5 Reasons Concert Tickets Are So Expensive


Dynamic Pricing

Bruno Mars concert
Bruno Mars performs onstage during Bruno Mars: 24K Magic World Tour at Madison Square Garden. The tour grossed more than $200 million. Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Atlantic Records

Despite high production costs, the concert business is booming. While it might seem like the increased competition of more bands touring and touring more often should make concert attendance more affordable, consumer demand has kept pace, which drives up the price. Even multiple-artist shows that seem like a good deal offer room for profit.

"The appetite for live music is increasing year over year," Bluett says. He points to the expanding festival market as an example. With multiple bands performing and one ticket price to pay, "festivals are probably still the best value for the money." Nevertheless, 2019 Bonnaroo general admission tickets start at $279, and VIP tickets are $825.

The Bonnaroo tickets show evidence of another phenomenon — graduated ticket sales. Bonnaroo's ticketing page shows that prices go up as each tier sells out. Late purchasers will pay $70 more per ticket than fans who didn't need to wait for the lineup announcement. The use of dynamic pricing, similar to what the airlines offer, is increasing in the concert world, according to Schilling. When you buy your ticket and where you sit affect the price you pay.