In 2008, I bought a ticket to a big touring metal concert traveling through my area for $45.00, and I remember thinking, "That's expensive as hell!" Today, I would be happy if I could see a show of that caliber for that amount. You nearly have to make a decision to feed a family that week or go to a concert. Some of the higher caliber shows are more expensive than buying a mattress. Why are concert tickets so expensive nowadays? With a little bit to do with illegal downloading and bots and scalpers on ticket buying sites, the biggest reason why is simple, supply and demand.
Live Nation reported $10.34 billion revenue this past year, and in 2008 reported a revenue of $4.09 billion. This is because of us, you guys. We are buying these tickets regardless of price. While I am aware this is speaking out of genre, Taylor Swift tickets for a nearby concert to where I
live this year costed anywhere from $425-$695 a ticket for floor seats, and people are buying these tickets! There were some $45 tickets available for this concert, but they are in the nosebleed section. A little more on topic with the rock genre, The Offspring tickets this summer are $29.50 for lawn tickets that you might need some binoculars to actually see Dexter Holland performing, or you can pay $121-$195 to be in the first third of the stadium.
Something else to take into account of this is the experience that you as a consumer are seeing at these shows. While I can go see Parkway Drive for $30 in Louisville, the staging will not be the same as if I were to go see Metallica for example. There is a live DVD I own of Metallica called "Cunning Stunts" where as part of the show, the stage falls apart and the electricity goes out. Metallica then has these little lights above them that come down to finish the show. Carrie Underwood on the opposite side of the spectrum has a platform stage that lifts her above the audience. Would you expect to see this at a $30 a ticket show? Definitely not. You are also paying for the experience that the band is giving you.
Regardless of genre and experience, it is easy to see that these ticket prices are ridiculous. These tickets will still sell because people are willing to pay it to see their favorite bands. It is simple supply and demand. The demand to see these bands is high enough that they can charge these prices. That being said, this is great for the music industry as it is back on the rise after taking such a huge hit the past couple decades. The industry is nowhere close to where it was in 1999 at $23.8 billion according to Digital Music News, but it is back on the rise at $17.2 billion.