Concert Promoters Cutting Ticket Prices in 2011

At some point, if you’re a greedy little pig and keep being a greedy little pig, the average consumer will become hip to your ways and revolt against your business.

In fact, concert attendance fell 12 percent in the first half of 2010 compared to the same period a year ago, according to trade magazine Pollstar.

Meanwhile, North American concert ticket prices rose from an average $26 in 1996 to a peak of $67 in 2008, an increase four times faster than inflation (that’s not including ticket fees such as “order processing” and “convenience,” which can add up to $10 or more to the final purchase price).

Now, some promoters are saying they’ve learned their lesson and intend to cut prices next year, though they are aiming to sell more T-shirts and other merchandise to make up for lost revenue.

The best solution to this problem is to stay far the fuck away from stadium tours, etc. My buddy Dr. Mallo tried to get me to see Weezer a week or so ago because they were playing “Pinkerton” in its entirety.  Awesome, I thought, but how much are prices.  Steep, the good doctor said, very steep.  And yes, paying $80 to see Weezer is crazy.  I’d rather drop $16 to see Tokyo Police Club (which I’m doing) and then use the leftover money to go see two or three other concerts in a similar price range.

There are great concerts and music to see at a far more affordable price point than seeing Lady Gaga at $100.  The most interesting aspect of the story, though, is Neil Diamond all but admitting high ticket prices are necessary to feed the beast.

Neil Diamond, who’s continuing his comeback tour in New Zealand in February, said he’d like to bring ticket prices down but can’t because of the size of his production.

“As the shows get bigger, the expenses get bigger, so it’s got to be translated somehow to the ticket price,” he said. “If I just used the guitar it’d be a lot simpler, but then I’d have to put 50 people out of work.”

For lots of successful people, it no longer becomes about them.  Neil Diamond is responsible for the livelihood of hundreds of people.  Same thing with lots of performers.  It’s a shame and a nature of the beast.  Just one I’d rather not get tangled up with.

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