Concert Tickets are Killing the Concert Industry

Rocking it Academic Style

This story in the local Michigan free toss, called Revue, is a brief version of what I wrote initially. The piece originally took in a Kills tour and a couple other smaller bands, trying to emphasize that the best concerts are often the ones at reasonable sized venues. Better yet, if the band hasn’t been fully discovered; some of the best shows I’ve ever seen have been attended by three people and a bartender.
One good reason to check out Tyvek any time it plays a show right now.
What I was trying to do in the Revue story was to bitch about the price of concert tickets, which have exceeded inflation for health care since the late 90s. I didn’t want to come off too crabby, but I mean, who do these promoters and bands think they are, College. Inc.?
A study published in 2005 and conducted by a Princeton academic, Alan B. Krueger, broke down the ugly side of entertainment, i.e. the part where parties conspire to take your money.
The study, which is called Rockonomics, is dense and pretty unwieldy. But at the heart of it is the proof of overpriced entertainment.
And what I left out in the Revue piece is how unbearable it is that anyone in their right mind and wallet would plunk down $400 to see the Black Keys. Or to see anyone, for that matter.
Live Nation is as evil as any corporation, and it has ruined the concert business. In July 2010, I found myself at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit for a book event/concert and was astounded to see Live Nation showing ads for upcoming shows on a screen over the stage between bands. It’s part of the Advertising Nation that most people have become immune to. In earlier days, the artists would have flipped out and the more conscientious ones would have refused to play until such sickening commercialism was removed.
And while the Web is filled with tirades about the price of concert tickets, bands still charge and people still pay. It’s the American way.

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