickets for her concerts. Fans were told to register in advance and complete various tasks to increase their chances of being selected for a presale code. However, despite their efforts, many fans were left empty-handed.
Furthermore, some fans reported receiving presale codes that didn’t work or being directed to purchase tickets through third-party resellers at inflated prices. This situation highlights the ongoing challenges of balancing accessibility and fairness in the ticketing industry and raises questions about the effectiveness of current solutions. Bots are storming online ticket retailers and gobbling up tickets faster than fans can grab them.
Economics of the Day
To make matters worse, when you go to the grocery store and see boxes of cereal for $8, you have to wonder where the money is coming from to enjoy the things we used to take for granted. Is it Fruity Pebbles or Bruce? I understand that everyone’s economic situation is different, and if money is no object, go for it. I don’t see how I can justify feeding the machine. The added fees are equally frustrating. That goes for sporting events too!
In 2022, the prices for many popular concerts exceeded $200, making it impossible for many people to attend. Sure, I realize that the cost to put on a show has also increased on the artist’s end. Many factors contribute to the increases, including the artist’s fee, travel expenses, production costs, etc. Let’s face it;, supply and demand drive ticket prices. And concerts are big business. If an artist is famous, the prices will be higher, as ticket demand is higher.
It’s not going unnoticed within the industry. Experts have expressed concern that the average person can no longer afford to attend concerts. As Bob Lefsetz, a music industry analyst, said, “The average person can’t afford to go to concerts anymore. This is a problem because concerts are where artists make the most money.” Similarly, Michael Rapino, the former CEO of Live Nation, said, “We need to make sure that pricing is appropriate and not so high that the average person can’t afford to go.”
Many people now turn to various alternatives to live concerts, including live-streaming events and music festivals. These alternatives offer a more diverse lineup for the same price as a single concert ticket, making them more attractive to many fans.
Additionally, many people are choosing to dive into the rabbit hole of YouTube and watch the performances there. I can sit on the couch with my laptop and listen to washed-up Vince Neil slaughter lyrics or view the incredible performance by Oasis at Knebworth 1996…all for free.
I enjoy attending concerts and seeing many of my favorite artists and bands. However, the cost of going to shows is becoming increasingly difficult to justify. I have seen legendary performers like David Bowie, Guns & Roses, Zac Brown Band, and Paul McCartney; these concerts have been some of the most unforgettable experiences of my life. Although attending concerts can be expensive, there are ways to enjoy shows without breaking the bank. Navigating the ticketing system and finding the best deals can be challenging, but attending concerts’ unique and memorable experiences is worth the investment.
With that being said, what is your take on concert expenses? Do you think they are worth the money, or do you prefer to save your cash for other things? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.