I wrote an article for the front page of Thursday’s Observer about the summer concert season and the key factors that have caused a handful of big shows to be canceled here.
Here’s some more information on that topic that I think you’ll agree tells a big part of the story:
Average price of a ticket to see one of the top 100 tours in 1996, according to Pollstar data: $25.81.
Average price of a ticket to see one of the top 100 tours in 2009, according to Pollstar: $62.57.
That’s nearly a 150 percent increase. You can chalk it up to inflation; but not all of it. I mean, I bought my first new car in 1996 for $16,000, and my third new car in 2009 for $28,000. (My current car is nicer than that first one.)
The more telling piece of this story, though, is how – duh – there’s a direct correlation between demand and price:
Price for a cheap seat to see red-hot Justin Bieber on Aug. 8 at Time Warner Cable Arena: $31.50. Ticket sales have been extremely strong.
Price for tickets to see uber-popular Adam Lambert perform last week at the Fillmore Charlotte: about $40. His concert sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale in May.
Price for good seats to see Santana – which hasn’t had new material in five years – at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre: $81.50. The show was canceled.
Price for a premium seat/VIP package to see Lilith Fair at Verizon: $756. The show was canceled.
The lesson couldn’t be more obvious, but I’ll let Neighborhood Theatre owner Zach McNabb put it in a nutshell: “It’s a simple formula that’s gotten lost amongst the larger bands and promoters: Cheap tickets plus desired artists equals higher attendance, and higher profits.”
What else is there to say?