Rising ticket prices and cancelled concerts: current challenges and possible solutions

Rising ticket prices and cancelled concerts: current challenges and possible solutions 1008 756 egocentric Systems GmbH

“Another concert cancellation?” This phrase echoes in our heads when we think of the many cancelled tours. The world of live entertainment is on shaky ground at the moment, and this uncertainty is affecting both the artists and their loyal fans. An ever-growing mountain of ticket costs and the flood of cancellations could make us think that concerts are becoming an exclusive experience. The ARTE documentary raises an interesting point: “Is going to a concert becoming a luxury?”. But: there are creative ways to change this narrative.

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Direction / technology at a live concert, bathed in dim light

What’s going on in the music scene?

It’s no secret that concert tickets are getting more and more expensive and the big names are getting most of the cake, while upcoming talents are left in the dark.

But what’s behind it all?
The shadow of corona still hangs over us. Many postponed events from the past two years are now being rescheduled, and new faces are taking to the stage. The result? An overflowing calendar of events for 2023.

A normal weekend? Well, maybe a festival or, if I really make an effort, three to five concerts. And then? A week to recover from this musical marathon. Not to mention inflation, which makes everything more expensive – including concert tickets. Why? Because organisers have to contend with higher costs for rent, electricity and transport.

Add to this the influence of the three major ticket providers, who are driving up prices with dynamic pricing. The end of the story? Many fans who can no longer afford admission. Especially now that everyone is thinking carefully about what they spend their money on.
It looks bleak for smaller artists and independent organisers, while the superstars continue to play to sold-out houses. A mix of high prices and concert cancellations – not exactly what you want for an industry recovering from the setbacks of the pandemic.

Despite these setbacks, there is reason for hope. It’s time to raise the curtain on the solutions that could shape the next chapter in the world of live entertainment.

Possible solutions for organisers and artists

1. Organisers need more financial flexibility
One way to achieve this would be through state subsidies. However, it makes little sense to hope for this; we’d rather look around to see what other options are available. What does my visitor actually pay for a ticket price (and what do I receive as an organiser?)? Every extra euro I earn for my event helps me and my artists to earn money. So I should take an extra look here and find out how high my ticket system fees really are (sometimes up to 18% of the total price). Because with fair fees, everyone earns money.

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2. The use of collaborations in social media
Influencers now come in all shapes and sizes – and for every genre. Thanks to modern cooperation opportunities such as affiliate marketing, event organisers can benefit from personalised reach and also fill the halls for lesser-known artists.

3. Expanding the presence in social media
It is no longer enough to just perform in local clubs. A social media presence has become a MUST HAVE for every public figure. And the motto here is: more is always better.

4. More cross-selling when selling tickets
If ticket revenue is no longer enough, then we need other ways to earn money as organisers. Merchandise items, limited editions and special offers generate more revenue per ticket purchase and customer. This allows us to cross-finance the concerts.

5. Better visibility on the internet
We experience time and again that events simply (cannot) be found. In the current times with the oversupply of events, this is the ultimate disaster. Here too, independent ticket shops can provide solutions through automatic Google ranking.

6. Even better usability of the website and the ticket shop
On the one hand, inclusion is our mission and on the other hand, it also has practical advantages to set up your website in such a way that it is easy to navigate. This also makes it easier for your visitors to buy a ticket.

Teamwork makes the Dreamwork

Each of these approaches requires careful consideration and collaboration between all stakeholders in the industry to create a win-win situation where artists, promoters and fans alike can benefit from affordable, high-quality live music experiences.

It may seem like the live music sector is facing constant headwinds, but like any tune, it has its ups and downs. With the right approaches and partners, we can create a music scene that is sustainable, inclusive and enriching.

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