The Rise of Music Ticket Prices
“The most overpriced gig ever” declared Fox News, referring to the recent announcement of The Rolling Stones reuniting and playing two shows at London’s 02 arena and charging tickets for between £95- £375. There does seem to be a trend of music artists charging extensive amounts of money, since over the last decade revenues from music sales have gone down, for instance, The Killers, Prodigy and Kings of Leon are all doing the same in recent months. This can’t be doing much good for ticket sales seeing as most of the fans are students, coincidently students and music fans are now paying to see new bands live due to it being more reasonable and affordable prices.
Controversially The Stones did announce those prices reflecting how good their shows are since the shows are “50 Years and Counting” it does bring the legendary status and that they are one of the greatest bands in the world. A VIP hospitality ticket of the shows, which guarantees you a place inside the named ‘tongue pit’ will give you a clear view of the legendary rockers, however costing an eye-watering £1,140. The band have been criticised for charging this amount with Stones frontman, Mick Jagger, defending the ticket prices stating to the Telegraph “it’s a very expensive show to put on”. Though in that same week the four-piece played a surprise show at Paris and only charged fans a merely £12 in comparison to the upcoming London shows, remarkably Stones fans won’t see the difference in performance but will see a huge difference in their wallets. Not only music fans will have to pay for the ticket but also a booking fee with ticket sites charging an extra £7 on top of the extortionate amount. Ticket sites already make huge profits from extra charges such as booking and handling fees with Billboard announcing that Live Nation was making a profit of 9.7% to $1.96 billion, in the first quarter, from $1.79 billion in the prior year period. Revenue for the first nine months of 2012 was $4.38 billion, up 4.4% from $4.19 billion in the same period last year.
I can understand bands and ticket businesses wanting to make a profit but with the Rolling Stones case, along with many other bands, this is an excessive amount to be charged for a music gig, all the fans want to do is see the band and hear the songs no need for an elaborate setting or backdrop. It can also be partly the fans fault because we will pay the money to see the music artists so there will be no amount we will stop at. According to Forbes, almost all of the top 25 highest-paid musicians in 2011 made the bulk of their money from touring. However, it does make music fans wonder if it is the actual artists charging this amount of money or their managers and if they really care about the fans or just want to make a profit.
Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.