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Australian Concert Ticket Prices Broken Down – Is This Where Your Money Is Going?

Written by Mike Hohnen on January 8, 2013

The escalating price of concert tickets for Australian tours is a lot like the heat we’re feeling today – it pisses everyone off, but complaining won’t change anything. So we grit our teeth and endure. Today The Sydney Morning Herald has looked into the outrageous amounts of money we need to fork out to sample visiting talent, but it doesn’t make the pill go down any easier.

$150 for a ticket to see 3-4 bands play in a crowded venue with mid-strength beer and no parking has become the norm for Australian’s music lovers. In many cases, ticketing outlets charge even more to watch sometimes one international act with 3 or so native bands in support that we’ve all seen about 5 times that year already, but according to SMH there is way more to the equation than artist fees and travel costs.

Of that $150, an alleged $2.25 or 1.5 per cent is sent straight to APRA for public communication of recorded material, which is sent straight back to the artists.

After that, $3 is put aside to cover insurance such as injury of the artist or cancellation, making sure that the venue isn’t out of pocket for not having a show on that night.

The next $4 goes towards the ‘inside charges’ implemented by the ticketing company towards promoters, not unlike when they charge us with booking fees and the like.

Then $13.75 goes towards covering advertising for the venue throughout all forms of media. This doesn’t include any publicity deal put in place for individual bands on the bill – just the venue’s promo.

Also, 10% goes straight to the government’s pocket, thanks to GST.

$16 from each ticket goes towards production costs, such as Metallica’s pivoting coffins suspended from the roof, or Rammstein’s pyrotechnics, or that thing that ate Gaga, yeah, you get the point.

From the original price, $22 is the promoter’s profit margin from each ticket, which might sound like heaps, and it is if you sell out the Brisbane and Sydney leg of a tour, but if Melbourne and Perth aren’t biting, you could end up in the red.

With the advertising already covered, an extra $24 goes towards venue hire, which is then divvied up between staff, room access, riggs supplied by the venue – stuff of that nature.

The remaining $50 goes directly to the talent: headlining act, main support and openers, then split amongst them for different purposes – per diems, transport, and weed money for the roadies.

So, as hardworking, tax paying music lovers, does this ease your tension a bit? Or does this all look like shit? Take out your anger on the heat at this, if you must.

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