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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    12.11.17 @ 04:37 PM
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    "TICKET PRICES MUST COME DOWN!"

    The Concert Business and the Economy
    Posted Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:42am PDT by Bob Lefsetz in The Lefsetz Letter

    Conventional wisdom is the entertainment business is recession-proof. If you believe that, you probably believe Sarah Palin is our country's foremost energy expert.

    The movie business was hurt by the last recession. But at least their prices are cheap. Ours are stratospheric.

    We've got high prices, a dearth of superstar talent and a financial meltdown. Do you really think the concert business is going to emerge unscathed?

    Yes, superstars will sell every ticket. Then again, Madonna is not selling out, even though her handlers won't say so. You can get tickets for gigs. People e-mail me the promotions. And if Madonna can't sell out, what are the odds for Joe Wannabe Band?

    Historically the concert industry has been one of rugged individualism. Run by independent acts and their agents. To a great degree, this is still true. But along the way, there was a great consolidation in concert promoters. Instead of regional fiefdoms, we have the international giants and JAM and...some more indies. It is time for all concert promoters to unite and tell the acts TICKET PRICES MUST COME DOWN!

    The concert industry can't screw this up like the RIAA did with music sales. The fan is the key to the business. The message has to be sent that the industry cares about the fan, that the fan is part of the process, and is welcomed into the tent. True, this will be difficult with ticket holdbacks and the inability to get a good seat, but maybe now it's time to be truthful about those scenarios too. Posting online manifests of exactly what seats are available before the on sale date. We need transparency and an olive branch, telling the consumer we're rolling back prices as a payback, as a reward, as recognition of their loyalty.

    Who's going to pay those inflated prices for sports tickets? Don't use that analogy any longer. The company with naming rights goes under and what happens when the corporation buying those insanely priced tickets and luxury boxes get trampled by Andrew Cuomo? If AIG can't rationalize a sales conference, what are the odds it will be able to rationalize entertaining its clients in luxury boxes? What are the odds corporations now owned by the government will devour front row seats like Chiclets? What are the odds that conspicuous consumption will be lauded as opposed to pelted with aural tomatoes?

    Everybody knows ticket prices are too high and you can't get one. But, that's only for a very few acts. Can those acts sacrifice for the good of the public? Can we all unite and lower prices? Can acts and promoters reveal their TicketMaster kickbacks? Is this an opportunity to air and clean the concert industry's dirty laundry?

    Absolutely. Acts now have to be built on the road. Concertgoing must be a regular activity. I call on Michael Rapino to lead the charge, to bully the agents and managers. And for a campaign that can run with every concert ad. A logo that charms the ticket buyer as opposed to the FBI sticker on a CD.

    The record industry screwed this up. They thought happy times were going to last forever. Instead, they're never coming back.

    Now it's the concert industry's turn. True, you can't steal a live show. But you don't have to go. Certainly not if the act's only had one hit and it's going to cost you hundreds of dollars to go out for the night. We've got to bring people in.

    Apple's success today is due to innovation during the last downturn. The concert business shouldn't be pulling back, but using this crisis as an opportunity to get people out of their houses and into theatres to get their minds off their problems. For a fair price. To see quality talent.

    Your move.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Top Of The World HissingCobra's Avatar
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    05.27.14 @ 08:22 PM
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    Man, when I was younger, I saw almost EVERYBODY in concert. I also went to a lot of Red Sox and Celtics games and dreamed of taking my kids to a lot of this stuff when I became a father. Since I've become a father, ticket prices have gotten out of control. The Eagles started this shit on their first reunion tour when the base price of a ticket was $100.00. I balked and haven't been to an overpriced concert since then. I also don't attend Red Sox or Celtics games anymore. The "professional" ticket scalpers have cornered the market and it's almost impossible to buy tickets directly from the box office anymore. As a result, my kids who are now 13 and 10 haven't been to much of anything.

    I have been to a few reasonable priced concerts over the last couple of years though. I saw Billy Idol with Steve Stevens in Rhode Island for $35.00 per ticket a few years ago and I saw Collective Soul with the Counting Crows and Live, last summer in Rhode Island too (that was my 13 year old daughter's first concert). Both times, we were in the front row. I'm done paying outrageous money to see old hags who were better more than a decade ago.

  3. #3
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    If this letter is genuine, he's dead on.

    I don't go to many concerts anymore ("big" national touring concerts, that is) for this very reason. I can name countless bands that have come through in the past 7-10 years that I've skipped simply because it was not worth spending $100 (or lots more, in some cases). If the prices were to come down, I'd go to considerably more concert events--and I'm certain more friends would too.

    It's good someone in that industry is sounding an alarm, and he was right to use the example of the record industry. They jacked up prices ($20 CDs? Come on...) and let the quality slip--opting for the "quick hit" (one-hit-wonder) bands and abandoning the kind of fan loyalty that brings true long-term success and sales. Add to that their attempt to fight the new technology rather than embrace it, and they dug their own grave.

    I don't feel bad for record companies in the slightest, and I won't feel bad for concert promoters if that industry takes a dive as well.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:57 AM
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    I agree. It's way to expensive to take the family out to events anymore. Hell, for two people, a Cubs game can cost $150 by the time you factor in tickets, parking and food.
    "What we are dealing with here, is a complete lack of respect for the law" - Jackie Gleason, Smokey and the Bandit

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  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! twonabomber's Avatar
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    12.08.16 @ 03:21 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by HissingCobra View Post
    Man, when I was younger, I saw almost EVERYBODY in concert...
    i still have all my old ticket stubs...some great shows i saw for $20 or less...hell we'd go to three shows in a week, or different bands on consecutive nights.

    now, if i go to a couple shows a year it's a lot. last year's four VH shows and a Police gig was the most i've been to in a long time.
    Last edited by twonabomber; 10.24.08 at 06:05 AM.
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  6. #6
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by HissingCobra View Post
    Man, when I was younger, I saw almost EVERYBODY in concert.
    Yep, seemed like the late 70's through the 80's were primetime to see great acts. With the exception of some of the "monsters of rock" style stadium gigs with several big name acts, they were generally under $15, and that included convenience and parking fees. Hell, it costs me that much just for parking up at the Jax Vet Mem Arena.

    Hell, even the afformentioned stadium shows were still a bargain, generally costing no more than $35.
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  7. #7
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 02:36 PM
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    First thing that needs to happen is for someone to come along that can take TicketMaster down...

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    03.07.10 @ 06:18 AM
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    Oh, I don't know. There was an ad in this morning's Sun Sentinel for Eagles tickets, so for shits and giggles I decided to check out the cost.

    $2,898.00 sounds reasonable for good seats, doesn't it?

    http://www.stubhub.com/eagles-ticket...t_id=157357800

    Hows about $11,782.00 for a suite?

    http://www.ticketliquidator.com/tix/...x?evtid=940897
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  9. #9
    Future's in the past....
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    First thing that needs to happen is for someone to come along that can take TicketMaster down...
    Amen to that. Aside from going to the local record store to purchase the newest release of my favorite artists, nothing compared to going there to get concert tickets. The woman who owned the store was patient and friendly and would search for and show you on the seating chart exactly where your seats were, and try to find others should you not care for the location. In later years, she would ask me about future concerts and whether I wanted seats or not. I generally came up with seats just in front of the mixing board.

    Yeah, I really miss the days of B.A.S.S. and Select-A-Seat.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk MF5150's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 09:55 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    If this letter is genuine, he's dead on.

    I don't go to many concerts anymore ("big" national touring concerts, that is) for this very reason. I can name countless bands that have come through in the past 7-10 years that I've skipped simply because it was not worth spending $100 (or lots more, in some cases). If the prices were to come down, I'd go to considerably more concert events--and I'm certain more friends would too.

    It's good someone in that industry is sounding an alarm, and he was right to use the example of the record industry. They jacked up prices ($20 CDs? Come on...) and let the quality slip--opting for the "quick hit" (one-hit-wonder) bands and abandoning the kind of fan loyalty that brings true long-term success and sales. Add to that their attempt to fight the new technology rather than embrace it, and they dug their own grave.

    I don't feel bad for record companies in the slightest, and I won't feel bad for concert promoters if that industry takes a dive as well.
    From the couple of articles I have read of Bob's ....the guy sounds like he is always DEAD ON.

    This article is DEAD ON as well!
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 04:53 PM
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    Iam done with big ticket concerts except if VH has at it again. Iam not going to AC/DC. After getting kicked out on the presale at ILAA while I was purchasing for the VanWolfie tour Iam convinced the whole industry is a scam. I think most good seats are held back on purpose then sold above face to online sclapers such as Stubhub who then Fleece the fans like in Craigs post. It all starts with Ticket Bastard...
    Last edited by edwardv; 10.24.08 at 10:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Hang 'Em High jetguy5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 11:56 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardv View Post
    Iam done with big ticket concerts except if VH has at it again. Iam not going to AC/DC. After getting kicked out on the presale at ILAA while I was purchasing for the VanWolfie tour Iam convinced the whole industry is a scam. I think most good seats are held back on purpose then sold above face to online sclapers such as Stubhub who then Fleece the fans like in Craigs post. It all starts with Ticket Bastard...
    I will even go you one better....the $170 I paid for my VH ticket is the last time I am paying that much money for any act including VH. These days I am getting more enjoyment from going to see band at the local bars that feature indy talent and then have an open stage at the end of the evening. Cost of the night out is whatever you want to throw into the "pass the hat" jug.

    As someone earlier noted there was a day when I went to a ton of concerts, even if it was an act that I was moderately interested in, because ticket prices permitted it. I am not a big Alice Cooper fan but we went to a show in Hamilton on a whim because it was $35...the same amount we would have spent had we gone to a bar to watch a game, eat some wings and drink some beer. Those days are looooooooooooooong gone! Sadly!
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  13. #13
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    I paid $27.50 (which included fees) to see the Monsters of Rock tour at the Metrodome in Minneapolis in July 1988. VH tickets in Minneapolis in October of last year were $151.50 (which also included fees). In that same 19 year span, how many other industries have raised their prices by almost 600%?

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    I would bet that since acts do not make any money on record/CD sales, it all has to be made from concerts. It's also much more expensive to take a show on the road. How many semi trucks did VH have for this tour? 6? 8? Plus the tour busses. With fuel prices in the stratosphere, I would hate to see what their costs were for the tour. The tour grossed $93 mil and they took home $35 mil split four ways. I'm not saying that ticket prices are where they should be but the costs are a lot higher than 10 years ago.
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  15. #15
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewThomas.net View Post
    If this letter is genuine, he's dead on.
    It's not so much a question of Bob Lefsetz's letter being genuine. [note: AT, I'm not trying to call you out...sorry if it seems like it] Lefsetz - a (former?) lawyer who is now an entertainment industry insider - is a stand-up guy and is calling it like he sees it. He's cynical about the current state of the music industry and seems to have a great idea about what the fans want and what the artists should do.

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