In 1976, I paid $7.50 for the best seats at a David Bowie concert in Boston. It was a shocking price to pay. No artist, except the Rolling Stones, had dared to charge such a high price for a ticket.
The annual rate of inflation between 1976 and now is 304.9%, which means that the best seat in the house for a David Bowie show today would cost $30.37 -- still totally reasonable.
The cheapest ticket, in the upper level at the Barclay's Center (3rd level, I believe) is $54.00 + $11.25 in handling fees, $65.25.
With fees, the price range for the house is $66.25 - $229.65 (for lower level seats). Standing (general admission) is $113.75.
VIP packages are available, but prices are not even published. If you have to ask, obviously you shouldn't be asking!
I have no problem with pop stars, musicians, singers, writers, painters, movies stars or anybody else earning a fortune. I wish more creative people earned as much as CEOs and corporate welfare queens.
My question is NOT: "why are tickets prices so high?" I understand that the entire paradigm of music publishing and distribution has changed in the past 40 years. I get it, and I accept that musicians must find a revenue source now that conglomerates own the labels and use all the money for debt maintenance and executive salaries, leaving nothing for the talent. I know why the ticket prices are so high.
My question is: "who can afford these tickets?"
This is not a criticism of the artists or promoters or staff, it is a question about how many people actually have $460 for a date night at the Lady Gaga show (plus parking, plus dinner and drinks)?
Perhaps I am just out of touch, but I'm still not used to this.