Music fans being priced out of seeing acts due to high ticket prices


Music fans are being priced out of seeing their favourite acts due to high ticket prices, according to those in the industry.

In 1999, the average arena gig ticket cost £22.58, according to the National Arenas Association.

Today, that is equivalent to £36.22 when taking into account inflation from the ONS inflation index, although it could cost more than double that to see a high-profile artist.

There are a number of reasons behind the price hikes.

Jon Collins, chief executive of LIVE, which represents the UK’s live music business, told Sky News: “You’ve got the post-COVID reticence of people to head out, which is influencing customer behaviour in some strange ways.

“You’ve got the cost pressures on the industry, you know, driven a lot by fuel, but not only by fuel, there are other supply chain pressures around people and equipment for festivals, be that fencing boards or portacabins.

“We’re seeing 20% to 30% cost increases there.

More on Cost Of Living

“And then you know, amidst all of that, we’ve got an oversupply, still, of gigs and festivals that have been held over from 2020 and 2021 happening in 2022, often at prices set in 2019, but with 2022 costs.”

‘Being inclusive is very important to us’

Next Door Records in west London is a record store by day, and a live music venue by night.

The staff are on a mission to make music accessible for everyone as ticket prices for gigs and concerts rise.

Throughout the week, they host live music events open to everyone – week-on-week, they are seeing their audiences grow.

Co-founder Louis Raworth told Sky News: “Being inclusive is very important to us as a shop and as a venue space, especially with the cost of living going up and up.

“It’s so important to be able to put on free events as it allows people to still go and see musicians.

“People are still able to go out, enjoy themselves, and support artists without worrying they are breaking the bank a little bit.”

Priced out of mainstream gigs

Many people attending these events feel like they have been priced out of mainstream gigs and concerts.

Jordan Kelly told Sky News: “I’ve noticed a lot of bigger artists, potentially Americans who’ve come from across the pond, their ticket prices have been a lot more expensive and it really puts me off.”

Meanwhile, Eloise Burtonshaw said high ticket prices prevent people coming together to enjoy themselves following two years of pandemic-related restrictions.

She said: “You just want to be able to go out and have a nice time with your friends, and a high price of a ticket is enough to put you off.

“It’s a shame, because live music is great.”

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