Gig ticket prices have doubled since 1990s

From BBC - February 7, 2018

Average ticket prices for big arena gigs have doubled since the late 1990s, the BBC has found.

Taking inflation into account, prices have risen by 27%.

BBC 5 live's Wake Up to Money studied data from the National Arenas Association, which tracks prices across 21 venues.

It shows ticket prices - at the face value set by the promoter, rather than secondary websites - rose far faster than inflation between 1999 and 2016.

The average ticket cost 22.58 in 1999 (37.20 at today's prices) and rose to 45.49 in 2016, (47.14 today) the most recent year with available data.

The figures support anecdotal evidence gathered by the programme of sharp price rises for the biggest shows.

In 1998 it cost 23.50 to see the Spice Girls at Wembley Stadium (about 39 in today's money).

When Taylor Swift plays the same venue in June, tickets start at 62.

The live music industry claims the big tours have become far more ambitious, and cost far more to stage as a result.

John Corr's company, Sound Moves, handles logistics for some of the world's biggest tours, working with acts including Madonna, the Rolling Stones and Beyonce.

He told the BBC: "People complain about the cost of the tickets... but when they understand the scale of what goes on in the background they begin to get an understanding of why we have got to the cost we have.

"People's expectations keep rising - do they want a musical performance or do they want a show?

"With Beyonce, when the Formation tour was announced, demand was huge and they extended it in the US.

"What had been a predominantly ocean [freight] solution to get it to the start of the European tour in Sunderland needed to have increased air freight... We flew five 747s, which was the core show, into Prestwick and two 747s of stage components into Doncaster."

Live music has also become a more important source of revenue for performers, with the rise of downloads and streaming.


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