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Why Concert Tickets are So Expensive: 15 SHOCKING Reasons!

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If you are old enough to have attended some concerts in the 80s or 90s and have also attended concerts quite recently (even as recently as two years ago), you will notice that there is a significant increase in the prices of tickets as compared to the years back. 

In America alone, it is a fact that Americans are paying a lot more money for event tickets currently. 

Global concert magazine Pollstar released figures which showed that the $28.50 which was the average it cost in 1996 to see acts like KISS and Garth Brooks would currently cost an average of around $108 to see one of today’s 100 biggest music concerts. 

Calculating, that is almost about 18% higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Aside from the obvious fact that inflation over time has also become a strong reason for the surge in prices of concert tickets, there should be other valid reasons, too. 

That being said, factors like increased production costs, sole reliance on income from live performances, high demand for music concerts, rising inflation and several other reasons also contribute to the surging prices of concert tickets. 

In this article, we will take a deeper look into some of the major reasons concert tickets are getting more and more expensive as the years pass by.

15 Reasons Why Concert Tickets Are So Expensive

The Wall Street Journal called 2023 “the year of the $1,000 concert ticket,” indicating a significant increase in ticket prices for high-profile events and popular artists, particularly Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concerts. 

According to Music Times, in the last half-decade, concert ticket prices have surged by 40%, and some top-performing artists are now charging over $500 per ticket.

The ticket resale market, which includes platforms for reselling tickets, has played a significant role in driving up ticket prices. Approximately 30% of all concert tickets for top-performing artists are resold at markups of up to 250%.

Enthusiastic fans are more than willing to splurge on tickets for live shows featuring renowned music icons like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and Bruce Springsteen, even after their absence from touring for years.

This trend is not confined to Western countries; several Asian nations have also emerged as hotspots for global concert tours. These concerts by big-name artists are not just attracting packed venues but also commanding premium prices for tickets.

Acquiring tickets for highly sought-after concerts has become increasingly challenging due to limited availability and higher prices. 

The soaring demands from fans for live music experiences, coupled with the growing scale of concerts and fans’ expectations over the past few decades, have contributed to a fiercely competitive and costly ticket market.

Now let’s discuss the reasons behind these trends. 

High Demand for Live Shows

Post-pandemic, the live music industry has experienced a significant surge in demand for live concerts, resulting in a remarkable increase in ticket prices as fans eagerly seek to see their favourite artists perform once again. 

The demand for long-awaited tours by renowned artists like Taylor Swift and Beyonce has been a driving force behind the rising ticket prices, with concerts often selling out rapidly despite the addition of more shows. 

As a result of this heightened demand, Live Nation Entertainment, the parent company of Ticketmaster, has reported a substantial 27% surge in revenue to $5.63 billion during the second quarter of the post-pandemic period.

Fans have been willing to pay a premium for better seats and enhanced concert experiences, prompting more aggressive pricing at the box office.

Increasing Production Costs

The increasing production costs in the entertainment industry, particularly in the music sector, have significantly contributed to the rising ticket prices for live concerts. 

Artists & their production teams are now incorporating elaborate setups and advanced technology to create visually stunning and immersive experiences for their audiences. 

However, these enhancements come at a price, which is eventually passed on to consumers through higher ticket prices.

The trend of incorporating expansive stage setups, high-tech lighting, intricate sound systems, and visually captivating effects during live concerts has become increasingly common. For example, Drake, in one of his concerts, used a hologram of his younger self. 

These enhancements are designed to create a more immersive and unforgettable experience for fans. However, such advanced production elements require significant financial investments, impacting the overall cost of organizing a live show. 

Consequently, artists and concert organisers often increase ticket prices to offset these rising production costs and maintain profitability.

Extensive Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have revolutionized concert promotion by enabling direct communication between artists and fans. 

Artists can engage with their followers and announce ticket sales and exclusive experiences in real-time, creating a sense of urgency and excitement. 

Moreover, fans attending concerts share their experiences on social media, generating user-generated content that acts as free promotional material. Influenced by social media trends, the secondary market has also increased ticket prices. 

Furthermore, targeted advertising, influencer marketing, and meme & edit page marketing on social media, specifically platforms like Instagram & TikToks, have allowed event organizers to reach specific demographics, leading to increased ticket sales and potentially higher prices. 

With all this social proofing and creating a FOMO (Fear of missing out) around these shows amongst the people, concert tickets are sold. Besides, attending these shows has become a status symbol in your social media posts.

All these factors combined have contributed to the surge in concert ticket pricing observed in 2023. As the demand for live experiences continues to grow, social media’s influence on concert ticket pricing will likely remain a significant factor in the music industry’s economic landscape.

Engaging Social Activity

In a world of isolation, technology, and decreased social activity, the value of real-time engagement with real people has increased. 

Live concerts have long been a popular social experience, allowing fans to connect with their favourite artists and fellow enthusiasts in a shared atmosphere of excitement and camaraderie. 

The desire to be part of these live experiences and create lasting memories has driven up the demand for concert tickets, increasing their prices.

Social activities (such as attending concerts) hold significant value in people’s lives, especially after the pandemic-induced restrictions on live events were lifted. 

As fans eagerly made up for lost time and embraced the return of live performances, the demand for concert tickets skyrocketed.

Influence of the Secondary Market

The influence of the secondary market, specifically concert ticket resale platforms like StubHub and SeatGeek, has been significant in driving up musical show ticket prices.

These secondary market platforms have provided a marketplace for individuals to resell tickets they no longer need or for those looking to make a profit by selling tickets at higher prices than their original face value.

One key factor contributing to the surge in concert ticket prices on these platforms is the limited supply of tickets for high-demand events. Popular concerts often sell out quickly, leaving many fans eager to attend but needing help to secure tickets through the primary ticketing channels. 

As a result, these fans turn to the secondary market, where sellers can capitalize on the increased demand by offering tickets at premium prices.

According to Business Insider, on secondary market platforms, concert tickets can be resold at markups of up to 250%, as seen in the case of SeatGeek, where the average resale price for concert tickets doubled over the last five years, reaching an average of $252 per ticket. 

StubHub and SeatGeek, among others, have become popular choices for buyers and sellers due to their ease of use and wide reach in the ticket resale market.

While these secondary market platforms offer opportunities for fans to access tickets to sold-out events and for sellers to make profits, they have also faced criticism for driving up ticket prices. 

Some tickets are resold at significantly higher prices than their original face value, making it challenging for some fans to attend concerts.

Additionally, online ticket sellers, including the resale platforms, have been accused of using “drip pricing,” a strategy where additional fees are only revealed at checkout, leading to customers spending more on tickets than they initially anticipated.

Limited Supply

Limited supply and high demand coupled with limited venue capacities at concerts create a situation of scarcity, which, in turn, allows resellers to capitalize on the opportunity and charge higher prices for tickets. 

Scarcity is a powerful driver of consumer behaviour as individuals tend to place a higher value on items that they perceive as limited or difficult to acquire. This phenomenon is often referred to as the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO).

The scarcity of tickets arises due to various factors. Firstly, concerts featuring popular artists or bands generate high demand among fans who want to attend these events. 

Additionally, concert organizers may implement marketing strategies that leverage the principle of scarcity to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity among potential attendees.

One effective tactic to create scarcity is the pre-sale model, where a limited number of tickets are offered to a select group of individuals before the general public sale begins. 

This approach provides early access to tickets and contributes to the perception of exclusivity, prompting fans to act quickly to secure their spots. 

However, event organizers must strike a balance and avoid artificially creating scarcity, as consumers can quickly detect inauthentic tactics, which may deter them from purchasing tickets.

The rise of online ticket sales has also amplified the scarcity of concert tickets. Today’s consumers are more independent and proactive in seeking information about events, and they prefer to purchase tickets as soon as they become available. 

The immediacy of online ticket sales means that once tickets go on sale, there is a surge in demand, leading to a quick depletion of available tickets. 

This rapid sell-out contributes to a sense of urgency among fans, making them more willing to pay higher prices through resellers to secure their attendance at the event.

Artist Popularity

Artist popularity significantly drives massive crowds to concerts, ultimately leading to higher concert ticket prices. Big-name artists like Drake, BTS, Taylor Swift, and others have established themselves as global music icons with an enormous fan following. 

As a result of their widespread popularity and strong fan base, these artists can draw large audiences, creating a high demand for tickets to their live performances. 

Several reports highlight the impact of big-name artists on the live music industry and their ability to command high ticket prices. 

For example, Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” has been reported to earn more than $13 million (over ₹100 crores) per night, putting her on track to potentially deliver the highest-grossing tour in music history, exceeding $1 billion in gross revenue. 

Similarly, Beyoncé’s concerts have also triggered high inflation in certain countries. 

Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing is a strategy that involves adjusting concert ticket prices based on demand and various market conditions in real-time. 

Instead of using fixed prices for tickets, dynamic pricing utilizes variable prices that can change dynamically depending on factors such as the level of demand, the availability of tickets, the time of purchase, and other market conditions. 

This strategy is implemented by businesses to optimize revenue and profitability, particularly in industries like hospitality, tourism, retail, and public transport.

The main idea behind dynamic pricing is to set ticket prices at levels that match the changing demand and supply dynamics. When demand is high, ticket prices can increase to capitalize on consumers’ increased willingness to pay. 

Conversely, during periods of low demand, prices can be adjusted downward to encourage ticket sales and maximize attendance.

Online ticketing platforms and e-commerce sites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba frequently use dynamic pricing to adjust product prices based on real-time data and customer behaviour. 

For concert tickets, dynamic pricing can lead to fluctuations in ticket costs during on-sale periods, meaning that the price of tickets can vary significantly based on when they are purchased and the demand at that specific time.

Implementing dynamic pricing in the concert industry has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it allows event organizers to optimize ticket sales and revenue, making the most of high-demand periods. 

It can also help manage ticket inventory, ensuring the event sells out without leaving empty seats. However, some customers may perceive dynamic pricing as unfair or exploitative, as ticket prices may vary widely within a short period, and those who purchase tickets early might end up paying more than others.


Inflation is a phenomenon in the economy that leads to a general increase in the prices of goods and services over time. This steady rise in prices affects the cost of living, including concert ticket prices, resulting in gradual increases over the years. 

As inflation occurs, currency’s purchasing power decreases, leading to higher prices for various goods and services, including tickets to live music events.

Inflation, combined with other factors like increased production costs and a reliance on live performance income due to reduced revenue from music streaming, has led to a substantial increase in ticket prices for live music events.

Exclusive Experiences

VIP concert packages offer exclusive experiences to fans, allowing them to enjoy a more luxurious and personalized concert experience. These packages come at a premium price and typically include various perks and benefits.

One of the main attractions of VIP packages is the opportunity for fans to meet the artists in person through meet-and-greet sessions. Fans can take photos with their favourite musicians, receive autographs, and even engage in personal conversations. 

That creates an intimate connection between the artists and their fans, making the concert experience even more memorable.

In addition to meet-and-greet opportunities, VIP ticket holders often enjoy premium seating, giving them access to the best seats in the venue. That ensures an optimal view of the stage and a more immersive concert experience. 

Early entry to the venue is another advantage of VIP packages, allowing fans to secure prime spots before the general audience arrives.

VIP concert packages also offer exclusive access to VIP lounges or areas. These lounges offer premium amenities, including food and drinks, and provide a comfortable and luxurious space for fans to relax before or during the show.

Furthermore, VIP packages often include exclusive concert merchandise unavailable to regular ticket holders. This exclusive merchandise adds to the collectable value of the concert experience and serves as a unique memento of the event.

Some VIP packages beyond the concert offer pre-show experiences, such as Q&A sessions with the artists, interactive games, and special picnic events. These additional activities give fans a more immersive and engaging experience before the main event.

Overall, VIP concert packages provide fans with exclusive and unforgettable experiences, allowing them to get closer to the artists they admire and create lasting memories.

Increased Demand for Tech-Infused Shows

The demand for tech-infused shows in the music industry has increased, and artists are incorporating more advanced technology and elaborate stage setups to enhance the concert experience. 

This trend has increased the cost of production, which, in turn, influences ticket prices. With the rapid advancement of technology, artists now have access to a wide array of innovative tools and techniques to create visually stunning and immersive shows. 

That includes incorporating high-definition LED screens, holographic projections, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), sophisticated lighting setups, and cutting-edge sound systems. 

These tech-infused elements add a new dimension to live performances, creating unforgettable and captivating experiences for the audience.

However, these technological advancements come at a cost. The equipment, software, and technical expertise required to execute such intricate stage setups are expensive. 

Moreover, maintaining and updating these technologies for ongoing tours and performances also adds to the production costs.

Fans who want to experience these state-of-the-art shows are willing to pay a premium price for the enhanced experience and the opportunity to witness cutting-edge technology.

Furthermore, the demand for tech-infused shows has been driven by audiences’ evolving preferences. In the digital age, people have become accustomed to interactive and visually stimulating content. 

Limited Tour Dates

Limited tour dates can significantly impact the dynamics of ticket pricing for concerts and live performances. When artists have limited tour dates, it creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency among fans to secure tickets for those specific shows. 

As a result, the demand for these limited tickets often outstrips the available supply, leading to higher ticket prices in the secondary market.

Touring requires extensive planning, coordination, and resources. Artists have to consider factors like venue availability, travel logistics, production setup, and the availability of the artist and their supporting crew. 

As a result, they may only be able to perform in select cities or countries within a specific timeframe, leading to a limited number of shows.

Moreover, some artists deliberately choose limited tour dates as part of their marketing strategy. By creating a sense of scarcity, they can generate higher ticket demand and build excitement around their performances. 

This strategy can help them maintain high interest in their concerts, driving up ticket prices and revenue.

A recent example of limited tour dates impacting ticket prices is seen with Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour” in Australia. When the tour dates were announced, fans rushed to secure tickets, resulting in the initial ticket tranche selling out quickly. 

Subsequently, these tickets appeared on unofficial channels with inflated prices, with some VIP tickets being sold for more than double the original price. 

Limited tour dates create a sense of exclusivity and influence the overall concert experience. Fans who secure tickets for these rare performances feel a stronger connection to the artist and the event, knowing they are part of a select group of attendees.

High Operational Costs

Large-scale concerts entail significant operational costs, leading to higher ticket prices for attendees. These costs include venue rentals, security measures, staffing, and production expenses. 

Renting suitable venues that can accommodate many attendees adds to the overall budget. Ensuring the safety of concert-goers requires hiring security personnel and implementing crowd control measures, contributing to the costs. 

A sizable workforce is essential to manage various aspects of the event, such as ticketing, catering, and technical support—the expenses associated with hiring skilled professionals and support staff impact ticket prices. 

Additionally, providing high-quality production values with advanced stage setups, lighting, sound systems, and visual effects enhances the concert experience but adds to the operational costs.

Reliance on Live Performance Income

The music industry has undergone a profound transformation in recent years with the advent of digital music streaming platforms. While streaming services have provided greater accessibility to music for consumers, they have also posed significant challenges for artists and musicians

The revenue generated from music streaming is often significantly lower than traditional album sales, leading to a decline in overall earnings for artists. As a result, many artists find themselves heavily relying on income from live performances, particularly concerts, to offset the losses incurred through streaming.

Music streaming services offer listeners the convenience of accessing vast catalogues of songs at a nominal monthly fee or even for free with advertisements. 

However, the revenue generated from these services is typically divided among various stakeholders, including record labels, publishers, and streaming platforms, leaving artists with relatively small portions of the earnings. 

This shift in revenue distribution has affected artists across different levels of fame, including established musicians and emerging talents.

As artists see declining income from music streaming, they place greater importance on generating revenue from other sources, particularly live performances. 

Concerts not only provide artists with an opportunity to showcase their talent and connect with their fan base on a personal level, but they also offer a more lucrative income stream. 

Live performances have become an essential aspect of an artist’s career, enabling them to earn a substantial portion of their income through ticket sales, merchandise, and sponsorships.

To compensate for the lost revenue from streaming and other traditional music sales, artists often set higher ticket prices for their concerts. 

Change in consumer perception and psychology

Pop culture, social media, and live gigs have become intertwined in the lives of young people, shaping their attitudes, behaviours, and preferences in the modern world. 

As we explore these aspects, it’s evident that the influence of pop culture, particularly through social media platforms, has sparked a growing interest in live gigs among young audiences.

Concerts and gigs have become significant cultural events, offering unique experiences and opportunities to connect with favourite artists in person. 

Young people value the social aspects of live gigs, such as attending with friends and sharing their experiences online, making them a part of their identity and social interactions. 

Also, in today’s hyperconnected world, young people constantly seek meaningful experiences and genuine connections. Live concerts offer an opportunity to share emotions and excitement with like-minded individuals, fostering a sense of community and belonging. 

Live events, including concerts, offer a chance to unplug from technology and fully immerse themselves in the present moment, reducing digital fatigue. Further, Live concerts offer a unique experience that cannot be replicated through digital means. 

The authenticity and rawness of a live performance resonate with young people who value real-life moments and seek genuine experiences. 

Next, fans are often willing to pay higher prices for concert tickets, especially for their favourite artists, due to the unique experience and anticipation associated with live performances. 

The emotional connection to the artist and the excitement of attending a live concert contribute to the perceived value of the ticket price. The evolving perception of luxury products, including concert experiences, has led to growing demand from middle-class consumers. 

Lastly, luxury concerts are now perceived as affordable luxuries, and consumers are willing to invest in these experiences to elevate their lifestyles.

What’s the Most Expensive Concert Ticket?

The most expensive concert ticket recorded was USD 84000/person for Led Zepplin’s Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at O2 Arena in 2007. 

The show initially offered tickets starting at a humble $250, but astonishingly, the highest-priced tickets surged to an astounding $168,000 for a pair of passes, creating an unprecedented moment in the annals of music. 

The second most expensive ticket has been sold by Taylor Swift in her ongoing “The Eras Tour,” which recorded ticket prices reaching as high as USD 14,000 per pass for the July 2023 Kansas City concert on resale sites. – Source

Taylor Swift’s tour is projected to earn a record-breaking USD 1 billion in sales by 2024, indicating the significant demand and value placed on these concert tickets.

Why are some tickets more expensive on Ticketmaster?

Some tickets are more expensive than others on Ticketmaster due to supply-demand factors, third-party sellers/fans setting their own rates, and dynamic pricing systems.

Firstly, Ticketmaster allows third-party sellers and fans to resell tickets on their platform. These resold tickets may be listed at different prices than the original face value price. 

Fans or sellers in the secondary market set their own prices, leading to higher or lower costs depending on demand and other factors.

Next, Ticketmaster has implemented a dynamic pricing system, also known as market pricing, in which ticket prices fluctuate based on demand changes. When demand for a particular event or ticket type increases, the price may increase, and vice versa. 

The aim is to keep ticket costs reasonable and prevent ticket scalping or exploitation by bots and opportunists. 

Lastly, Ticketmaster adds fees and charges to the face value price of tickets. These fees may include service fees, order processing fees, and delivery fees. Due to all the above-mentioned factors, some tickets may be more expensive than others on the platform.

How much are concert tickets usually UK?

Concert tickets for popular musical acts like Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters, etc., can start from about £55 and can go up to thousands of pounds, depending on the seats, venue, artists, and exclusivity of the seats. 

Concert price tickets vary disproportionately based on the artist performing, venue, seats, time of the event, and many other factors, so it’s difficult to put an average price to them. However, here’s a summary of the ticket prices for some of the mentioned tours:


In recent years, attending concerts has become quite the experience, but you cannot ignore the significant rise in ticket pricing. We have explained all reasons behind this trend in the article. Let’s sum them all up as a conclusion to this article. 

The music industry has seen a massive demand for live shows after the pandemic, and artists are going all out to create mind-blowing productions with advanced technology, which, of course, adds to the costs. 

Plus, the secondary market, where tickets are resold, has played a role in driving up prices too. It’s not just about the music anymore; it’s become a social thing too. 

In addition, young people also tend to value the chance to share these experiences with friends and on social media, which also drives up demand. 

So, while it may be a bit pricier now, attending a concert still offers an incredible and unforgettable connection with the artists you love, making it all worth it in the end.

We have seen concert tickets go up to an insane USD 84000/ticket for one of Led Zepplin’s concerts. However, that was an exception. In recent times, Taylor Swift has sold the most expensive concert ticket at about USD 14000.

I hope the article helps in explaining the reasons behind the ticket price trends. Thank you for reading.