When tickets were released for the big Motley Crue reunion tour with Def Leppard, we were stunned at some the ticket prices. And yet, if you asked the largest promoter of concerts in the world, Ticketmaster/Live Nation, they would argue that ticket prices are too cheap.
Marketwatch posted an interesting story noting that the average ticket price for the top 100 tours in the world in 2019 rose to $96.17, according to a study by Pollstar. Ticket prices have increased 23% in the last five years, and since 1996, prices have climbed more than 250%.
The story includes this handy chart:
According to Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino on a recent investor call, these tickets are an "incredible bargain" relative to other entertainment options and increasing the price will present a “huge opportunity for our bottom line.”
Live Nation of course owns Ticketmaster, and their president, Joe Berchtold, echoed the sentiment while noting “the vast majority of shows are very reasonably priced for fans,” calling out summer ampitheater tours where lawn seats are usually priced around $30. Ticket prices for amiptheaters generally average around $48, because of the breadth of lawn seats available. Lawn seats are basically a way to get in and listen to the show because you are usually so far away, you can't see shit unless you watch the screen.
Live Nation argues that fans stand to even benefit from higher ticket prices because it would keep the tickets out of the hands of scalpers, who would mark up the tickets anyway. They argue that the secondary market on Stubhub proves prices are too cheap, since fans are interested in paying more than face value for tickets.
All of this while The House of Representatives launched an investigation into the pricing practices of the largest ticketing services. Live Nation reached an agreement on principle with the Justice Department earlier this year on charges that the ticketing company was misusing its dominant power in the industry.
All of this is just a very roundabout way to say that expect your ticket prices to go up.