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The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

The Student News Site of West Covina High School

WCHS Insight

Concert Price Gouging

Julissa Paniagua
Pre-show Hockey Dad stage at Anaheim House of Blues concert venue on Feb. 15.

In the current age of media obsession and stan culture it is common to see concert prices starting at well over $200, with the lucrative nature of these concerts driving prices higher and higher, commonly seen by artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Drake.

In a 1993 interview, still circulating online by YouTube accounts such as Australian based online music and youth culture magazine Happy Mag, Kurt Cobain bluntly vocalized his disgust after hearing Madonna was selling tickets to her concert ranging from $50 to $75. Which would be equivalent to $107.38-$161.07 today, by factoring inflation.

“There are people that charge that much? Who charges that?” said Cobain.

After a short exchange, Cobain and fellow Nirvana member Krist Novoselic were informed that they charge closer to $17 per ticket for their shows. Priced fairly according to the band to make their music accessible to all.

“We were talking about, ‘Boy we should charge $25 and really milk it, and really take’em for all they got,’” said Novoselic.

With stadium concerts rising in popularity and also price, many are turning to smaller indie artists for live entertainment. Not only do these shows come at lower prices, but also the chance of fan interaction. 

Avid concert goer Daniel Yu attended indie concert, Eyedress, at The Glass House in Pomona on March 8. The affordable prices and the intimate setting made live shows more accessible to younger audiences with less money. Yu purchased his ticket for around $55 and felt it was fair for the experience.

“I caught a guitar pick from Eyedress’ band,” said Yu.

Eyedress singer Idris Vicuña at center stage under lively blue and orange lights on March 8. (Daniel Yu)

Yu explained that he feels like anything over $60 is his personal limit for general admission to a show. Concerns with greed in the entertainment industry are growing amongst consumers. Concert enjoyer Julissa Paniagua believes that the prices are a form of exploitation.

“Concerts are so expensive nowadays because people are very greedy. Resellers and artist both exploit fans with their outrageous pricing,” said Paniagua.

Paniagua attended indie rock band, Hockey Dad’s concert at Anaheim’s House of Blues venue on Feb. 15. She purchased her ticket for $50, while her boyfriend paid a premium purchasing his from a different site.

Paniagua and boyfriend stand in the general admission pit at House of Blues on Feb. 15. (Suzzette Paniagua)

Both Yu and Paniagua expressed their desire to attend more concerts, but are restricted by the high prices and put off by fans’ behavior.

“I hear that concert behavior is so much more rowdy and disrespectful than before. I’ve seen videos on tiktok of people like sitting on the floor during the opener to a show they went to and it’s just so disrespectful because you need to have respect for the artist,” said Yu.

With super fans growing in popularity like Taylor Swift fans referred to as “Swifties” and Nicki Minaj fans as “Barbs”, more consumers are willing to spend copious amounts of money to attend these shows.

“Concert culture changed with fans itself, fan are more possessive and go crazy for artists concerts regardless of pricing,” said Paniagua

This in turn drives up the prices due to the demand and limits many fans’ abilities to afford tickets to large stadium tours. Both Yu and Panigua shared they have missed out on many shows due to the extreme pricing.

“I would have loved to see Drake but I don’t have the money to spend a band on that,” said Paniagua.

As ticket prices continue to rise many are concerned about the culture being created surrounding concerts and their accessibility.

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