The price is right? Why your concert ticket costs what it does. By ELIZABETH WALTERS Monitor staff Let’s say you love the Police. I...

The price is right?
Why your concert ticket costs what it does.

By ELIZABETH WALTERS
Monitor staff

Let’s say you love the Police. I mean loooooooove them. You don’t just own all of their albums and know the words to all of their songs, you own Sting’s lute CD – and you listen to it. Thrilled by their reunion, you decide to take the summer off from your job, throw some clothes in the car and follow them around the country. You will become a new breed of superfan: the Policehead.

Being a pioneer is never easy, and in this case, it isn’t cheap either; you know you’ll be dropping a wad of cash on each show. As you browse the dates online, though, you find that the size of the wad will vary. Why are the cheapest seats $50 in Seattle but nearly $100 in Los Angeles? Why are the most expensive general admission seats $263 in Las Vegas but $225 in Fenway Park? Why do tickets for the same band cost different amounts in different places?

To put it simply, it’s complicated….

“It’s not necessarily only about the actual money that the band wants,” said Scott Hayward, the owner of the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonderry.

The ticket price formula involves many factors, including the size of a venue, the artist’s asking price, how much it will cost to produce the show in that venue and how much local fans are willing to pay.

“It’s a humongous process,” said Andrew Herrick, the marketing director of the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Discussions about pricing occur very early in the process of booking an artist. A show can’t be formally scheduled before the ticket rate is set, because that figure is the barometer for whether a performance makes financial sense for both the artist and the venue. In negotiating the contract, the venue or concert promoter adds together all of the costs it will incur to host the show, which can include things such as hiring a stage crew, renting sound equipment, advertising, backstage food and hotel rooms for the band. Some older venues also include a small fee to help with restorations and renovations, Hayward said. (Full Story at http://www.concordmonitor.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articleAID=/20070412/REPOSITORY/704120307/1014/ENTERTAINMENT )