Monday, October 08, 2012

A Ticket Costs How Much?

by Dick Mac

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.

Lady Gaga just announced sale of tickets to her show in Brooklyn.

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.

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