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Why Are Concert Tickets So High Right Now?

If you've been disappointed by how expensive concert tickets for your favorite artists are, you're not alone. We break down the real reason behind this.

Photo: Hector Gutierrez

As concerts come back full swing in a post-COVID music scene, fans have noticed how expensive tickets have gotten. Last year, to go see a mid-size artist you'd pay anywhere around thirty to one hundred dollars. But now, to see that same artist perform, you'd need to pay over two hundred dollars. This price spike has become increasingly concerning for some as artists such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce announce upcoming tours.


While there's more than one reason as to why concert tickets have gotten so expensive, artists like Zach Bryan and Noah Kahan have expressed their discontent with resellers. That's why we have gathered all the information we need to help you understand the sudden surge in ticket prices.


Inflation has also affected artists


Whether you keep up with current news or someone who stays away from the internet craze, you must have noticed that stuff has gotten so expensive. And we're not just talking about concert tickets, but everyday products at grocery stores, trips, clothing, and many other goods and services are now more expensive.


When it comes to touring artists, rising expenses can affect how much concert tickets are. When gas, food, rentals, and other materials needed when on tour get more expensive, they need to leverage those cost increases with money.


Concert profits are being split in a different way


According to Billboard, in the past artists used to get 85% of ticket sales with only 15% of the profits going to promoters of concerts. It seems that in some situations, and due to the reasons mentioned before, artists are asking for a bigger cut to cover their expenses. This has led promoters to find other ways to source money, which includes processing fees when purchasing tickets online, facility fees, and service fees. In the end, the ticket price announced on the Ticketmaster initial page can become a lot higher when all these fees kick in.


More people want to go to concerts


Now, we know supply and demand are concepts you're most likely familiar with, so we'll spare the economics lesson. Simply put, the more people want something, the higher its value. In a post-COVID world where people are feeling more and more comfortable everyday to go out and be in crowded places, concerts have become extremely popular. When more people want to go see an artist, the ticket prices can go up.


Recovering from the COVID toll


This might not apply to every artist, but can you imagine how much COVID set back some artists? If your favorite artist or band had to postpone a tour for two years, that costs them money. After all, artists make a large amount of money from touring, and COVID put a huge dent on that.


Dynamic pricing is today's reality


In the past, concert ticket prices were set. If you wanted to see an artist, you could accurately guess how much concert tickets would be. If it was someone small, it would be around $30, and if it was a big name, maybe closer to $150 depending on how close you wanted to seat. Now, dynamic pricing is shifting how much you pay to see an artist, and it does it in real time.


Similar to airplane and hotel pricing, dynamic pricing for concert tickets affects prices in real time. There is an algorithm that adjusts tickets prices based on different things such as the current supply and demand, as well as, other external factors that can affect the public's interest on a concert. And while dynamic pricing could appear as the villain, it was also intended to combat scalpers, which are people who buy concert tickets for cheap and then resell them at ridiculous prices.


This is why Harry Styles's concert tickets at Madison Square Garden varied tremendously during his run. Some fans would spend around $400 on a date, while others would spend twice as much to seat at the same section on a different date.

 

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