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I have not been to a concert by a major recording artist for many years. I am aware that the prices are (IMO) massive.

 

It was brought home to me after listening to the last interview with Jimi Hendrix when concert ticket prices were being discussed. They eventually decided that the ticket price for a uk show of his should be around 10 shillings (about 50 pence). Hendrix died in 1970. In 1970 a typical uk weekly wage was about £30.

 

At this point during the interview, they estimated that 10 shillings was about 1/3 the cost of an album. So much for the way it used to be.

 

All I can recall (I was 16 and a student in 1970) is that it didnt cost me much to see a major artist of the day. UK artists (Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Family, etc) were always touring and you could see them at local venues during the year. A couple of years later when working, I would usually buy an album a week.

 

Yet a hardworking band could still make more money touring than from album sales. These were still mostly smaller gigs such as guildhalls, college venues or a town pier. So maybe 2 or 3 thousand capacity for one show.

 

What about now, with vast arenas and tickets at about £100 each per person? Is it reasonable?

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I guess it's how they make their money now... and didn't artists lose money (or make very little) on touring BIG shows in the old days, in order to promote a new album?

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I blame The Who! Ha! Seriously though, I had seen quite a few concerts from 1984-1988. Can't recall how much they cost. But in 1989 I remember the craziness when we were going to get tickets for the The Rolling Stones Steel Wheel Tour. $20 a ticket! Highway robbery at the time. Still, we got tickets and it was a great concert. The Who did there reunion tour right around the same time but slightly before them. If I'm not mistaken, that's when the price rose drastically. The Stones were just following their lead.

 

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On 8/28/2017 at 1:01 AM, MonoStone said:

I guess it's how they make their money now... and didn't artists lose money (or make very little) on touring BIG shows in the old days, in order to promote a new album?

 

Like I said,

Quote

a hardworking band could still make more money touring than from album sales.

 

The old days I'm speaking of is made clear in the OP.

The Grateful Dead's album revenue was peanuts compared to their gate money. And as Tom said, those tickets were typically just a couple of dollars then.

 

The only example I can think of that fits your suggestion is that of a 'breaking' artist. When taking high profile gigs in LA, the hitherto unknown Los Lobos lost money just to get exposure in the mid 80s. They turned down well paying gigs on their local patch to do this.

 

I am not saying I wouldnt pay higher prices to see someone I like. I am asking if its necessary, right or reasonable. 

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29 minutes ago, Rudi said:

I am asking if its necessary, right or reasonable. 

 

Necessary - Well that's why I said it's how they make money now. They could charge less, it's not necessary to make quite so much profit, but rock stars are generally in it partly to get rich. 

Right - No one is forced to go to gigs. It's a luxury. All of us can charge whatever we want for entertaining people... Artists should perhaps have duty to be good to the fans that made them, but those fans can easily walk away too.

Reasonable - Depends on what you get for your money.... and what you consider a good time... personally I'd want to be paid to stand packed into a crowd of sweaty idiots in front of a band I can hardly see or hear.... but... some gigs would seem reasonable.

 

It takes a lot for a band to make me want to see them. Most gigs are crap. Personally I'd only bother with the big ones... I can't stand half baked gigs and I've never understood the crowd/fan mentality... I mean I saw Kraftwerk years ago at a big (ish) gig and that was perfect for me, just an amazing audio visual experience...it was only barely live (as you can imagine) but sounded and looked amazing...for me that's a treat worth paying for. I think a lot of gig goers don't even hear the music or see the show because they're just there to go wild... so for them the gigs you talk of are an unnecessary expense for sure...they'd be better off just going to a club or jumping around in the garden. 

 

 

 

 

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The reality of those days was that most revenue expectations were tied to sales of albums, not concert tickets.  You were lured into the venue in hope that most of you either already owned the latest album or that you very soon would buy it.  Artists were fairly-forced to play many concerts, in god-help-us-all places, because every one of those places had at least one record store.

 

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Looking into it... 

 

Manchester Apollo... my favourite venue, just the right size at 3500 and a great sound.

 

Tickets aren't much more than years ago. Sigur Ros coming up in Sept - £35- £50 

 

Bigger stadium or even worse giant outdoor shows are a waste of time and money. Like Glastonbury ... it all sounds crap and you can see nothing. I don't even believe that people who go to the giant outdoor gigs and giant festivals for the music really listen anyway, they go to be in the crowd and kid themselves that they're enjoying the music beyond the beat and general vibe of it.

 

 

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4 hours ago, MonoStone said:

Looking into it... 

 

Manchester Apollo... my favourite venue, just the right size at 3500 and a great sound.

 

Tickets aren't much more than years ago. Sigur Ros coming up in Sept - £35- £50 

 

Bigger stadium or even worse giant outdoor shows are a waste of time and money. Like Glastonbury ... it all sounds crap and you can see nothing. I don't even believe that people who go to the giant outdoor gigs and giant festivals for the music really listen anyway, they go to be in the crowd and kid themselves that they're enjoying the music beyond the beat and general vibe of it.

 

 

 

I agree, a lot of the smaller venues are still selling tickets at decent prices. My wife and I are going to see Midge at the Concert Hall in Glasgow in October and we have paid just over £70 for both of us, front row seats (I managed to get them the minute they went on pre-pre sale).

 

Festivals are decent, but there is a lot of dross played and it can only be the atmosphere that entices people to keep attending. Glastonbury was crap, there were hardly any decent acts (in my opinion) and the headliners seem to be getting worse (Kanye / Adele to name two who were awful), but whether you like Coldplay or not, they did a good show, as did Muse (who I would love to see live, but keep missing when the tickets go on sale).

 

I respect that you have seen Kraftwerk in concert, I would have love to have gone to that concert, but don't get to as many now as I would like.

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10 hours ago, Jenn said:

Glastonbury is my dream :( 

 

Glastonbury IS a dream... sometimes a beautiful psychedelic dream, sometimes a very very bad dream, but that's all it is. Although it's been a long time since I went, I did love it... but I couldn't hack it now. 

 

I love the atmosphere too ... but that was my point, those kind of gigs are only for the atmosphere. No one really hears the bands and most people definitely can't see them. My point was that as a price to see bands...it's overpriced...because you don't see much of them, and it all sounds crap. (although I agree the blended sound all around is a real trip...and that's what it's all about for me.... or was... I dunno about now. Now I think middle class campers go with their families.... different vibe maybe.... and I am too old to enjoy it the way it should be enjoyed... in a very altered state. Back then, for us, it didn't have much to do with the bands... there's plenty of music playing all around anyway)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The festivals I went to in the early 70s were always about the music for me, and those I went with.

 

We could hear everything ok. It was very simple. No fancy lights, no exhibitions, no searches, no confiscated water or food. Just a field, a stage and the artists.

 

There was sometimes an @@sole element present. We kept away from them.

 

 

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On 28/08/2017 at 1:01 AM, MonoStone said:

I guess it's how they make their money now... and didn't artists lose money (or make very little) on touring BIG shows in the old days, in order to promote a new album?

 

Tours were loss leaders, promotional activity for albums. No album out, no tour. There were of course exceptions to this, but the common scenario was that tours did not make money.

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4 hours ago, john said:

 

Tours were loss leaders, promotional activity for albums. No album out, no tour. There were of course exceptions to this, but the common scenario was that tours did not make money.

 

Yeah exactly... and if they make extravagant gigs too cheap now then they have no way to make money, since 'record' sales are so much less.

 

So the internet killed GREAT yet CHEAP gigs too...  must be a new Buggles tune in the works (or would be if it had a hope of making any money ;) )

 

 

 

 

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Steely Dan stopped touring during the 70's because it had no impact on record sales.  That and they just couldn't pull off a live sound close to the recorded one.  Their touring years actually started in the 90's   Many of those 70's named acts were doing casino's in the nineties and the naughties. 

 

As far as concerts go these days most of the guys I know who are under 40 may see one concert every two years.  They don't however go to see local acts for shineola though.  Which brings up my next point.  Of people who complain and then bite the bullet and go to the big show.... They never go out to see the smaller acts.  I'm guilty of that too.  Though I can't afford the big shows and I'm working nights all the time anyway.

 

Back then vs now.  Back then promoters, venues and managers would rip artists off left and right.  

 

Many a great band never made it across the pond because they'd be ripped off so bad from their manager.  

 

If you had a good management force behind you they would do what it took to make sure you got paid for your efforts.

"We talk about peace and we talk about love At $10000 a show." - Doctor Hook.

 

I wish I could find the link somewhere.  I recall a story I saw on Youtube regarding the Moody Blues.  Once their tour bus was robbed of $250,000 Granted there are a lot of expenses with putting on a big touring show and back then you always had to carry cash.  Still the fact that there was a quarter of a million dollars on that bus at that time says something of being able to make it as a touring professional band.

 

The biggest issue as to why they are charging so much for ticket prices these days is.... TicketMaster

https://www.consumerreports.org/money/why-ticket-prices-are-going-through-the-roof/

 

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On September 2, 2017 at 3:51 PM, MonoStone said:

So the internet killed...

 

 

Everything it touches.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first concert was Led Zeppelin in 77, the ticket price was $11 (MSG opening night. I was fortunate enough to find a sound board mix of the entire show.)

My last concert was Glen Tilbrook a few weeks ago at a tiny club in Asbury Park. $30 for that ticket.

We went to Yankee Stadium a few weeks ago $100 each ticket. $7.50 for a hot dog, $13 for a beer.

Frozen on Broadway in February (we're sitting 3rd row opening Saturday night performance) $180 per ticket. Then add on the scalping thieving Ticketmaster charges.

Roger Waters $250 for a decent seat (that's cost) $100 for nose bleed section.

 

I saw U2 (first time St Patty's Day at The Ritz. Bagpipe band opened for them), Duran Duran, the Go Go's and a couple hundred other bands in the 80s at small clubs for a fraction of what I pay now for decent bands in clubs or small theatres where the average price is $40 - $50.

 

Oh how the times have changed and not for the better.

 

I used to have to choose what shows I went to. It was impossible to see everything. Now, I search and find very little I want to see.

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44 minutes ago, Snowman said:

I used to have to choose what shows I went to. It was impossible to see everything. Now, I search and find very little I want to see.

 

Im with you. I wouldnt cross the road to see 98% of touring artists now. You couldnt even pay me enough to attend most concerts.

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On 9/15/2017 at 12:20 PM, Rudi said:

 

Im with you. I wouldnt cross the road to see 98% of touring artists now. You couldnt even pay me enough to attend most concerts.

 Last night I paid $20 for a seat to the Roger Waters show. I've seen him many times, and I find him to be utterly brilliant.  I waited years for his new CD and I have to say it's AWFUL. I hoped it translated better live, and it didn't. He always keeps the basic arrangement of songs intact live and the difference between the Floyd material and his new album was evident. A lull was cast over the evening when he performed the new material. There was one moment when a background singer was allowed a few moments that picked up one of the songs. Besides that, I thought I heard snoring. 

 

The spectacle of a Waters show was in high gear. The seats behind the stage couldn't be sold because the screen went practically to the ceiling. It was mega IMAX. The visuals were usual Floyd/Waters. After the break is when the true genius kicked in. What looked like a fire ladder which was about 5' - 10' wide that measured  75% of the Coliseum floor (figure at least the size of a hockey or basketball playing field) and had  red warning lights flashing lowered close to the crowd and screens appeared, stacks rose from the top and a tiny miniature pig was attached. When the video appeared it formed the album cover of PIGS. At points during one song the screens changed sizes and it was technically magnificent. Everything I've come to expect from a Waters and more. It was the song selection that sucked. He barely sang, his new songs were terrible, and he added an anti Trump song Charade where the visuals made fun of Trump's penis size. Seriously it was beyond childish. But, more importantly the song was awful. I've never truly agreed with his politics, and still found many of his anti government songs brilliant (the entire Amused to Death album magnificent) I watched as many seats emptied after Charade. But, the height of hypocrisy came when the visuals were again anti-Trump during Money. A multi-millionaire belittling a billionaire. Wow, that's hypocrisy at it's finest. 

 

The Wall shows turned a lot of fans off with it's political messaging. I didn't care. I thought the entire Wall performances were the greatest spectacle I've ever seen (and I've been to over a thousand shows). But, for last night I could have easily gotten a seat close to stage ($250) at ticketmaster, and a guy outside would have sold me an 18th row seat for a fraction of what he paid. But, I wanted to see the spectacle and you can't do that from the floor in the front. There were plenty of empty seats last night. It seems his politics is truly turning off plenty of fans. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Snowman said:

The Wall shows turned a lot of fans off with it's political messaging. I didn't care. I thought the entire Wall performances were the greatest spectacle I've ever seen (and I've been to over a thousand shows). But, for last night I could have easily gotten a seat close to stage ($250) at ticketmaster, and a guy outside would have sold me an 18th row seat for a fraction of what he paid. But, I wanted to see the spectacle and you can't do that from the floor in the front. There were plenty of empty seats last night. It seems his politics is truly turning off plenty of fans. 

 

Hi Snowman.

 

I'm glad the evening wasnt a comp;lete disaster. I've heard people complain about Walters politicing before. Americans being particularly resentful. 

 

While I dont object to politics in music, I dont want to be preached at. I like Ry Cooder. He has been very political in his music. I have never seen him live, but your post made me wonder about whether it might be tarnished by overtly political views?

 

I only ever saw Floyd once, and it was extensively 'Dark Side of the Moon'. Now the interesting thing is that, DSOTM album wasnt even released then, so it was all new to us audiences. I enjoyed hearing those new songs at the time, but just maybe there were fans present that resented the DSOTM stuff and only wanted to hear 'Set the COntrols For the Heart of the Sun' etc?

 

On a related theme. My ex got into Genesis during the 80s and said she would like to see them sometime. I replied 'ok, but weve already saw them a couple of years back. This puzzled her mightily. The fact was Genesis were at a Reading festival alongside a bunch of other artists. She took scant notice of them at that time. Weird huh? 

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