The cost of concert tickets has been increasing recently. What a regular ticket cost some twenty years ago is triple now and even more, raising concern from the public on why concert tickets are so expensive. In this article, we have compiled elaborate answers from an economic and social perspective about that. Keep reading!
To attend concerts, you are required to purchase a ticket. There are options to buy a VVIP, VIP, or regular ticket, depending on your affordability and the kind of experience you want. Nonetheless, the cost of these tickets has surged in the recent past; for instance, a ticket on average, a ticket in 2019 cost about $125, it cost $252 in 2023, and it’s common for fans to feel frustrated by the high prices. But why are concert tickets so expensive? Here are the reasons.
1. Inflation Rate
The inflation rate has affected the cost of living everywhere. With the rise in the cost of living, everything just went up, and ticket prices have surged to enable artists and promoters to cater to the concert expenses and live a decent life.
2. Production Expenses
Organizing an event takes a lot as several behind-the-scene activities are carried out before, during, and after the concert. For an event to be successful, promoters will have to put much effort into ensuring everything is in place before the eve day; that way, they have to hire professionals to do the work. So you can imagine what it takes to raise funds to pay service provider expenses like security, transport, insurance, venue rental, utilities, licensing, and maintenance services. All these incur costs that add up quickly and are reflected in the ticket price.
3. Source of Revenue for Artists
Back then, artists made income from album sales, which is not the case nowadays. More than before, when concerts were meant for promotions, but people are embracing live concerts as they are more elaborate than just buying an album, and chances are you may never get to listen to them. Moreover, attending live concerts allows people to enjoy themselves, spend time with friends, see their favorite artists, and mingle. This has encouraged artists to increase ticket costs to raise revenue.
4. Dynamic Pricing
Ticket sellers have implemented new ways of adjusting prices. The cost of a first-class ticket adds value to the experience one will have at an event. It comes with perks like a more comfortable seat, a strategic sitting position, and sometimes free refreshments and snacks, but of course, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket than for a regular ticket. Such pricing is typically influenced by the large number of people interested in a given show, especially one featuring renowned artists. This pricing method also aims to eliminate secondary markets selling tickets like personal property.
Ticket prices can also be affected by the artist’s popularity. Famous artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Drake, to name but a few, have a dense fanbase compared to upcoming artists. Therefore, people are always willing to pay more to attend shows held by famous artists. For instance, the Taylor Swift Eras Tour saw over 2 million tickets being sold on Ticketmaster, and several fans were left stranded in queues waiting to purchase the tickets despite the higher price they were selling at.
5. Ticket Demand
The basic law of supply and demand applies here. The higher the demand for a particular artist or show, the higher the ticket prices. After the 2020 lockdown, more people wanted to go out and have fun, having been indoors for several months, resulting in increased ticket demand. As a result, ticket resellers had to hike the prices.
The willingness of the public to pay for tickets at whichever cost is also a major contribution to why concert tickets are so expensive. The public is willing to bear the cost of concerts, thus reflecting that they can afford them. Hence the promoters are encouraged to continue hiking ticket prices. If they for once boycotted the events due to the expensive tickets, the prices will likely be lowered to attract the public.
6. Ticket Scalping
Ticket brokers and resellers sell tickets like personal property. They purchase almost all tickets and resell them at an increased price from what they cost when bought from the venue to make a profit. This makes it difficult for fans to get tickets at face value.
There is also some form of monopoly from major ticket sellers like Ticketmaster. Breaking this monopoly is never easy as the company has taken several years to build its brand, so they also take that advantage of having significant control over most economic activities of artists to increase the cost of tickets. Like if you want to attend a particular concert, you’ll only get tickets for that specific concert from the reseller and at a given cost. Either you buy at that cost or don’t attend the show.
7. Revolutionized Generation
The old ways of listening to music, like on DVDs, are outdated. The current generation of millennials and Gen-Zers are more interested in exploring than staying indoors listening to DVDs and radio. They are, therefore, willing to spend most of their disposable income on major concerts where they can have fun, mingle and create memories. As a result, there are more shows organized with escalated ticket prices.
How to Evade Expensive Ticket Prices
Concert tickets can be expensive, but you can do a few things to evade their actual cost.
- Buy selective tickets for specific shows. The ticket prices vary; you can select what you’re comfortable and willing to pay.
- Take advantage of Black Friday offers. Ticket-selling sites sometimes offer discounts for specific tickets, which you can use.
- Sometimes you can get discounts for purchasing tickets for several shows. However, be cautious not to overspend.
- Buy tickets from the venue itself. Tickets are much cheaper than brokers and resellers when bought from the venue.
- Buy group tickets. They are cheaper than individual tickets.
- Take advantage of the last-minute offers. Ticket prices tend to be lower when the event is about to occur. However, you may become a frustrated fan if all tickets are sold out before the event day.
- Attend local shows. There are local shows that offer a great experience than the overcrowded big concerts, and you end up spending less. A Reddit user, Rhouliha, says, “It sucks, but there’s a lot of great smaller acts (non-arenas/stadiums) that are a lot of fun, affordable, and often you’re a lot closer than you would be at the giant venues.”
Q: Who sets concert ticket prices?
A: Promoters and their management. Promoters are responsible for organizing shows and compensating artists and service providers. They are the ones, therefore, who set prices depending on the expenses they incur and the artist fee.
Q: What artists have the most expensive concert tickets?
A: Big-name artists command high fees since they have a huge fanbase and their brand is established. Always expect their tickets to cost much higher than upcoming artists. Artists like Taylor Swift, Drake, and Beyoncé, among others, have demonstrated an immense follow-up with diehard fans willing to pay thousands to attend their shows.
Q: What is the average ticket price for 2023?
A: Ticket prices vary from show to show, but the average cost of tickets in 2023 is about $252.
Q: Where can I buy concert tickets?
A: Several websites sell tickets; some of these include; Ticketmaster, StubHub, Eventbrite, VividSeats, AXS, and SeatGeek, to name but a few.
Concert tickets can be costly, and several factors contribute to that, as explained in this article on why concert tickets are so expensive. While that can frustrate fans, it’s crucial to remember that a well-organized event will give value for your money with a fascinating and memorable experience. By understanding all these, you’re likely to make an informed decision on which show to attend and how much you’re willing to pay. Above all, you’ll get value for whatever you pay for.