To the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside
The music industry as a whole has suffered the past few years, wait…. make that the past 10-15 years. In part to the short-sightedness of the music industry moguls who run it, and have made Bank off of artists, without looking forward; in addition to putting some of that Bank back into new and old artists.
The issue for musicians and artists is the sale of music. Music is streamed or downloaded more often now rather than fans going to buy a physical compact disc or record. Once downloaded the music can be easily shared and copied, without having to pay the artist additional royalties.
One interesting change in the music industry is the comeback of vinyl records. Music fans seem to be buying vinyl records at an increasing rate, and the artists and record companies know this, so they are pressing more high quality vinyl records.
If we are to look at the trends and think that the days of artists/musicians selling millions and millions of records have past, and being able to earn loads of money off the sales are over, then artists must reinvent themselves, and find ways to continue the stream of money in which to live off of.
That way to continue to earn money is through touring, concert ticket sales.
We as music lovers and fans, continue to flock to concerts year after year, even if it is to see bands that were popular 20 years ago, have broke up, and now regrouped for a reunion tour.
Even with no new music to play, the groups can continue to command high ticket prices for these reunions.
And why not charge as high a ticket price as they can, as the fans will pay it.
If a concert sells out, fans look to other ways to get tickets, including touts and secondary ticket markets.
The touts and secondary ticket markets charge dearly for the tickets, in some instances 100% or more of the ticket’s face price. And fans pay this. So as a musician/artist, if you see fans paying these high prices to someone else, why would they not pay the high prices to you.
The downside of this is that no matter what the artist charges, the secondary market will always charge more, the it is the fans that lose out in the end.
Many artists including Sir Elton John have spoke out against these secondary ticket markets. Sir Elton has called them “disgraceful”.
He has been quoted as saying, “I’d rather have empty seats.”
“I think it’s extortionate and I think it’s disgraceful.”
What is amazing is that for some very popular concerts, tickets are being shown to be sold on the secondary markets before the tickets have even gone on sale in the first place!
Regardless of all this, concert ticket sales are strong, and this is how artists now earn their living.
Things were not always as complicated as they are now in the concert ticket world, many, many years ago it was different.
Before we get to the top grossing concerts/acts of 2015, let me take you on a journey, a journey back in time, a time when music, radio, albums, and concerts ruled!
This little history lesson begins 45 years ago, yes, I am getting up there in years, and this historical perspective includes a perspective from not just here in the UK, but also other countries in which I have lived.
The first thing to comment about in this little history lesson is how we even found out about concerts and musical acts coming to our city. How we knew what artist was playing in what city.
You found out about concerts either through the radio, posters or billboards, magazine ads (such as in Circus magazine), or word of mouth.
And you did not find out about these shows a year or more in advance as you do now.
A few years ago a popular comedian was playing the arena in my city and tickets went on sale 18 months prior to the actual show! That’s a year and half off.
I once bought tickets to a concert one time that were for a show 14 months off.
How can you commit to something that far off??
You have to arrange your life a year away, just around that concert.
As to how you bought tickets to shows back years ago was very different than now. First there was no Internet, or going to a web site to buy tickets.
My first remembrances of buying concert tickets was going to the local record shop and purchasing them there at the shop.
The shop guy would pull out this wad of tickets and sell you them. Of course you never knew where you were sitting, but for many concerts it didn’t matter as they were general admission, or festival seating, which means no chairs or seats unless you sit up in the bowl area. You just stood or sat on the ground. Those fans that got in the arena first, got the best spots upfront.
Another way to get tickets to a show was to go straight to the venue or arena where the concert was being held and buy tickets there.
In later years some promoters and artists started ticket lotteries. You sent in your money for the tickets, usually in the form of a cheque, and hoped and prayed you got picked to get tickets.
Then even later on came ticket machines at some retailers. You’d queue up and pay for tickets in a large retail shop, and they had a machine there to print out the tickets. You had no chance of knowing where the seats were, you just bought them and prayed for good seats.
And as for ticket prices back in the day. I remember shows costing $5 in the beginning or £3.50 for others.
The best part was you usually only knew of a show and got your tickets days or weeks in advance. One time I had to wait a month, but in most instances it was only weeks, not 12 months like today.
Granted some of the productions for bands then were no where near as elaborate as they are today, which does cause prices to increase. But the shows back then were still great.
Even how bands and musical acts fund new projects and recordings has changed.
Many years ago musical acts signed to record labels, who would fund the band’s recording of an album. This money may be deducted out of future earns, but rarely did the bands themselves fund a recording project.
Today, not all musical acts have record labels to fund recordings. The band can either fund the project themselves, or use a form of crowdfunding.
One such platform for this form of funding is kickstarter.
How some bands have used this is to offer various levels or tiers of contributions.
An example of how the tier system works is this:
* If a fan pledges £20, they get a copy of the new recording.
* A pledge of £30 may get you the new recording and it will be autographed by the band.
* Pledges of £100 get the new recording autographed, a photo of the band, and some other item.
* Larger pledges such as pledges of £500 or more the fan may receive all of the above, plus perhaps an instrument, or microphone used in the recording. Some fans may receive tickets to an upcoming concert, their name mentioned as a backer on the credits of an album, etc.
It is another way for recording artists to fund a new project and involves the fans.
The year 2015 was a pretty good year for live acts in terms of bringing in the money.
In 2015 the top 20 touring acts brought in a total of $2.2 billion, with 24 million tickets sold!
Here are the top ten musical acts and what they grossed for 2015 beginning with number 10:
* The Rolling Stones: The world’s greatest rock band earned millions with their average ticket price of $174.50, selling over 600,000 tickets, with an average gross of over $7,800,000 per show. This, and they only played 14 shows, all stadiums.
* Garth Brooks: The country legend who ruled country music in the 90’s is back and with a roar. The Garthster had an average ticket price of $64 and grossed just under $5 million per show.
* Kenny Chesney: Another American country singer, Kenny grossed almost $2,300,000 per show, with an average ticket price of just over $85.
* Ed Shereen: Ed’s tickets were on average $64.33, and he earned $1,289,000 per show.
* Fleetwood Mac: This London based band that started out in the 60’s as a blues band, had average ticket prices of $125 and grossed just over $2 million per show.
* Foo Fighters: David Grohl’s band had average ticket prices of $75 and grossed just over $2 million for each show.
* One Direction: The X Factor Darlings come in at number four with tickets averaging $91 and their grossing just over $4 million each time the boys sang together, with the tour taking in a total of over $158 million.
* AC/DC: The Australian rock band had an average ticket price of $77, and grossed $3,600,000. The tour took in a total of $180 million.
* Taylor Swift: At number one is Taylor Swift whose average ticket cost was $110, and grossing $4,700,000 per show. Her tour in total grossed over $250 million.
As you can see, the figures don’t lie, we went to concerts in 2015 by the millions, and we spent billions on tickets.
,Welcome back my friends To the show that never ends We’re so glad you could attend Come inside, come inside The music industry as a whole has suffered the past few years, wait…. make tha
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