Live In Concert Ticket Prices

And friends wonder why I don’t go to more concerts here in Las Vegas:

“The Eagles bring their perennial farewell tour back to the MGM Grand Garden arena Oct. 15. Tickets range from $78.75 to $367.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. at the MGM box office, 3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South, and Ticketmaster outlets.” Las Vegas Revue Journal July 5, 2005

I know where those “cheap” $78.75 seats are in the MGM Grand Garden, and from that vantage point, you will see four little tiny dots on the stage below, and be forced to look at the jumbo tron to see the faces. For $78.75 I expect more than a front row seat to a television. And I am not paying $367.50 - maybe if John Lennon and George Harrison came back to life and there was one more Beatles concert, but otherwise…uh, no. Speaking of which, Paul McCartney is coming the the MGM Grand Garden again as well, and his tickets are usually even MORE than what The Eagles are currently charging.

I guess they can only charge prices like this if people pay them, but it is a shame to think the only concerts I can realistically afford to see will be one hit wonders touring to pay for their retirement condo.

So is it just Las Vegas that is ripping people off for tickets, or is this international?

Oh, it’s definitely international. I just returned from a trip to Japanwhere decidedly third-tier former acts were playing cabarets and clubs. Ticket prices started at around $40 and went up from there.

I saw some of the biggest names of my past in concert, and never paid more than $40. Nowadays, they want upwards of $250 per person to sit so far away you can’t see the stage. So for me, I won’t ever be attending another concert. There is no one who deserves that much of my money for the privilege of being in the same room with them - particularly if I’ve bought their entire recorded catalogue in three different formats over the years.

The most I’ve paid was $42 to see Alison Krauss and Union Station.

It was worth it, but very few other bands are.

Here are some random ticket prices (don’t you go judging my poor taste in music- it makes me happy, damnit! :D):

All prices are per ticket

Third Eye Blind (local college gym): $15

Madonna (MGM- to the right of the stage, just where the stadium starts to
elevate- first row): $150

Wango Tango 2002 (Dodger Stadium- mid range seats): $50

Wango Tango 2003 (Rose Bowl- Better mid range seats): $60

Wango Tango 2005 (Anaheim- eh seats…off ebay): $70 for a pair. Regularly $125.

Eminem Anger Management Tour 2005 (general pit): $100
I’ve been to others but I can’t remember at the moment. I know that Madonna’s last tour started at like $200 and went up to like $400.

The Stones are coming to Hershey, Pa., later this summer. Top price: $120.

But when Jimmy Buffett comes to the Philly area, he can ask for more (I’ve seen scalped prices near the front start at $200).

This is what’s happening: record sales are down (insert your own reason here, from sucky music to piracy), but artists can rake in bigger bucks by touring. They get a bigger percentage. So prices have been going up up up.

Like NFL and Major Leage Baseball tickets; if the demand is there, and events sell out, expect ticket prices to go up.

Still, it sucks.

There’s something seriously wrong when a “farewell tour” not only becomes “perennial” but they use that phrase in their advertising.

It’s a FAREWELL TOUR. Take your bows and get lost.

This means you especially, Don Henley.

When the Eagles played at the opening of the American Airlines Center in Dallas, I think the tickets were in the $175 - $500 range.

This has changed in my concert-attending lifetime. When I went to my first shows in 1998-1990, tickets for even the big shows were usually less than $20, and they were usually all the same price, or close to it; you might have seen a $5 difference between the upper and lower deck or the lawn and pavilion. I recall balking at going to see Paul McCartney in high school (early 90s) because tickets were a whopping $32.

It was the Eagles that started the trend, when they first set out on their “Hell Freezes Over” tour about ten years ago. People gasped at their ticket prices; tickets to their show at Rupp Arena were something like $45 and $85, when the standard price for a ticket to a show that size at the time was more like $25. People were willing to pay it because it seemed like such a special reunion (not knowing they’d drag it out for this long).

Artist fees (and most other concert costs) shot up as artists and promoters realized that they could charge the higher fees, and that a lot of people in the premium seats were paying high dollar for those seats through scalpers, so they might as well charge the scalper’s price to begin with. It started with “gold circle” seats that were less than twice the price of the regular seats; it’s not uncommon now to see 3-4 tiers, with the best seats 4-5 times as much as the worst.

I can count on one hand the number of big “arena” shows I’ve been to in the last six or seven years, aside from Phish (who had great ticket prices straight through to the end). The best shows are in the clubs for $15 or so.

Some artists – maybe about 50 at any give time – can make more money from touring. These are usually well-established acts who have been around for decades.

Most acts barely break even touring.

The best deal around here is the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where you can get lawn tickets for $15 on all shows (including the Moody Blues; the Allman Brothers; Meat Loaf; Crosby, Stills, and Nash; and Chicago*). You’re a bit far from the stage, but if you get there early, you can get close enough to see better than the $80 seats at a big stadium.

*All well-established acts who have been around for decades.

This is exactly why I go to VERY few concerts . I always figure for the price of a ticket , I can get a whole collection of the artist’s CDs and enjoy them forever .

Until now , the most I had paid for a concert ticket was $55 to see Rod Stewart in 1997 . They weren’t all that great of seats , but he put on a good show (It was the 2nd time I’d seen him , the first in 1982) and I enjoyed him .

I say …that was the most until now .

Last month I ordered tickets to go see the sexy Australian country singer Keith Urban … at $114 a pop :eek: . I almost DIED . They are 11th row , but STILL…

For that price I feel like I oughta get laid by him . :smiley:

I remember when I paid $50 for a SCALPER floor ticket for Nine Inch Nails’ “Self Destruct” tour in 1994. Just two weeks ago, I paid a total of $71 each for two tickets to see Dead Can Dance, 20th row. And that was directly from Ticketmaster.

I’m only on here as a guest, so my humble opinion may not be as valued :wink: but here it goes…

I will admit, I’m cheap, but for (what I consider) quality acts, I have shelled out big bucks…
For Simon and Garfunkle last year I paid about $100 a ticket…and I also have paid about $120 before, but that was for Dave Matthews and both nights (he played two nights in Columbus, Ohio, and I went to both)
But to be honest, I try to get better deals anymore…
Warped tour was expensive, but there are so many bands…
I saw Fall Out Boy a few months back, and tickets were about $20 each…
I also saw Red Wanting Blue and Time (one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a long time) and only paid about 15 a ticket…
Even for bigger names like Sugar Ray and Matchbox 20, I only paid $27…
Tickets for Jason Mraz and the Curbside Prophets acoustic tour were relatively cheap too…only like 20-30 dollars a piece…

The truth is, from what I know, Vegas prices were ultra high compared to most cities…and I love live music…but if you want a really good concert for cheap…check out something like myspace music for some local acts and then check them out at a pub or coffee shop around home for a few bucks…these guys are what it’s really about…

That’s the great thing about being into indie music (in the “indepedent” sense, not the “genre” sense). I go to concerts all the time, and almost never pay more than $20… I’ve only shelled out $50+ twice, and those were for Radiohead ($65) who tour the USA only once every three years or so, and The Pixies reunion ($60), which was worth it just to see one of the best underground bands of all time perform.

A breakdown of the shows I’ve seen this past year alone:

-They Might Be Giants - $18
-The Pixies - $65
-Mad Caddies - $15
-Pinback - $23 (including Ticketmaster’s ludicrous commission fees)
-Reel Big Fish/ Catch-22/ Rx Bandits- $20
-Sleater-Kinney - $18

And that’s just counting nationally touring acts; I’ve seen plenty of local bands play for somewhere between free and $8.