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View Full Version : are concert tickets too expensive?



unitedwestand
05-14-2008, 03:45 PM
After reading the rolling stone Article, here's the link:

http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/05/14/high-ticket-prices-could-hurt-concert-business/

I kind of agree with them that many artists are pricing tickets way too high this year, the least of which include Coldplay and Madonna. But yet again, this always happens, and some artists still sell somewhat inexpensive tickets like the warped tour, which is few of many. Are you going to the same amount of concerts you were going to from previous years, or has the list gone down? I personally am going to fewer shows than in 2007, but that's simply because I've gone to way more concerts in 2006 & 2007 then all my previous years combined. Many of you still went to Coachella this year, and road tripped from numerous locations, but will this affect going to other festivals and concerts this year that you would normally go to more so than other years?
I'd like to think that although it may be more expensive, concerts are always going to be a top destination for me, even if I have to limit a few more this year to go to one.
How bout you?

paulb
05-14-2008, 03:47 PM
Ya, concerts are waaaay too expensive, and they really add up. But what can you do? If you wanna see the artist, you're gonna pay whatever price they ask for... lucky them.

GauchoGuy17
05-14-2008, 03:47 PM
They're about right. The cheaper they are compared to actual market value, the faster they'll sell out, which means real fans end up paying scalper prices anyway.

fikus222
05-14-2008, 03:55 PM
Concert tickets are expensive, but manageable.

I must continue the broken record and b!tch about Ticketbastard's continual exploitation of us consumers. I recently paid an almost 100% surcharge on each of the tickets for this year's BFD show. For instance, I purchased two tickets for $10.53 a piece and wound up paying a total of almost $39, and I did the standard free mail option.

Conscientious bands have been making an effort to keep ticket prices down and to deal w/ scalpers and TM, but more definitely needs to be done to ensure fair and equitable prices.

instinct
05-14-2008, 03:59 PM
They're about right. The cheaper they are compared to actual market value, the faster they'll sell out, which means real fans end up paying scalper prices anyway.

my exact thoughts.. but i occasionally scalp tickets, so it's bad for me.

Trick Loves The Kids
05-14-2008, 04:01 PM
Every time I pay another 75% of my ticket's price in "convenience" fees I imagine some Ticketmaster exec swimming in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck

slurpee
05-14-2008, 04:03 PM
Paying high ticket prices for concerts helps me feel better about downloading all my music.

iv3rdawG
05-14-2008, 04:09 PM
Every time I pay another 75% of my ticket's price in "convenience" fees I imagine some Ticketmaster exec swimming in a pool of money like Scrooge McDuck

http://www.yodaslair.com/dumboozle/barks/images/bin-dive.jpg

"Weeeeeeeeeeee!"

TomAz
05-14-2008, 04:10 PM
Concerts would be "too expensive" if they were priced so high that not many people bought tickets. that isn't happening.

Concert tickets can be "too expensive" for any one individual, sure, but that doesn't make them "too expensive" in general. If people were willing to pay $20 a pound for spoiled oscar mayer weiners, then that would be the "right" price, even if it is crap.

fikus222
05-14-2008, 04:11 PM
Paying high ticket prices for concerts helps me feel better about downloading all my music.

Same here, if I have seen the band live then I download their material with a clear conscience.

suprefan
05-14-2008, 04:24 PM
some artists are garauntted a certain amount of money per show, so they have to charge a certain amout to make that up initially, then other sales that night will get the rest of the money. For the coldplay tour as an example, they have to be getting a million or so a night garaunteed to charge that much. Radiohead is getting less than that, but they also stated to keep the price no higher than $60 for seats.

kreutz2112
05-14-2008, 04:27 PM
I'd rather spend more money to go see artists perform live than pay to listen to their music at home. I think that's worth the extra money.

fikus222
05-14-2008, 04:27 PM
Do artists get a cut of the concession sales or do they have to rely upon merch sales ?

chairmenmeow47
05-14-2008, 04:27 PM
Concerts would be "too expensive" if they were priced so high that not many people bought tickets. that isn't happening.

Concert tickets can be "too expensive" for any one individual, sure, but that doesn't make them "too expensive" in general. If people were willing to pay $20 a pound for spoiled oscar mayer weiners, then that would be the "right" price, even if it is crap.

great point :)

i don't think it's "too expensive", but then again i don't go see acts like coldplay or madonna (i also don't flip burgers for a living either). i think it gets "too expensive" when the band only tours once in a great while and people start scalping tickets on ebay. there are some insane prices on there. but that just shows the popularity of the band.

i'd say locals-only dj acts have gotten too expensive. i can't believe people pay $20 for a locals-only party with no frills. boggles my mind.

and i fully endorse the ticketmaster bitching being done in this thread!!!

fikus222
05-14-2008, 04:29 PM
I'd rather spend more money to go see artists perform live than pay to listen to their music at home. I think that's worth the extra money.

Damn right, I saw the Pixies twice on their reunion tours, the Warfield and at the Berkeley Greek and I only own Surfer Rosa.

bartelby
05-14-2008, 05:24 PM
i HATE ticketbastard, but definitely am ok paying $$$ to see bands live...for most, it is their top source of $ so i don't mind paying a bit more

acts like Madonna, the Police + others that charge over $150-$200 for tickets, on the other hand, are just being greedy

edit: i could understand if it was a big production show but i just saw the Police (had a free ticket but face value was over $200) and they had absolutely no added value in terms of production, just three old guys going through the motions

PassiveTheory
05-14-2008, 05:28 PM
I think it's worth the expense.

brando4n82
05-14-2008, 05:36 PM
If ticketmaster didnt exist, I would have to spend the same amount of money for gas to get to the venues, that they charge for convenience.

what is fucked up though is that the El Rey wont even give you an option to buy tickets at the venue, they force you to buy through ticketmaster, and thats just fucked

fikus222
05-14-2008, 05:38 PM
Yeah but Ticketmaster should use their profits on system upgrades, that will prevent the stupid ticket agencies from getting all of the primo tickets. They have a responsibility to make the system fair, especially since they pretty much have a monopoly.

suprefan
05-14-2008, 06:01 PM
They have tried to make the system fair, its just that the scalpers are a step ahead.


Artists do not get revenue from concessions, they only get merch sals.

luckyface
05-14-2008, 06:08 PM
I like how they use Jack Johnson as a reason festivals are becoming oversaturated.

In regards to TM, their methods suck. They are obviously a monopoly that the government is not going to stop. But unless you stop buying through them, the constant bitching ain't going to do shit. Is there going to be a point when you realize that the ticket price listed will always be +$10?

summerkid
05-14-2008, 06:14 PM
haha i love wayne coyne's quote.

idrive1life
05-14-2008, 09:29 PM
Just for fun (few minutes ago) - using my Citi Card ...



Madonna
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Mon, Oct 6, 2008 08:00 PM
Your Ticket(s)
Section
Row
Seats
Description
94
L
9
Price Level 1
LOGE LEVEL SEATING
Type
1 Citi Cardmember Presale

Ticket Price
US $354.50

Convenience Charge
US $19.60

Wow, its in the worst area of that section. If I'm rich ... maybe ...

chiapet
05-14-2008, 09:39 PM
I recently paid an almost 100% surcharge on each of the tickets for this year's BFD show. For instance, I purchased two tickets for $10.53 a piece and wound up paying a total of almost $39, and I did the standard free mail option.

I still have not purchased that ticket for that very reason (buying 1 ticket, the TM surcharges are OVER 100% of the ticket's face value).

Are concert tickets too expensive? Not really. But I've noticed that less well known bands at small venues are charging a lot more than what they used to (even 1-2 years ago I could still find a lot of good shows for ~$8-12, whereas the same type of thing now is usually closer to $20). This just means I stop taking a chance on checking out bands I have not really heard. I still go to a few shows each month usually.

chairmenmeow47
05-14-2008, 10:12 PM
i have to say though, if i had a delorean, i'd drive that shit 88 MPH back to 1992 and pay suprefan senior thousands of dollars to catch the dangerous tour.

if there was someone as awesomely talented today putting on performances of that caliber, i'd pay any price. that type of tour would be worth every penny to me.

i think michael had to fund some of dangerous out of his own pocket even, but still, the performance is what it's about. when i told people i went to coachella in 2004, the thing that i was most asked about was the flaming lips walking out on the crowd in the giant beach ball. it had nothing to do with the music; we've all heard that. it's about the experience. people will pay top dollar for that kind of event and artists need to remember that.

suprefan
05-14-2008, 10:46 PM
Nice post. Ill say it, I sometimes pay a lot of money to be entertained, thats what I expect. Like Kanye or JT, I was paying over $100 to be entertained, and I was and got my moneys worth.

gaypalmsprings
05-14-2008, 10:59 PM
Just for fun (few minutes ago) - using my Citi Card ...



Wow, its in the worst area of that section. If I'm rich ... maybe ...

That's why I'm glad I saw Madonna at Coachella.

dorkfish
05-14-2008, 11:06 PM
Convince venues to use brownpapertickets.com if you hate the fees.

1. What are your fees?

A producer using Brown Paper Tickets doesn't pay for any tool, feature, or service. Everything a producer needs to put on their show is free.

Ticket buyers always pay the same fair price of 99 cents and 2.5% of their ticket. Whether ordered over the phone, online or in person, the price is always the same.

Compare this to our competitors:

TicketWeb: $1.50 plus 17%
Tickets.com: $3.00 + 5%
Groovetickets: $1.86 + 3%

Boourns
05-14-2008, 11:19 PM
Yeah, way too expensive. It's why I don't go to that many shows per year. I have to really love the band. Or have ulterior motives for attending.

Jakewc151
05-14-2008, 11:49 PM
A lot of the revenue that comes directly to the artists is typically from live shows.. If you factor in all the money they lose from piracy, a lot of the expensive tickets are really justified.. Trust me, I am a full-time student who doesn't even have a job and pays for my tickets with the little financial aid living expense checks I get, but I still see why artists charge a lot.

humanoid
05-15-2008, 12:09 AM
I don't mind ticket prices if its at a good venue.....but anytime I see tickets for $80 or do at somewhere like the Forum or Staples Center, I laugh and pass right on by

fikus222
05-15-2008, 02:04 AM
Convince venues to use brownpapertickets.com if you hate the fees.

1. What are your fees?

A producer using Brown Paper Tickets doesn't pay for any tool, feature, or service. Everything a producer needs to put on their show is free.

Ticket buyers always pay the same fair price of 99 cents and 2.5% of their ticket. Whether ordered over the phone, online or in person, the price is always the same.

Compare this to our competitors:

TicketWeb: $1.50 plus 17%
Tickets.com: $3.00 + 5%
Groovetickets: $1.86 + 3%

Great idea and nice execution, but all of the major and mid level venues probably have binding contracts with their ticket providers.

psychoc&ndy
05-15-2008, 02:58 AM
although the cost of tickets prevent me from attending many concerts that i would like to attend, the high prices sort of filter "trendy fans" and (for the most part) keep the dedicated fans at the shows. I mean think about it, trendsters who vaguely know about a band aren't going to pay half as much as a true fan who deeply wants or needs to see this artist. personally, if it's an artist that i haven't seen, is very rare to see, or someone I truly want to see, I'll pay a reasonable price, regardless of how many hours of work I have to put in to pay for it

amyzzz
05-15-2008, 08:05 AM
Ticket prices are way too expensive for the bands I want to see. I'm trying to make the agonizing decision this year if I should just skip Coldplay and maybe save up money for the NIN tour (when it comes here). I think I'd rather buy 2 tickets for DCFC and take my kid instead of buying 1 ticket for Coldplay and going by myself. I love Coldplay too. It seems to me you have to be single and/or wealthy to afford this shit anymore. And I better shut up now before I start in on another Radiohead rant why aren't they fucking coming here thing.

marooko
05-15-2008, 08:41 AM
YES!!

chairmenmeow47
05-15-2008, 08:49 AM
And I better shut up now before I start in on another Radiohead rant why aren't they fucking coming here thing.

ah ha ha ha, seriously. i really wanted to see them in an indoor, non-festival setting this year, but that wasn't going to happen. i *almost* spent my entire stimulus check on hollywood bowl tickets off ebay, but i decided against it. sad times indeed :(

SFChrissy
05-15-2008, 08:51 AM
I love live shows, I think I go to shows more than I buy a new CD and no I don't do that nasty file sharing business, I hate ticketbastards surcharge and wouldn't get so pissed about it if maybe they gave me 5 iTune credits instead of 1.

I also think that the big touring entourage of bands should be using hybrid vehicles/biodiesel fuelled busses/trucks...WTF???

Backwater
05-15-2008, 11:16 PM
I loved it when Korn and the Deftones toured together a couple years ago and tickets were only $10.

Now I know these bands aren't very popular on these boards but they're both very good and there's no denying the fact that they could have easily charged $60-$70 and still sold out most large venues.

They just didn't feel like being assholes. Rockstars who aren't assholes?! What a concept!

kitt kat
05-15-2008, 11:34 PM
Every time I buy a ticket off TicketMaster, I always wonder what a "convenience" charge is....

Like...."Hey, you can buy a ticket to this show! How convenient! It's so convenient that we're going to charge you for it!"

Which somehow reminds me of...
http://www.wackywavinginflatablearmflailingtubeman.com/images/weekapaug.jpg

Boourns
05-15-2008, 11:39 PM
although the cost of tickets prevent me from attending many concerts that i would like to attend, the high prices sort of filter "trendy fans" and (for the most part) keep the dedicated fans at the shows. I mean think about it, trendsters who vaguely know about a band aren't going to pay half as much as a true fan who deeply wants or needs to see this artist. personally, if it's an artist that i haven't seen, is very rare to see, or someone I truly want to see, I'll pay a reasonable price, regardless of how many hours of work I have to put in to pay for it

Don't forget about rich people. Ticket prices won't stop rich trendy fans.

thelastgreatman
05-16-2008, 12:46 AM
Here's the thing about ticket prices--the reason ticket scalping exists is that high-value tickets are being sold for less than true market value, thus creating a gap that capitalism and free enterprise instinctively must fill. Those of you that always rail against scalpers, tell me:

What if to combat scalping venues started pricing tickets closer to true market value, with the top 10% most desired seats going for upwards of 200 dollars right off the bat? Let's assume they priced them in such a way that it always met the true market demand precisely, so no tickets ever got scalped. Would you be happy about it? You could still get tickets in the lower 50% desired seat range for about the same prices you are now though, with the inbetween on an appropriately sliding scale to meet demand.

fikus222
05-16-2008, 12:50 AM
I think I'd rather buy 2 tickets for DCFC and take my kid instead of buying 1 ticket for Coldplay and going by myself. I love Coldplay too. It seems to me you have to be single and/or wealthy to afford this shit anymore.

Do the DCFC show, I saw them at the Fillmore the Wednesday b4 Coachella with my wife and they made a convert out of her.

Coldplay would have been nice to see 4-5 years ago, like when they first played the Berkeley Greek and it was the largest crowd they had played to at that time and the lead singer got all emotional and cried a bit. Now, I don't know about them...

My wife is constantly remarking about my ticket habit. She said that when she married me she had no idea my addiction was this bad. She's cool about it, she just doesn't like weeknight shows, she will still go with me, but she'll gripe a 'lil bit.

I probably go to about 2/3s - 4/5s of the local shows that I am interested in. Though, I haven't traveled for a show or festival since Vegoose '05.

In the future I definitely would like to see/go to Sasquatch, Red Rocks and (I will admit it...I have never been to) Coachella.

fikus222
05-16-2008, 12:58 AM
IMO demand is less a concern, whereas the ticket agencies' software snatching up a large portion of the good tickets is a much larger concern.

thelastgreatman
05-16-2008, 01:04 AM
IMO demand is less a concern, whereas the ticket agencies' software snatching up a large portion of the good tickets is a much larger concern.

I used to work for a ticket broker and I assembled a great deal of research on the secondary ticket market--on average about 10 percent of tickets are purchased by brokers in the initial sale. Some used to use those "hacking" programs but plenty don't. The problem is capitalism.

fikus222
05-16-2008, 01:06 AM
I used to work for a ticket broker and I assembled a great deal of research on the secondary ticket market--on average about 10 percent of tickets are purchased by brokers in the initial sale. Some used to use those "hacking" programs but plenty don't. The problem is capitalism.

I am interested, where do they get their tickets from ?

Xenocide
05-16-2008, 04:13 AM
i.e.

Metallica tomorrow night in Irvine... $55. not bad.

considering you've got 4 coachella bands opening: Raconteurs, Scars, MGMT, Flogging Molly

as well as Offspring, Pennywise, Bad Religion, Seether (ha!), Atreyu, Rise Against, and 5 others...



not bad for $55
/.

thelastgreatman
05-16-2008, 04:22 AM
I am interested, where do they get their tickets from ?

Some venues, but not as many as you think, occasionally agree to sell out season tickets for certain seats to brokers but it's heavily frowned upon so if they do agree it's all very hush hush. Buying a box is not unheard of. Aside from that, the honest truth is that they buy them in onsales just like us, but they're very good at it. The buyer at the place I worked had been working several onsales a day for almost a decade in his employment, and they have two computers set up for him to be operating that pull from separate IP addresses so as to not be kicked off by TM. The clocks are all sync'd up right before any onsale, and about 30 seconds before it starts he begins refreshing every five seconds. Any faster and TM will lock you out. For most shows--I'm sure his strategies vary depending on the circumstances--he would grab the first computer to pull the actual ticket selection page and ask for 4 from the highest price range, and on the other he would ask for 2 Pit just to try to insure that if any Pit were available he would get at least 2. From there he had some kind of strategy for how he would modify the next requests if he didn't pull the tickets he wanted, couldn't really tell you.

The rest of the tickets they get are all sold to them by regular people, usually on consignment. The ticketholder gets 50 percent of the profit of the sale over what they agreed to pay him for the tickets if they sold.

fikus222
05-16-2008, 04:28 AM
^ Good to know, thx for the heads up.

thelastgreatman
05-16-2008, 04:47 AM
Here's a little piece of insider information I'll share: you can take advantage of corporate scalpers and get tickets below face value if you pay close attention.

Take the company I used to work for until the ungrateful cocksucker fired me for criminally stupid reasons--VIP Tickets. Anyone in LA can take advantage of these fucks, and they have two convenient locations to do it, one in Sherman Oaks and one in Downtown.

See, ticket brokers are in a tougher spot nowadays than they were a few years ago. They're facing steep encroachment on their business from ebay and stubhub and really feeling it in their wallets. You can take advantage because ticket brokering is still a risky entirely speculative business. I remember the CEO telling me a story about how when he was just starting out he lost almost everything due to cocaine giving him the bright idea to corner the market on an upcoming Neil Diamond show at the Hollywood Bowl (this was back in the 80s or some shit, for some reason this Neil tour was thought to be a sure high-demand show by him). He bought up every fucking ticket he could get his hands on and it turned out the demand was much lower than he had projected. In the end he had to sell many of the tickets at face value and then many even below face just to not go belly up.

So how do you use this? Okay, well find a local ticket broker like VIP if you live in LA. If there's an upcoming concert or even better sporting event you want to go to, check the supply of tickets they show on their website twice a day starting about a week before the date of the event. If the number of tickets is moving briskly with several days still to go, the odds are that they're selling well and this scam is probably not going to work. BUT, if you see that there's not much change in the ticket availability, especially if you see that they still have several tickets left the morning of the event then you've got a chance to FUCK A SCALPER.

This is easiest done with sporting events, basketball games being a perfect example. This entire basketball season you could get decent seats at just about every Clippers game (if you possibly wanted to go to one, which apparently no one did) for half the face value or less just by calling up VIP Tickets around 4 pm or so. They overpurchased season Clippers tickets and were having to just eat the cost every night on at least a few of them, sometimes as many as a dozen. There were a few fellows who would call in every day the Clippers were playing and offer 20 bucks for 80 dollar seats starting around noon. It's a complete insult, of course--the boss fucking hated these guys, and after a few weeks had gone by where these dudes had been checking our website frequently the day of every game and therefore KNEW that at 4 pm we still had four tickets unsold and thus had practically no chance of selling them to anyone except the 20 dollar guys, the boss got pissed off and decided that no one was to ever sell to those guys ever again.

But they were assholes about it--they called the phone reps out on the fact that they could see what tickets were still available, that they'd already bought these same tickets for 20 bucks twice earlier in the week, and generally made the staff feel like twats for selling to them. If you are congenial about it and just watch the ticket availability on the day of the show, you might be lucky enough to catch some unsold tickets--usually in pretty good seats--that they have no choice but to either sell to you at face or below or else eat the cost and give the tickets to an employee. Usually if an employee has requested to reserve a set of tickets should they go unsold the time cutoff is something like 4 or 3 hours before the time of the event start, so be sure to give yourself at least a five-hour berth before doors open time when you're calling. Don't rub it in their faces, don't be rude, just politely ask if they might be willing to let those Tori Amos (or whatever) tickets go for only 45 dollars?

Practice, learn their system, these are bargaining people. Be friendly and pleasant even when haggling, but check on their website frequently the day of the event. You'll be able to actually see the price dropping as the day goes on. If there haven't been any bites in the morning, they'll knock it down substantially after lunch, and sometimes keep knocking it down little by little with every hour. That's when you're positive they're in a panic state, and you can maybe pounce.

Enjoy!

suprefan
05-16-2008, 07:42 AM
Stuff like this would drive Delta mad, cause he would never look at it this way.