The Rise In Concert Ticket Prices: Exploring The Cause And Consequences For Fans

Emma Robinson

Throughout the past couple of years, there has been a noticeable rise in the prices of concert tickets. Emma explores why this is and the negative impact it has on music fans.

Buying concert tickets can be an incredibly stressful experience for fans, especially if the artist is in high demand. It often means queuing on websites such as Ticketmaster for hours before the sale for a chance to purchase. This is anxiety-inducing enough without later discovering that the ticket prices are astronomically high.

From my own experience, I was shocked to pay around £80 for a standing ticket for Harry Styles’ ‘Love On Tour’ in the rear pitch. Although the show’s atmosphere was incredible, I questioned why the price was so high even though I was so far back. The ticket price contributes to many parts; roughly 10% is the booking fee, and 5% is tax. The ticket also contributes to the payment of medical staff technicians, cleaners, and transportation as well as the cost of the artist’s rehearsal time. 84% then goes to the band and their promoter.

Despite this, the high prices still contain an element of corporate greed. The top ticket-selling website is Ticketmaster. The website is known to be an enemy to concert fans and was even trending on Twitter, with buyers complaining about the unjust prices. The company generates its wealth by adding extra cost on top of the face value ticket through “dynamic pricing”.

Companies such as Ticketmaster will take advantage of this by using dynamic pricing to rob fans of their money.

Taylor Swift (who is rumoured to be going on tour soon) is an example of an artist who has previously used the “dynamic pricing” method. Consequently, it left Ticketmaster users confused after they had to pay hundreds of dollars more for a ticket than face value. For her last tour, the average price of a ticket was £250. With her fan base rising, this only means that the increased demand will reflect a higher price for the next tour. Although, there is a feeling of acceptance amongst her fans for the higher pricing due to the anticipation on social media for her rumoured next tour, but companies such as Ticketmaster will take advantage of this by using dynamic pricing to rob fans of their money. 

Fans signing up for pre-sale to get access to the first release on top of paying the price of the actual ticket is an example of the dedication of having a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude to gain the tickets. Therefore, the fans’ commitment suggests that the event will be worth it, placing a lot of trust in the artist to make it worth the price.

There is a solution in seeing smaller artists where inevitably the price of concert tickets will be lower due to less demand. However, this is only a short-term solution, and big corporate businesses need to be held accountable for over-charging fans.

Ultimately, the biggest problem regarding the rise in concert tickets is corporate businesses such as Ticketmaster purposely overcharging ticket prices, especially regarding the current cost of living crisis and the negative economic implications of COVID- 19. This is not a time for people to worry about being unable to enjoy a live moment, on top of navigating other financial burdens.

Emma Robinson

Featured image courtesy of Anthony DELANOIX via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In-article images courtesy 1 of Daniel Montano Jr via Twitter.com. No changes were made to this image.

In-article images courtesy 2 of tstourtips via Instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.

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