Then vs. Now – The Price of Rock + Metal Concert Tickets
Anyone that's been to a rock or metal concert recently knows that ticket prices are out of control. Do you remember how cheaply you could see a great show back in the day? It might be shocking to see side by side just how much more concert tickets are now than they were then.
Heck, even before post-pandemic inflation increased the cost of everything, the cost of concert tickets had risen sharply. Bloomberg reported in 2019 that "ticket prices for concerts quadrupled in the last 20 years." From the mid-'90s to 2019, the average ticket price went from just under $26 bucks to almost $92. "Along with pro sports and Broadway shows, concert prices have far outpaced inflation." Bloomberg argues that because albums sales from artists weren't making them as much money as they did in years past, musicians upped the price of tickets to their live shows to recoup that lost income.
That's just part of the problem. The two-headed monster of Ticketmaster and Live Nation (the nation's major ticket provider and the nation's major concert promoter) are accused of gouging prices due to demand for live experiences post-pandemic. Massive "service fees," which had been the gripe of concertgoers for much of the last decade, have been supplanted by complaints of the dynamic pricing model that Ticketmaster has recently employed for high demand shows.
"Dynamic pricing" means that the face value of a ticket can go up in the face of high demand. This turned the price of a $400 Bruce Springsteen floor seat into an eye-popping $5,000 mortgage payment. After Ticketmaster dropped the ball on selling tickets to Taylor Swift's 2023 tour, they are being investigated by the Justice Department for monopolistic practices. Hopefully the ticket buying public will see some movement on that early in the year.
Until then, let's look back on how good we had it. Check out some big bands both of yesterday and today, and see how much ticket prices have gone through the roof.