Ben Wallace, a student at Pfeiffer University, has worked for his local church every Sunday and saved up enough money to go to a concert, however, he won’t be spending his paycheck seeing Christina Aguilera and Chingy, or Rod Stewart (reserved seats cost $30-$77 and $30-$100). He said, “I just don’t think it’s worth wasting so much money on just one concert, when that money can be used on other things, like buying several CDs.”
Wallace’s thoughts represent most college students’ views on concert admission: over priced. It’s tough for them to afford seeing their favorite artists live. While alumni are going to classes and with few working odd jobs to pay for clothes, food and other accessories, it makes life difficult to support their beloved bands. In other words, they live on a tight budget. Bob Grossweiner, a concert industry analyst told MSNBC, “If concert tickets don’t sell, it’s because people don’t have the money.” Maybe that’s why MTV throws their annual Campus Invasion Tour.
This leaves a very important question up in the air: how much is too much? There are a lot of factors that play into this, such as the venue, the performer and the expenses. Knowing that college students have insufficient funds, do record labels actually think they will spend anything above 50 bucks to see a mega star with maybe one act? Yea right. Most of these over priced concerts feature singers like Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ricky Martin. For a good seat at one of their concerts, it would cost at least 60 dollars. Most students won’t be able to afford that, but families with trendy little girls who are in love with Ricky (or want to portray Britney) will pay any fee to see him (her). They will even buy merchandise ranging from posters to lunchboxes. It’s like the industry targets children. Then, you have groups like Kiss and Aerosmith (who toured together last year). At a show in Indianapolis, a decent seat cost $100. While these artists have influenced the college market, most of these high priced tickets will be paid by the ones who could afford them, such as their fans from the 70’s and 80’s who have a good secure job, working as powerful money hungry bosses in their big conglomerates. It appears that college students can support the bands and buy their albums, but aren’t rich enough to see them live. But then again, those artists don’t hold much of the school circuit’s interest.
In a society where music is evolving, most of today’s successful bands that are dominating the college market have reasonable ticket prices. Look at pop-punk groups New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard: those developing talents will be playing with 50 other bands for the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. Depending which region of the country you see the festival, tickets cost between $26-$36. Projekt Revolution, a tour founded by Linkin Park, is an extravaganza thrown to display music from various genres. That tour will feature metal band, KoRn, rapper extraordinaire, Snoop Dogg, punk bands the Used and Less Than Jake, and will be headlined by the cross-genre founders, Linkin Park. Tickets for this event cost $50. Blink 182 is currently touring with Taking Back Sunday and rap-metal pioneers, Cypress Hill and the general admission price is $35. Even a ticket at the Headbanger’s Ball Tour were appropriately priced at $20, and showcased Damage Plan, Hatebreed, Drowning Pool and Unearth. Even if someone were attending a local show with unsigned talent, there would be multiple artists performing for cheap. It is very possible to go to a concert and not be robbed.
The so-called reason why tickets are expensive is due to corporate sponsors, but is that really the case? The Vans Warped Tour is funded by Subway, Kraft EZ Mac, Vans and Hurley (to name a few) and the ticket price is between $26-$36. Playstation, Ibanez, Miller Lite, Hot Topic, FYE and YJ Stinger support Ozzfest 2004 and general admission is $35. The theory that corporate sponsors raise ticket prices seems like a pile of garbage. Maybe the reason why some prices are so high is because mega stars want as much money as they can get. Maybe they capitalize on the fans that made them, supported them and would do anything for them. It seems they are monsters trying to feed on their prey, and in this case, it would be their loyal followers.
Whether the real reason as to why pricey concert admission will ever be revealed, the truth of the matter is students aren’t buying it. I can just hear somebody scream at those mega stars, “Listen! I can’t pay 60 bucks to see you! I am a big fan of yours and I buy all your albums, so you better lower your ticket price now!” And if they don’t, then maybe they will become broke and realize that the artists who settle for less (for the sake of college students) are the ones who are truly rich.
(Like it? Hate it? Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment. Journal Updated.)