Concerts, Tickets and American Greed

On January 13, 2010, in Concert Reviews, by admin

Wish to spend a little time speaking on concerts and ticket prices, so we will take a bit of a break from the top 10 lists. I see about 15-20 concerts each year. I insist that I get up close to the stage, in many cases, paying premiums to ticket resellers to do so. I used to be regular customers of local scalpers, saving some money from the high fees of ticket resellers. But I noticed oer the last several years, that up close seats were becoming harder to find from scalpers, prices were going up through the resellers and through resale sites such as Stubhub. Further, when I was more organized enough to try to secure these close seats right when they went on sale at Ticketmaster, no close seats were available.  OK. There are presales, so I spent a bunch of time joining, whatever, to get presales only to find out that presale seats are generally not the real close ones, but maybe a section or two back. So a little research was warranted.

The result were findings that do not surprise me given our ‘profit at all costs philosophy’ today.  VIP packages costing up to 10 times the amount of the face ticket are sold at every show taking up front row seating.  Sure these packages have additional benefits included, sometimes even including a meet and greet. But they are aaly expensive. Some seats are also reserved for fan clubs or some other organization you must pay to get into just for the right to assure getting an up close ticket and the “opportunity” to buy merchandise from their store at a whopping 10% discount. Further, since this drives up the resale prices for close tickets, all the major ticket outlets have joined on in the resale market to capture the revenue from these inflated ticket prices. It is basic supply and demand. And the heavy demand for the few remaining up close tickets leaves the rest of us paying high prices for the privilege to sit (or stand) close to the stage while our favorite performers play 90 minutes on average.

I miss the days before corporate became entrenched in the concert business. Sure there was less organization, sure shows were always running late, and sure some times bands did not show up at all; but the concerts were generally more reasonable, bands played with more passion and jamming, and the experience always promised to be rich!

Rest In Peace: Old Days

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