Reditorial — Ticket Prices

Well, it has finally happened. Artists, promoters and ticket companies have gone too far. The price of concert tickets is through the roof and when you add additional charges to a ticket it is becoming less and less attractive to take in a concert. Like Canadian and American media, when a few companies control the business you are in big trouble. Bigger is not better.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster have merged. Very little competition left. When this happens in any field, our choices are limited.  So we are answering with our wallets and staying away. The recent Simon & Garfunkel “postponement” is an  example. The show has now been “postponed” twice. My bet is the thing is never going to happen.  The $200 ticket price plus taxes and Ticketmaster charges is over the top.

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In recent days in newspapers across North America you can read of the lack of interest in Lilith, the concerts formerly known as Lilith Fair.  Ticket prices are only part of this problem.  Sarah McLachlan was hot ,hot, hot 11 years ago when she brought forth the first Lilith.  She hasn’t had an album of new material until recently. It has been 7 years since her last original outing. The talent lineup does not compare to the concerts of  over a decade ago.

The object of the original series was to get more women into concert venues. That has been accomplished. Therefore the reason for the tour has diminished.  Some bad decisions with this current tour has seen changes of cities, venues and talent.  The original B.C. venue was out in Maple Ridge, near an airport.  It has switched to Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. Still, in Maple Ridge it was expected that a crowd of 25,000 would show. Now that the show has moved to West Vancouver they can expect 7,000 to 9,000 attendees.

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Maybe we are all concerted out?  Or maybe there is so much competition for our limited dollars that we have become more picky about the shows we take in. An interesting item is the Beach Boys/Bryan Adams show at the P.N.E. The show was priced at a mere $40 and is now sold out. We can’t protest to Ticketmaster… they could care less.  Promoters still think we will pay a king’s ransom to see an act. Some will, but dwindling attendance is evidence we have reached a crossroads. Imagine that.  And prices continue to go up even with  the introduction of the HST.  Does anyone in this business understand  economics? The “Greed is Good” crowd haven’t received the message yet but they will.

Pick and choose your concerts and the jerks in control will get the  message.