Desperately waiting for hours to push the button to reserve your spot in the waiting line for your favorite artist? Finally becoming No. 500 in line, waiting three hours to get your tickets to find out the price hiked $500? Paying for nosebleed seats and to your horror, the crowd is screaming so loud you can’t even hear the artist? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone; recent concert disappointment is a very common thread between artists and their fans. The rising cost of concerts is completely unreasonable considering that many concert goers are not in the upper 2%, and therefore only have so much disposable income to spend on a subpar concert. 

Last year, Abby was among the many die-hard fans who sobbed at the news of Harry Styles’ residency shows in Chicago. Careless, and having her mom’s credit card already pre-saved on my Ticketmaster account, she must have been first in line for presale. Setting aside any doubts she had about not getting tickets, Abby went in confident that she would have her very own pit tickets secured in the next five minutes. That naivety was not Abby’s finest moment.

We’re sure anyone who has tried to go through a larger artist’s ticket sales has experienced the disappointing and dreaded screen informing you that there are over 2,000 people in the queue with you, or at least Abby has when she realized that her time buying Styles’ tickets would not be that easy. After over an hour of fighting her computer and the horror that is school wifi, she managed to get upper-bowl seats– for a small fee of $300 each. 

It would be an understatement for us to argue that this price is unreasonable for a 16 year old, but the fact that Abby was far enough to where she had to watch him over the stage’s projector is unfathomable. Concerts can be life-changing experiences that many avid fans dream of, and if monopolies like Ticketmaster keep getting away with scamming buyers through useless fees and up-charged seats, the chance to see your favorite artist may be limited to the select few who can afford it. 

Sellers like Ticketmaster often buy tickets from the artist to create more “in-demand tickets,” resulting in a price hike. On Ticketmaster, customers can expect to pay around 30% of the face value price in fees alone. To put this in perspective, if someone were to buy a $50 ticket, by the time it comes to actually purchasing it, the new total would be $65 (not including taxes or venue fees). This is only the base price, not to mention VIP experiences, food, merchandise, transportation, and more. Extra costs not explicitly in the ticket price can add up to astronomical numbers, which low- to middle-class people may not be able to pay out of pocket.

Because of the lack of affordable ticket prices, Many low-to-middle-class fans will look for cheaper alternatives and use back channel ticket vendors or buy from scalpers. In fact,  About 12% of people report they have purchased a concert ticket online that turned out to be a scam, leaving many with little to no options. They have to choose between paying the skyrocketing prices on mainstream vendors, or paying an affordable price with the possibility of getting scammed.

Instead of designating the euphoria of concerts to the elite who can put money away for it, venues and artists alike need to work on expanding their price ranges to let all fans live out our dreams of seeing our favorites live. Avid concert-goers can probably testify that concert culture hasn’t been the same since quarantine, and while many choose to whine that it’s about certain fan bases or lack of manners, the inflation of concert tickets cannot be ignored as one of the root issues. After all, music is one of the most powerful and healing forces in our world.

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Hello! I'm Abby Geers and this is my first year as a 42fifty reporter and I am a sophomore at OHS. I enjoy reading, my plants, spending time with my cats, and hanging out with friends. I'm really excited to write this year!

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Hello! I'm Fionnuala Quinn. I'm currently a junior OHS and this is my second year of journalism. Apart from journalism, I am involved in Cross Country, Track and Feild, Best Buddies, and horticulture club.


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