Concert tickets for A-list musicians like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Beyoncé, and Bruce Springsteen have steadily risen over the past year. With minimal royalties off streaming platforms like Spotify, some artists can earn more in a couple of shows than they do from album sales over an entire year.
According to Billboard, Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour grossed $127.6 million in a month, establishing her show as the highest-grossing tour by a female artist in history. A Harry Styles fan, intent on buying tickets to see her favourite artist, found herself looking at floor tickets priced as high as US$1,500, with tickets in the nose-bleeds still costing up to US$900.
In addition to the rise in ticket prices at the behest of the artists themselves, platforms such as Ticketmaster have adopted a “dynamic pricing model,” which sets ticket prices using historical attendance trends, daily quotas that need to be met, expected demand, and artist popularity. As time goes on, prices will increase or decrease (rarely the latter as this year’s trend shows).
These ticket-selling platforms and the artists themselves, however, are not the only cause of the inflation in prices. “Scalpers,” who buy a large number of tickets at lower prices and resell them at outrageous costs, also contribute to the crisis.
In spite of changing circumstances though, some fans are staying loyal to their favourite celebrities and artists, just like Pink’s fan Bex Paul. She chose to go to Pink’s concert 11 times in 2019. How did she afford it? She opened a bank account with her girlfriend in 2014 and has been saving up ever since.
The dozens of background performers that add to Pink’s highly acrobatic show created an unforgettable experience. Ethical pay, costumes, set design, and all the additional performance add-ons seemingly justify the increasing costs of her concert tickets. On the other hand, some fans do not think it’s worth it.
Adam Zhang, who bought a last-minute Billy Talent resale ticket for C$160 questioned his purchase. He considered alternating between digital shows (like Travis Scott’s Astronomical tour on Fortnite) and live shows, simply to have the experience but also save a buck.
Others are opting for alternative ways, like presales and credit cards, to afford concert tickets to their favourite artists. American Express provides its customers with its Front Of The Line program, allowing them to purchase presale and reserved tickets for selected entertainment events including big-ticket concerts.
Regardless of what path you choose, if you’re planning to buy sought-after concert tickets, ensure you can verify the reliability of your seller. Ask for proof of the tickets, ID, and where they bought it from.