The price of popstars


Amid the recent Ticketmaster fiasco regarding Taylor Swift’s concert tickets, music fans across the country have started voicing their discontent with the disorganization and unreasonably high prices of concert tickets and for good reason.  

“It really sucks because I have to buy my own tickets on my limited wage, so I do not get to experience my favorite artists,” Dominic Loper, sophomore, said.  

For many, attending concerts is one of the most enjoyable and favorable celebrations. Whether going alone, with family, or in a large group of friends, cheering on one’s favorite artist has traditionally been a cherished pastime. In the 1980s, adolescents and young adults spent the weekends packed in crowded stadiums, eagerly purchasing tickets at the last second for an average range of only $2.50 to $15.13. Yet today, millions of teenagers clamor and wrangle for tickets as high as $700, only to be disappointed at the lack of equal distribution. Many wonder what has caused the excessive uptick in concert ticket prices. 

“Concert ticket sales for the third quarter of 2022 were up 37% compared to 2022, and ticket sales for concerts scheduled for 2023 are packing up double digits compared to the previous year,” News Nation said.  

As the number of up-and-coming artists continually increases, previously underground music genres have become popular. Tours in general are more extravagant, so ticket prices must compensate for the increased revenue. The economic inflation and supply chain crisis has pumped up the prices of just about everything, and the prices of concert tickets have tripled since the 1990s. This is largely due to the fact that musical artists’ primary income source used to be from album and record sales; however, since streaming new music is now accessible with the touch of a finger, they are virtually nonexistent. Consequently, ticket prices make up for the lost revenue and are increased even more with the additional costs of audio-visual effects, props, and overall production that makes concerts worthwhile and visually appealing. Not to mention, the demand to see live music naturally skyrocketed following the COVID-19 lockdown, and the availability of tickets could not keep up.  

“(…) The fees that are tacked on to each ticket can be as high as 78% of the ticket price. Those fees are divided among the venues, promoters, artists, and Ticketmaster,” Time Magazine said. 

This poses an issue for those unable to afford inconsiderably high prices for outings. In comparison to family vacations or amusement parks, concert tickets have previously been an accessible and affordable outing. Yet now, with the lowest prices for artists such as Harry Styles and Taylor Swift being $600 to $700, the enjoyment is no longer feasible for many. People find themselves working overtime to pay for nosebleed seats in states as far as five hours away, causing many to ask themselves whether it is worth it.  

“I feel really bad [about ticket prices]. I was fortunate enough to have the money to get concert tickets, but so many other people did not have the opportunity,” Olivia Baudo, senior, said.  

Ticket prices have climbed as high as $95,000 for a seat in the pit at a Las Vegas Taylor Swift concert. At this point, it may be more plausible to allocate the money towards a more cherished, long-lasting event, rather than wasting it away on a night likely to be forgotten.