Fans are spending a lot more for concerts in the US thanks to a higher base price, higher fees levied by the show's promoters, and a new dynamic pricing model that is binding your cost to the time you book your ticket. An optimised pricing model, high inflation rates and some peer pressure is also emptying a larger number of wallets when it comes to concerts.
Concert prices are up in the air because there isn't a roof to break through: As per Fortune and TicketIQ, the average price of a secondary market ticket for Bruce Springsteen's concert has climbed from $290 (about Rs 24,000) for 2012’s Wrecking Ball Tour to $1,195 (about Rs 97,000) for his 2023 tour. Thanks to the dynamic pricing system that works for concert prices now a days, some people bought concert tickets for $5000! That is about more than Rs 4 lakhs for a few hours!
In 2022, some tickets for Adele's famous ''Weekends with Adele'' show were sold for a price range between $30,000 to $40,000 (about Rs 25 lakh to Rs 32.5 lakh) per seat!
No way in hell I’d ever pay close to $2k for a concert much less freaking $40k. Not even if some necromancer brought back Whitney. Talk about ridiculous. I better get a concert a day for a year for that price. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/gd7HOJFH7r— Jason (@JasoninphxAZ) July 26, 2022
So why are concerts becoming expensive?
1. The base price has gone up: Since there were no concerts during the last two years, a lot of artists are now trying to make up for their past losses and book the same large venues for concerts. This sudden rise in demand from artists has created a cascading impact on demand for related elements like lighting, production, etc. Thus show promoters are paying more to source additional needs and since the base price of your ticket generally covers the renting cost, marketing and production costs incurred for the concert, the base price has gone up.
2. Higher fees levied by the show promoter: After all expenses are paid, the profit is split between the artist and the promoter. 75% to 85% of these profits usually go to the performing artist while the balance goes to the show's promoter. As per Fortune, the stake received by promoters has been reducing over time since artists are taking a larger % with every show. Since promoters are unable to cover their costs with the reduced profits, they are levying fees (like service fees and processing fees) over and above the ticket prices to increase their revenues.
3. The dynamic pricing model: Just like you prefer buying airline tickets quite in advance to get them at a cheaper rate, promoters and artists are using the ''dynamic pricing model'' for selling concert tickets. This means that your tickets get more expensive as time passes and as the concert date nears. This is supposed to ensure that the tickets aren’t taken by the bots and resold on the secondary market at higher prices. But it also means that genuine fans pay much more for their concert tickets.
4. Optimised pricing for select seats: In 2022, an aisle seat at a concert is generally priced at 10% higher than a middle seat. This was a trend that never happened before.
5. Hello inflation: Going on tours is a costly business for artists because they have to splurge on rising gas, hotel, crew wage, and transportation prices. Since the cost budget has gone up, charging higher ticket prices and higher priced merchandise makes concerts a financially feasible affair.
6. Peer pressure: Artists generally follow an interactive system which rewards extreme fan behavior. So a lot of fans buy expensive merchandise to show off their ''so-called hauls of records and apparel''. The idea is: spending the most on merchandise will make you the artist's favourite fan. Eg: Swift hosts secret sessions for her superfans where they can listen to her albums before they officially drop. So fans publicly post about all the merchandise they buy, in the hope of getting recognised and getting an invite. So there you go, spending again.