Concert Tickets Are Getting More Expensive, And Rich Baby Boomers Could Be (Partly) To Blame

A leading US economist has found that as concert ticket prices keep increasing, younger acts are struggling to fill stadiums because their audiences can’t keep up with the wealth of their baby boomer parents.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Princeton University economist Alan Krueger has found that concert ticket prices have skyrocketed in the US over the past 30 years, with the average ticket costing a record USD$76.55 (AUD$100.45) in 2016.

The increase in ticket prices is partly being blamed on baby boomers and an ‘ageing rock audience’, who are growing wealthier and wealthier as they grow older.

Krueger believes younger acts are struggling to fill stadiums because their younger fans have less cash to spend on headline shows, and are therefore drawn more to festivals where you can see a bunch of acts for the price of admission.

For comparison, in the US, Twenty One Pilots charge under USD$36 (AUD$47.25) a ticket on average, while Selena Gomez charges USD$66 (AUD$86.60). Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones charge USD$122 (AUD$160.10) and Madonna a huge USD$216 (AUD$283.45).

Meanwhile, The Australian‘s Iain Shedden says this week’s announcement of the 2017 Splendour In The Grass festival lineup is “a perfect example” of the trend highlighted by the Wall Street Journal: “That young consumers can get more value for money, as well as a communal experience, by attending festivals where they can see a host of acts in one hit.

“That’s where the next generation of music fans is gathering in numbers,” he adds. “That’s the audience live promoters want to grab for the future, but it doesn’t mean we won’t see a new generation of Adeles and AC/DCs filling stadiums 20 years from now.”

Pollstar Editor-In-Chief Gary Bongiovanni disagrees, saying, “I can’t say Drake or Justin Bieber will be selling tickets 30 years from now. There is not a lot of evidence showing that many younger acts are developing the staying power of the boomer bands.”

These comments about increasing ticket prices come shortly after Ticketmaster Australia said that underpriced concert tickets are currently boosting the controversial ticket resale market. “Resale will remain rife until artists price their tickets at what the market is willing to pay,” the ticketing giant said earlier this week.

Anyway, whichever way ticket prices move in the future, the phenomenon of awkward baby boomers at concerts will never disappear.

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