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Concert Tickets: The Issue of Pricing - Is it Worth it?

Jenna Lawrence | Opinion Editor

Within the past couple of years, concert tickets have skyrocketed in price. When mainstream artists tour, the prices to attend become insanely expensive. Factors that contribute to the cost of tickets are the people who set the prices, such as the venues - which have regulations for costs - promoters, artists, and ticket-selling platforms. Sometimes, the prices do not even start out as expensive as they become, and the cause of this phenomenon is what is known as ‘resale tickets.’


Firstly, it is important to understand how the concert system works. Promoters are the people who set the official ticket prices, however, if they do not meet a certain number of sales through tickets, they lose money. Mainstream and popular artists can also be in control of pricing, however, smaller artists typically do not, which makes the prices for their tickets whatever the venues decide. Venues also earn money through the promoters, whereas the promoters earn through the sale of tickets. Additionally, fees for services, processing, and deliveries can be added to the cost of tickets when being purchased.


Platforms, specifically Ticketmaster, can contribute to the absurd prices and chaos whilst purchasing tickets. Ticketmaster often adds a high amount of money in fees to the final cost of a ticket. For instance, earlier this year in March, the band, The Cure, convinced Ticketmaster to refund people who were charged the extra fees. The tickets for their tour were relatively low in price, however, the fees some of the customers had to pay were more expensive than the tickets themselves.


Ticketmaster also had issues when fans were purchasing tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. There was extreme chaos on the website, such as Verified Fan codes failing to work, and fans being kicked out even if they were able to select tickets to purchase, which brings us to one of the biggest issues facing the cost of tickets today: Resale.


Resale is when someone sells the tickets they bought, which they often, if not always, do at a higher price than what they bought it for. This is unethical because it is unfair for others to pay such a high price for tickets that were originally sold for a cheaper one. The biggest example of resale as an issue is the prices people resold Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets for. The average resale price of an Eras Tour ticket was $2,183 as of earlier this week. Because of this absurdity, the IRS actually created a new reporting threshold, which counts resales as a business transaction. This means that many people who resold a Taylor Swift ticket for a high amount of money may owe taxes due to the profit they made off of them.


But are the expensive prices really worth the concert experience? Ultimately, that is up to you. If the experience of live music and performance by an artist you love is worth a high expense, then go for it. However, it is important to make responsible and ethical purchases and make the most out of your money.



References


Irvin, Jack. “The Cure’s Robert Smith Successfully Convinces Ticketmaster to Partially Refund ‘unduly High’ Fees.” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 17 Mar. 2023, people.com/music/the-cure-robert-smith-successfully-convinces-ticketmaster-to-partially-refund-fees/.


Kaplan, Ilana. “Why Are Concert Tickets so Expensive in 2023?” Peoplemag, PEOPLE, 29 July 2023, people.com/why-are-concert-tickets-so-expensive-in-2023-7567208.


Sola, Ana Teresa, and Kate Dore. “If You Resold a Taylor Swift Ticket for a Profit, Prepare to Pay Taxes. Here’s What to Know.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Oct. 2023, www.cnbc.com/2023/10/02/if-you-resold-a-taylor-swift-ticket-for-a-profit-prepare-to-pay-taxes.html.




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