Summer Ticket Sales Drop, Promoters Pay The Price

Published: 2004-07-20
"For whatever reason ticket sales dried up around the middle of April - it was widespread across the industry," said the editor in chief of Pollstar, Gary Bongiovanni. Concert ticket prices have gotten very expensive in recent years. Concert goers can no longer attend the shows they want to see. It becomes a matter of making a choice of which event to attend. The price of a ticket - that can reach $300 - is not the only issue; however. A concert by a major artist by nature would attract fans from some distances, but with the recent increases in the cost of fuel, attending an out of town concert has become a very expensive venture; and if a hotel in needed then attending a concert can easily equal the price of a summer holiday.

The music industry has noticed a marked drop in the sale of concert tickets for the summer. This is also the time when the tourism industry as a whole raises the prices of hotels and the like, which in turn raises the cost of attending a concert even more. Summer is the time of year that more artist's book tours in outdoor venues. Many fans are simply refusing to spend large amounts of money for a concert only to end up sitting on a lawn.

Artists like Madonna who have not toured in a number of years are doing well. And the Vans Warped Tour where fans can see up to 50 bands for a $25 ticket are selling well. Taking notice of this, Clear Channel Entertainment sold tickets for $20 at one outdoor venue in Northern California, but it was only for one day. Some 50 to 60 thousand tickets were sold in that one day. But concert promoters and concert venues are not following the example.

Concert tours like Lollapalooza, Christina Aguilera and Marc Anthony were cancelled even before they started due to poor ticket sales. When a concert tour is cancelled it causes a ripple effect that touches a large number of people. Fans who actually bought tickets get disappointed, but a cancelled show also puts a lot of people out of a job further hurting the industry.

High ticket prices and cancelled tours are the latest of a number of events that have hurt the music industry in recent years. High priced CDs and less than stellar talent has not helped the industry either.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



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