The economy finally catches up with Ticketmaster.
According to the Associated Press, concert tickets will be lowered over the course of the next year. For years, concert ticket prices have been on the rise. In the span of twelve years the average price of a show went from $26 to $67, and it doesn’t take an accountant to figure out that’s a faster rate than inflation (it’s approximately four times faster in case you were curious.)
It’s been common knowledge for a while that going to major-venue shows is a bit of a racket between the ticket price, convenience fees, food, drinks, t-shirts, etc., but it never used to be this bad.
While it makes sense why some performers like Lady Gaga or Neil Diamond, who employ elaborate stage shows, would need to crank up the prices to compensate for their extensive staffs, most rock bands—and even a good deal of pop and hip-hop/R&B artists—are pulling off the same caliber shows that artists have been doing for decades. One could also blame the rise of prices on a decline in CD sales, but it’s also common knowledge that most major label artists don’t pull in much money for themselves through the sale of their records as it is, illegal downloading or not.
In a dismal economy, promoters tried to make up for losses by raising prices. While a decline in concertgoers began to take hold, a price drop of merely one dollar spiked up attendance 12 percent in 2009. This subsequently led to to promoters raising prices again in 2010—an ill-fated move which caused a major retreat from venues. While promoters desperately tried to offer last-minute discounts to fill seats, several shows were still canceled due to poor attendance.
While prices are not expected to drop back to 1990s levels, 2011 should be a far more acceptable year in terms of ticket prices. Watch out for those merch tents though, because that’s where they’ll really nail you.