By Meg Sharma
With concert tickets costing an increasingly dubious amount, are celebrities exploiting their fans for money? There is no doubt that a concert is a costly process, with staff to pay, as well as extravagant staging and production to make the concert a show, but how important is this? Should celebrities take a pay cut to make tickets cheaper or are these prices justifiable?
Any celebrity who is doing world tours should be able to provide tickets within a reasonable price range for their fans, and should be able to compromise with a pay cut, or take away from the high production value of the show and cost of the tour. While fire effects, confetti and balloons, dancers and exciting staging give a show the ‘wow’ factor, fans are paying to see the artists, not the fancy production they source to one up their competition.
Adding these effects make the show more dynamic, but they aren’t necessary to putting on a great performance, and if the artists think they should be used they should be willing to pay for them out of pocket, or lose some. They could also cut back on hotels, crew costs, or even costumes, rather than adding cost onto fans tickets.
A majority of pop stars charge from roughly £60 up to £200 for concert tickets, with the highest value offering the best seats. They are among the A-list celebrities who are worth over 50 million USD, and regularly put on world tours, selling out stadiums and arenas; Forbes estimate a revenue of 4 million USD per concert from ticket sales alone for these artists, with added revenue from advertisements or collaborations with companies and merchandise. This isn’t all profit for the artist; taxes are charged, and tickets pay for travel, staff, security and venue hire, dancers and a whole spectrum of staging effects – things that make the show impressive and dazzling, but these costs shouldn’t be paid for via tickets.
Taylor Swift is one of the worst; she puts on high production shows, with costume changes, staging effects, and even ‘interactive’ lanyards and wristbands to make the show an ‘intimate and personal experience for everyone’ but is that even possible when some fans pay an excessive amount of money to watch a screen as they could only afford the cheapest seats in the back of a stadium?
This is only made worse when Swift’s main audience is comprised of young and impressionable fans, and parents are forced to pick between spending a week’s worth of wages to get the tickets for a concert. When tickets start at £80 and range up to over £700 each for front row ‘V.I.P.s’, the show is completely unaffordable and inaccessible for fans who ‘mean so much to the artist’.
Artists like Taylor Swift would be nothing without their fans support. As established artists for over a decade, they rely on fans support by buying their music and, coming to tours and engaging with the artist, in order to remain popular and relevant. Artists should give back to fans and show their appreciation by offering affordable tickets, rather than offering £700 for the privilege of being near the stage.
At the end of the day, artists will charge and take the profit as long as there is high demand, but if they really cared about their fans, they wouldn’t charge excessive amounts for tours, but surely they’re putting that extra profit to good use, right?