$10 Concert Tickets! (Another Weird Economic Indicator)

Last night, I pinged a friend about this crazy advert I got regarding a band/tour he is involved with. He can only be identified as an "Anonymous Industry Exec" (Thanks for the Police/Elvis Costello Tix hookup, G!)

He writes:

"This is shaping up to be a pretty bad summer for touring.  A lot of tours are having trouble.  The sheds (like Jones Beach) are having a particularly hard time selling seats. The economic difficulties are showing up in weak ticket sales.  A lot of people are reluctant to spend all that money on gas getting to the show, paying for parking and then beer — on top of the concert tickets.

By contrast, movie box office is doing reasonably well, most likely because the prices are reasonable, there have been some decent movies this year and with people staying closer to home, movies are a vacation substitute.  Much cheaper to take a family to Wall-E than to Disney or Six Flags…

Note that most of the tickets I have gotten from shows ranged  from reasonable (any Jazz show in NYC)  to $60 (James Taylor) to $90 (Steely Dan 3rd row) to really expensive (the aforementioned Police/Elvis tour in great seats).

Here’s the advert that started this conversation:



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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. JohnW commented on Jul 9

    Dude, you’d have to PAY me more than $10.00 to see Steve Miller band.

  2. Jim commented on Jul 9

    Saw the Steve Miller and Joe Cocker concert on May 29th at the Zoo Amphitheatre in OKC. That night the place was packed, but OK is on a different cycle than other states due to the large engergy sector. By the way, Cocker’s band was tight and they put on a show; that made the concert for me.

  3. Chief Tomahawk commented on Jul 9


    Anyone else just hear Larry Kudlow say “his sources” at The Wall Street Journal say the WSJ’s editorial board may call for Bernanke’s resignation as early as tomorrow? If true, and that seems a longshot, what will that do to the market’s confidence??????

  4. kaboom! commented on Jul 9

    holy shitballs! that can’t be good for LYV. also heard bad news out if international speedway, too…houston, we’ve got a problem (and a trend)

  5. martin commented on Jul 9

    A $10 ticket? Something tells me that doesn’t including the $23049810293842341.21 in Ticketmaster fees?

  6. Andy Tabbo commented on Jul 9

    I would call that a Deflationary Sign.

    Barry, you have correctly identified that inflation has been historically understated. But, what is the bigger problem in the future: inflation or deflation?

    There seems to be a growing debate about this point….and rightfully so.

    – AT

  7. Vermont Trader commented on Jul 9

    BR – It’s a new era.

    This weekend I’m going to solar fest.


    Cool bands and alternative energy workshops.

    lots of hot hippie chicks!

  8. Jojo commented on Jul 9

    Phew. Steve Miller & Joe Cocker? They are still alive and playing? You are living in the past…

    As to movies, it is freaking hot here in Northern Calif., so I looked at what was playing. With 4 major megaplex’s within a 10 mile radius, I discovered that each one is playing the exact same list of current releases. And none looked worth seeing after reading the reviews on user reviews on metacritic.com. I’m probably just too picky but it is so hard to fall in line with the masses out there.

  9. Roman commented on Jul 9

    Deflation, Barry. Deflation!

  10. Joe Klein’s conscience commented on Jul 9

    You are right. It is cheaper to take someone(or kids) to the movies. It is air conditioned. You don’t have to pay for parking. It’s only going to get worse for the concert industry.

  11. Jon H commented on Jul 9

    I think this means it’s time for acts like Steve Miller and Joe Cocker to just give up touring and turn Woodstock, NY into the Branson, MO of baby boomer rock. They could just take up residence there.

  12. BobC commented on Jul 9

    “A $10 ticket? Something tells me that doesn’t including the $23049810293842341.21 in Ticketmaster fees?”

    Bwahahaha. Classic!!

  13. Mr. Bubbles commented on Jul 9

    Also a sign of the economic times, NASCAR sponsorship going south. Look next for professional sports to feel the heat of the downturn.

  14. Bob A commented on Jul 10

    A bottle of Geritol is included. PLUS a discount coupon for hip replacement.

    And that’s not all!…

  15. Bob A commented on Jul 10

    A bottle of Geritol is included. PLUS a discount coupon for hip replacement.

    And that’s not all!…

  16. Event Ticket Exchange commented on Jul 10

    Anyone looking to sell tickets can do so through our ticket feed and if you want to help sell tickets and make some money then we have a program for that as well.

    As far as ticket sales being low… I don’t know about that.

  17. squashnut commented on Jul 10

    Dickie Betts is playing at the Jersey shore for $20. In his 60’s, has his son in the band, he’s as sharp a genius as ever. Forget the economy, America gives the world Dickie Betts.

  18. sheeple in MI commented on Jul 10

    Saw the Cocker / Miller show here in W. MI on June 26.
    Joe’s was classic and his band was great.
    Miller was sad.
    Paid 100 bucks to see ten nights of concerts, but would not have paid the $30 for just this show.

  19. Mr. Obvious commented on Jul 10

    I have an ancedote: I’m a Parrothead. For the past decade, Buffett’s concerts have sold out in under 15 minutes. If you wanted tickets, you were paying a 30-50% premium on the open market. Like him or hate him, he has consistently sold out 30 venues every summer, raising prices every year (the avg price of a Buffett seat is probably north of $75).

    This year, only a couple of his concerts have sold out. And if you want tickets, you are getting them at a 20-30% discount on the open market.

  20. Matt M. commented on Jul 10

    I think it has as much to do with the show as it does the economy. Cocker has a small but loyal fan base, while Steve Miller is a shadow of his former.

    Don’t you have to do an apples to apples and see if Steve Miller has been selling out in previous years?

  21. Matt M. commented on Jul 10

    Mr. Obvious,

    I’ve has plenty of trouble getting tickets for Buffett this year (NY-NJ). Sold out on Ticketmaster and the ticket exchanges are 25% above face. It may be a geographical situation….I don’t know.

  22. Thom commented on Jul 10

    I stopped going to big concerts years ago. Now I can drive 20 minutes, pay a $10 cover and watch an excellent singer or band in a room that seats well under 150 people. Added bonus you occasionally see opening acts that become new favorites. Check out Eleni Mandell or The Mermen on iTunes.

  23. Tony commented on Jul 23

    Joe Cocker is a rock icon, who can still outsing most rock singers half his age! I saw him two weeks ago at Radio city music Hall in NYC, and he just blew the roof off the place. He has always been the real deal, but never gets his just due. When the hell is the RRHOF going to wake up and induct him!

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