According to MarketWatch, ticket prices are going up and you have Ticketmaster and Live Nation to thank for it. By their logic, concert tickets are already priced at a “bargain” and if some people are willing to pay scalpers at a large premium, they argue that it would actually benefit the fans and artists to pay higher prices. According to Pollstar data, the average ticket price for the top world tours has increased 23% in the past five years.
Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino told investors last month that concert tickets are an “incredible bargain” compared to other entertainment options, and that an increase prices would be a “huge opportunity for our bottom line.”
So you’re saying raising ticket prices would make you more money? Yeah duh…
Live Nation COO Joe Berchtold added that “the vast majority of shows are very reasonably priced for fans,” citing that many amphitheater lawn seats are priced somewhere between $30-$40.
Live Nation is also one of the 6 companies (AEG, Vivid Seats, TicketNetwork, Tickets.com, and StubHub) currently at the center of House investigation into current ticketing practices in the industry. The also recently reached an agreement with the Department of Justice relating to monopolistic business practices.
Ok look, I went to see the new Star Wars movie the other night and that shit ran me close to $20 a ticket. Throw in some popcorn and a Dr. Pepper and we’re looking at nearly $50 bucks to see a damn movie. So when you look at it that way, is two $35 lawn tickets a bit of a bargain?
Yeah maybe, but blaming it on secondary markets might be the most convenient excuse for jacking up prices that I’ve ever heard. You’re saying that because some people will pay 3 times the price to a scalper, we should just charge everybody that much and then the artists will make more, Live Nation will make more, and the scalpers and secondary markets will make less?
Or, how about we look at it this way…
What about the die-hard Luke Combs fan living somewhere in West Virginia who is going to have to drive four hours to catch a show anyway. We’re talking gas money, maybe a hotel, food, maybe a cold beer or two… it costs WAY more than the face value of a ticket to go see a show. So maybe the ticket price is a bargain but the beer sure as hell isn’t, the food sure as hell isn’t, and the trip there sure as hell isn’t. For many hardworking fans, the cheapest seats are all they can afford.
You see, this is why some country artists fight so hard to keep their ticket prices low. So their real fans, the ones that were there when they were playing tiny bars, can actually afford to make it out to the show. So they can spend a few hours listening to their favorite artist, make some memories with their best friends, and maybe forget for a couple hours about all the bullshit that goes on in their day-to-day lives back home.
So maybe instead of raising prices, let’s find a way to combat these scumbag scalpers, diminish the availability to secondary markets, provide legitimate ways to resell your tickets at a fair price, and actually give the real fans a shot at attending a concert.
If you’ve seen artists like Kip Moore go off on ticket scalpers, this is why. But instead of fighting alongside the artists to advocate for the fans, Ticketmaster appears to fighting for themselves.