If you are like us at Ghost Cult, you go to a lot of concerts every year. We actually pay for many shows we cover, and the fees on top of the tickets, especially for major festivals, event-type shows and tours are astronomically over-priced. And the company that owns the most venues and puts on the most tours in the entire world thinks we are getting away cheap! According to a new report by Marketwatch, Ticketmaster and their parent Live Nation feel they have been charging fans too little and there is a “great opportunity” to earn more money by charging more for tickets in 2020 and beyond. According to the report, the average ticket price for the largest worldwide tours has increased by more than 20% in the past five years and is approaching $100 per ticket. This timeline coincides with the biggest bands and tours in the world, including major tours the last few years Guns N Roses’ “Not In This Lifetime Tour”, Metallica’s “Worldwired World Tour”, Slipknot’s “Slipknot Roadshow”, The Eagles, The Who, Elton John’s farewell tour, KISS’ “End of the Road” tour, Slayer’s “The Final Campaign Tour” on their way to retirement, Tool’s new tour, and next year’s big-ticket tours from My Chemical Romance, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. This is not counting the secondary and resale market, which includes Ticket master’s murky relationship with resellers and bots (see Metallica’s S&M2 ticket debacle last summer), StubHub and other companies that gouge fans for profits.
Live Nation Entertainment Inc. LYV, +0.03% Chief Executive Michael Rapino told Liberty Media Corp. investors last month that concert tickets are an “incredible bargain” relative to other entertainment options, and that increasing prices represent a “huge opportunity for our bottom line.” The Ticketmaster parent company’s president, Joe Berchtold, echoed the sentiment in a recent conversation with MarketWatch.
The average ticket price for the top-100 world-wide tours rose to $96.17 in 2019, according to music-industry trade publication Pollstar, and has increased 23% in the past five years. Since 1996, the average price for a top-100 tour ticket in North America has climbed more than 250%, according to Pollstar statistics recently cited by Bloomberg News.
Though big-name artists command higher prices, “the vast majority of shows are very reasonably priced for fans,” Berchtold said, pointing to amphitheater lawn seats priced in the $30 range. Live Nation said in its Liberty investor presentation that ticket prices for its amphitheaters average $48.