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How much have you ever paid for a concert ticket?


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  • How much have you ever paid for a concert ticket?

    When I was a kid a concert ticket was roughly about the same price as an album give or take a dollar or two.

    My very first concert was Pink Floyd in 1975 at the Atlanta Stadium and I believe the cost of the ticket was $8.50. I know I paid $10.00 to see Led Zeppelin two years later at the Omni when I was in High School.

    In those days bands toured in order to sell records. Now they sell CDs in order to tour.

    This chart shows how concert revenue has increased while recorded music revenue has declined:




    The most I ever paid for a concert ticket was $125 for Paul McCartney at Philips Arena in 2002.

    That's about ten times the cost of a CD.

    So what's the most and what's the least any of y'all have ever paid for a concert ticket?

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  • #2

    $90 for Madonna. Worse concert ever. Soft porn meets Japan. 

    At this point, I`m not willing to pay any more than that. Maybe for U2 I would spend a bit more but live sound has gotten so bad that I no longer wish to see live shows which is kind of sad... and I don`t buy CDs anymore for the same reasons....


    • #3

      Festival tickets don't really count, but we paid $200 for a three-day pass to Austin City Limits this year.  I usually see maybe 15 bands at least each year at ACL Festival, so it's a good deal all told.  Except for the price of food and drink....


      Last big venue show I saw that cost a lot was....the Police reunion tour ended up being about $150 each for my daughter and me.  That was pricey, but quite an event.  I wouldn't have paid that much just to go myself, but the Police are my daughter's favorite band and it was a chance to have a father/daughter outing.  American Airlines Center in Dallas - where the Mavericks play.  One...big....echo chamber...awful sound.


      I don't think I'll go to many more big arena acts many more times - the sound is often so bad in those big places, and the prices are so high.  I skipped on seeing McCartney here lately for that reason.  


      On the other hand - the sound at the big outdoor festivals is usually really, really good.  The only problem is that the racket from one stage sometimes ruins the sound at another close stage.  And you have to leave your personal space at the door.  Not for the claustrophobic.


      It comes down to the sound quality of the venue for me.  To see one of my big favorites at a good venue with good sound - I'd pay a lot.   I did get to see Bill Frisell at the Continental Club here in Austin a couple years back for some ridiculous price like a $20 cover.   The sound was great, the place holds only about 200 people, and to get to sit about 30 feet from Bill Frisell and listen a couple of hours sipping on beer, I would have paid $150 and not blinked an eye.  Thanks, Bill!!


       nat whilk ii




      • martygras
        martygras commented
        Editing a comment
        My buddy Dave had a job at Irvine Meadows in the 80's (Orange County) and he got to see all the great bands coming through. He also got to see all the horrible bands too, but he got paid while doing it.
        I should have done the same.

      • Folder
        Folder commented
        Editing a comment

        nat whilk II wrote:

        I don't think I'll go to many more big arena acts many more times - the sound is often so bad in those big places, and the prices are so high.  I skipped on seeing McCartney here lately for that reason.  

        Well, the seat location is a big factor in what I'll pay for a concert ticket. My nose bleed section days are pretty much over, but over all I think the sound at most of the concerts I've been too has improved tremendously in the last 20 years or so.

        When I was a kid you used to see these huge stacks of gigantic speakers on the sides of the stage and most of the time the sound would be real bassy and boomy. Over time I started to see more smaller speakers hanging from the ceiling and less big ones on the stage. Now I rarely see any speakers on the stage and just see rows of small speakers hanging from the ceiling pointed at various sections of the arena. The sound is usually more focused and the bass much tighter. There are more sweet spots now because of the speaker postioning but the location of your seat still has a lot to do with the sound quality. I've always felt the lower levels directly in front of the stage were the best sounding.

    • #4
      Because of this thread I just woke from a dream that I went to Yankee Stsdium and the prices were out of the 50s. In my dream I called EB on the phone to give him the good news. That was a cool dream.
      Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
      Dad is great and all but he never could sing -


      • guido61
        guido61 commented
        Editing a comment

        I've been really lucky in that I've often worked at jobs, or had other connections,  where free concert tickets were one of the perks.    I haven't paid to see a whole lot of concerts.

        The most I paid was seeing The Eagles on their "Hell Freezes Over" tour.  1994 maybe?   Somewhere around $100 each for the general seating on-the-grass area of Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View, CA I think.   IIRC, that was one of the first ridiculously-priced concert tours.

        Before that, I paid something like $60-70 for really good seats to see McCartney at the LA Forum in '89.  Which I thought was outrageous then.   But it was McCartney playing all that Beatles stuff -- most for the first time ever --- and still remains the best concert I've ever been to.   Largely for that reason.

    • #5
      In 94 Pink Floyd cancelled their show in Las Vegas. Knowing it would probably be the last time I would be able to see them, I bought tickets from a dealer for their San Diego stadium show. The tickets were $150 with a $75 face value. So a 100% mark up but they were 12th row center.
      Overall happy because
      1. I would never have been able to get those good seats.
      2. It was one of the Last shows for the band.


      • nousername
        nousername commented
        Editing a comment

        Rush at Gibson Amphitheatre Los Angeles, 2010. First row of permanent seats, so about thirty feet back from the stage. I paid $600 via stubhub.

        Since then, I've only bought from Live Nation and their VIP system. Twelfth row Geddy, first row Alex, second row center, second row Geddy have been my last four shows. These are ~$300 each. Absolutely worth it for me.

        I keep a spreadsheet of concert costs for each year. Here's for this year:

        $403.95 avg per trip

        $9694.92 total of trips

        $100.76 avg per ticket

        $2418.30 total of tickets

        This includes a week "on tour" in late July/early August. Nine shows in seven days. 1100 driving miles, 1400 air miles. Rush (Portland), The Cult (Portland), The Cult (Seattle), Rush (Salt Lake City), The Cult (Salt Lake City), Blue Oyster Cult (Corvallis), Blue Oyster Cult (Vancouver), and two nights at a tribute band festival (Canby). My back hurts just thinking about it...