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-   -   Are ticket prices really affecting your concert-going? (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/music-talk/371070-ticket-prices-really-affecting-your-concert-going.html)

cdollaz 06-22-04 09:08 AM

Are ticket prices really affecting your concert-going?
I always bitched about rising concert ticket prices and how it would keep me from attending shows, but I do not think that really became true until a couple of years ago. Ticket prices are actually keeping me from seeing artists I really would love to see, including some of my favorite artists of all time. I can't imagine that a few years ago, I would even consider missing a Prince, Phil Collins, Cure, or Van Halen show. This year I am skipping all 4 because I do not want to pay the big bucks for shitty seats (The Cure is actually only $70, compared to nearly $100 for the others). Rush has long been my favorite band, and I wasn't even going to see them until a friend won some 2nd row seats. I just didn't want to pay $100 again to hear them play the same crap.

The only way I will pay amounts that high is if I get very close seats, which is almost impossible these days with every bastard with a computer able to be an eBay scalper. I refuse to pay $60-$70 to sit at the back of the seated sections or $40 to sit on a lawn a mile away from the action. Now I limit myself to club and small venue shows, where I never have to pay more than $30 (although I did splurge for Bowie, even though he was "only" $60).

So my question is: Are ticket prices keeping you from seeing artists you would normally see?

Meatpants 06-22-04 09:16 AM


I wasn't someone who saw shows 4-5 times a week, but if there were bands I was even marginally interested in, I would usually go see them. Now, considering TM's service charges, it costs me and my GF $30-$40 to see a new band that's only going to play for 45 minutes anyway.

These days, it has to be a show I'm REALLY interested in. For example, we went to see The Strokes last year - great show, really enjoyed it. They came back through town a few months later, and while I would have gone to see them again, I couldn't justify spending another $60.

I will always go to Pearl Jam shows, my GF is going to the Madonna show, we're seeing The Pixies soon (although even that I had to talk myself into, since I'm used to seeing Frank Black for half the price), etc.

Amel 06-22-04 09:59 AM

Oh hell yeah. I refuse to pay that kind of money. I haven't been to a show in years. I used to go to some type of show 2-3 times a week, sometimes more. I've always listened to all types of music, except country, so there was always someone playing somewhere who I wanted to see. I think the last show I went to was about 4 years. It was Megadeth and I got the tickets free from a radio station.

Since then there have been numerous concerts I wanted to attend but didn't because of the price or venue. I was gonna go see The Corrs when they were opening for the Stones on their stadium tour. But because of the cost, it being at a stadium where I'd probably end up with seats a 1/2 mile from the stage, and the fact the Corrs would only be playing for 30-45 minutes kept me from going. I figured I'd catch them on their own tour, but that never happened. They're coming this year and I keep saying that I'm going, but the damn tickets went on sale before the show was even officially announced. So now I'm stuck having to go through some slimy ass scalper...oops, I mean a respectable "ticket broker".

I really wanted to see the re-united KISS tour, but the price for that was ridiculous. Tried getting tickets to Vanessa Williams & Luther Vandross but when I got there I found out they cost something like $75 a piece. And when they offered me tickets two rows from the back I just started laughing and said "no thanks".

The festival tours offer the biggest bang for the buck, but most of the times there's only 2-3 bands I'm really interested in seeing. I went to these when I was younger, but I can't really fathom the idea of spending an entire day in the hot ass sun or pouring down rain. And the money they charge to eat & drink will cause even the richest man to go broke.

So now the closest I come to going to a show is buying the concert dvd's. Great seats, great sound, no $10 bottle of water and $15 dollar slices of pizza. Not nearly the same as seeing the band live, but it's gotta do.

Dubya 06-22-04 10:03 AM

This year I went to see Kid Rock (although he puts on a good show I am not a fan, just went with my best friend, who is a big fan) from the second row for $35, Prince from the 6th row for $75, and Fleetwood Mac from the ninth row for $100. Over the last several years I have become spoiled in that I will only go if I am in the first 10 rows, unless it's Pearl Jam in which case my fan club seats were like 20 rows back. Once you have been very close to the stage, it is a bummer to sit further back because it is an entirely different experience being that close. So to get back to the question, I love going to concerts but really I pick out a few per year that I want to see (like this year I had never seen FM or Prince so I really wanted to see them instead of seeing someone I have already seen before). I keep up with music news and really there is no other band touring this year that I am dying to see, so I think my concert going is done for the year. Next year I know that U2, Elton John, and possibly Pearl Jam will be touring so those are the shows I will go to no matter the cost. U2 will probably charge an outrageous amount but having never seen them live I will splurge. Usually there are about 3-5 tops shows a year that I go to so $$$ isn't that big of a concern. If there were 10 or more then I would have to be selective.

Josh H 06-22-04 10:25 AM

Totally, I'm a poor grad student and just can't afford to catch many shows.

atlantamoi 06-22-04 10:29 AM

Yes. I have to pick and choose very carefully. At least you can still hit a club and pay a fair price for a cool band (and see them up close).

dvduser6 06-22-04 10:45 AM

Absolutely. I used to go to the larger amphitheater and arena-sized shows, but now, when artists of that caliber come through town, you're looking to spend somewhere between $75 and $100 a ticket. I'm not a penny-pincher to the extreme, but I've been opting to see smaller club shows by less-known artists where tickets are closer to the $25-$35 range. I usuaaly end up being exposed to music I otherwise wouldn't have seen and saved almost half of what I would have spent had I gone to see a Lenny Kravitz or Matchbox Twenty. No slam on those guys at all. I simply like to check out the new stuff whenever I can. For that, you can't beat the smaller venues.

kneijst1 06-22-04 10:54 AM

Well, being a cheap bastard and having the closest city about 2 1/2 hours away, I can honestly say yes. I wouldn't say it was just that, but most of the bands I want to see right now(Yellowcard, the used) are playing big venues with a lot of other bands. I know this means a bigger money maker for people and some people get to see all their favorite bands, but I like "smaller" shows were your only paying to hear 1-2 bands play, and they'll play longer sets.
I'm also 25, so going to a concert and getting knocked around near the mosh pit/mainstage is just too annoying for me. I'd rather sit back on a lawn and relax, rather than my younger days when I wanted to be where the "action" was. hehehe

wendersfan 06-22-04 11:13 AM

I think my advancing age is affecting it more. However, in the past year I've seen The White Stripes, Richard Thompson, and Belle & Sebastian, and I'm probably going to see Magnetic Fields later this month. I guess I see a few shows.

saoirse 06-22-04 11:17 AM

You bet.

I'd rather go to a gig like Everlast or whoever really at the House of Blues for $20, than go to a big stadium where you can barely see, and the sound sucks and you pay 4 or 5 times as much.

woofman 06-22-04 11:27 AM


I've been a bit more frugal with my concerts this year. I've passed up the ones I'd really "like" to see so that I can still go to those shows I "have" to see.

Shows passed up: Alison Krauss
Norah Jones
Sarah Mclachlan
Alanis Morissette

Giles 06-22-04 11:28 AM

one word answer, yes... it does.

Cyberock 06-22-04 11:32 AM

Definitely is, concert ticket prices are getting ridiculous! Van Halen was a $112 a ticket here in Los Angeles and that's face value. Even the smaller venue shows are now like $40. I use to go to a concert about twice a month, now I'm lucky if I go twice a year at these prices.

Pointyskull 06-22-04 11:34 AM


The older I get the less value I find in spending $60+ per ticket - not to mention all those $8 beers - for what are mostly 'greatest hits' tours of stuff I've already seen.

jarsim 06-22-04 12:12 PM

Yes, especially if the tickets are only available through Ticketmaster. Ticket prices are already ridiculous let alone the exorbitant fees and surcharges.

It's got to the point now that's we're only seeing the 'must-see' concerts from our very favorite bands e.g. The Pixies who are coming later this year.

Pretty much we're avoiding anything over $20 a ticket (including fees).

jarsim 06-22-04 12:17 PM

Originally posted by saoirse
You bet.

I'd rather go to a gig like Everlast or whoever really at the House of Blues for $20, than go to a big stadium where you can barely see, and the sound sucks and you pay 4 or 5 times as much.

Exactly, we learned our lesson w/ Weezer at the America West Arena. No more arena shows for us. Expensive as hell and we couldn't see anything.

We're happy seeing lesser-known indie/alternative bands for $15 at a local club we're we can be right up front.....like when we saw Spoon or Stephen Malkmus or My Morning Jacket or Nada Surf or Modest Mouse/The Shins...we even saw Wilco at a small club in 2002...right up front and met the band after the show....

cdollaz 06-22-04 12:17 PM

Originally posted by jarsim
Yes, especially if the tickets are only available through Ticketmaster. Ticket prices are already ridiculous let alone the exorbitant fees and surcharges.

Yes, Ticketmaster sucks, but they aren't the only ones. I've got one that will make you shake your head even more:

The new basketball arena in town, the Toyota Center, sells their own tickets, no Ticketmaster. Yet, their fees are even HIGHER than Ticketmaster. What the hell is that? I've never heard of a venue charging fees when you buy the tickets from the arena's box office. That is just bullshit. At least Ticketmaster has the "middle man" justification. The Toyota Center already has the highest priced tickets in town, and then they hit you with fees of their own. Bend over, let me pop you in the ass with a $90 ticket. Oh, by the way, we'll add another $10 pop on top of that just because we can.

iggystar 06-22-04 12:32 PM

I'm not as picky about being in the front row, so I don't mind spending less for a seat a little closer to the nosebleed sections. I've been front row and high up, I like the experience of being in the venue, the crowd, hearing the music live, it doesn't make much of a difference to me.

What is getting tiresome is me going to concerts with my friend when it's my friend's favorite group. It's always groups I don't necessarily mind seeing, but this summer I paid $170 on two artists I wouldn't necessarily have seen. I know it kind of works both ways with my friends going to see someone I like, but I'm at the point where I'm ready to go to "my" groups alone

atlantamoi 06-22-04 12:33 PM

Originally posted by 12thmonkey

The older I get the less value I find in spending $60+ per ticket - not to mention all those $8 beers - for what are mostly 'greatest hits' tours of stuff I've already seen.

You just made me think of something. I would almost always rather pay to see a concert than a sporting event. I get free tickets sometimes through work for hockey, baseball and basketball here in Atlanta.
I've sat in $70 hockey seats and could not for the life of me think why I would EVER pay $70 to see a game instead of paying that price to see a good concert.

Absolut 06-22-04 03:46 PM

I used to go to a lot of shows but now it's just too much. Moreso than ticket prices the surcharges have just gotten out of hand in recent years. I really did want to go see Lollapalooza this year I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money on it. It's not so much affordability for me as it is cost to benefit, at a certain point I would be happier keeping the money than paying it to see a show. I have no problem paying $40 for a ticket, I have a problem paying $75 for a $40 ticket.

When I was younger I went t a lot of punk shows where tickets were $10-$15 with only a couple dollars service charge. Now that I'm older the music I like tends to command a higher ticket price which I'm fine with but again the surcharges have just gotten out of hand. Even punk shows seem to have gotten more expensive.

It's a real shame because I used to go to maybe 25-30 shows year. Now I'm luck if I go to 5 or 6. The last one I went to was the Mars Volta a few months back, the tickets weren't that expensive and I felt it was way worth it, but there is no way I would pay $50 + service charges even for them to see a show.

Chrisedge 06-22-04 04:52 PM

I'm choosing cheaper shows now.

I have tickets for Jet at the HOB = $30
I did buy Cure Tickets for my wife =$70

But I will pass on Van Halen, Madonna, and several others over way too high of prices.

slop101 06-22-04 05:00 PM

I only go to club shows now:

less $ + less people = better show... for me, anyways.

edclem 06-22-04 05:53 PM

I pretty much only go to club or small theater shows these days, too. I also do whatever I can to avoid paying ticketbastard's fees. If that means that I have to take my lunch hour to go to the box office, so be it.

I haven't gone to an arena show since the last time Tool was touring.

Ergyu 06-22-04 07:00 PM

Most of the shows I go to are at smaller venues. I don't usually mind paying $20 to see a good band.

I will only pay $40+ a ticket for specific favorite bands, like NIN, Tool, Primus, etc. For NIN and Tool I'd probably have no limit, so long as I had the cash to spend.

Rico Diablo 06-23-04 03:47 PM

Absolutely. I would have seen Prince and Van Halen this summer, but the prices killed it.

I even had my Pixies ticket in the Ticketmaster shopping cart (the first Chicago show - it sold out in a couple minutes) and once I saw all the fees tacked on I let it go. Broke my heart.

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