What Causes the Price of Festival Tickets to Rise?

If you noticed ticket prices for the last festival you attended were skyrocketing, it’s part of the global phenomenon of increasing ticket prices. There are several reasons festival tickets cost so much money.

Despite the high production cost, the concert and festival business is booming.

While it seems like the increased competition of more festivals and bands touring should make it more affordable, consumer demand has kept up the pace and this drives up the price. There seems to be an increased appetite for live events.

According to Deployed Resources, there are currently 800+ music festivals in the US alone, while the largest festival runs for 11 days hosting between 800,000 to 1,00,000 people each year!! 

  • 32 million people go to at least on festival every year
  • People travel an average of 903 miles to attend a festival 


Let’s take a look at all the factors affecting these ticket prices. 

Dynamic pricing

More concerts are using graduated ticket sales.

This means prices go up as each tier sells out. Late purchases pay more per ticket than fans who didn’t even wait for the lineup to be announced before purchasing a ticket.

This dynamic pricing is similar to what airlines use and is increasing in the festival and concert world. However, it seems fair.

If you are more prepared, you deserve the better price right?

static pricing vs dynamic pricing

Ticket and VIP packages

We are seeing more and more pricey ticket packages that offer interactions, special access, and exclusive experiences with the artist or artists.

Event promoters now have the ability to create the ultimate super fan by rewarding them for their interactions with the festival.

The more you interact with the artist on social media the more chance you have of gaining tickets from a giveaway!

The more you interact with the event page, the better your ability to score tickets to a show that could have special offerings or discount deals.

There are also plenty of show upgrades and VIP deals to make a fan feel like a special guest, however these experiences come at a high price tag.


Understanding Supply and Demand

supply and demand for shoes

Fans are still willing to pay the high prices of tickets.

So promoters and artists are charging as much as fans are willing to pay so the price doesn’t seem to be dropping any time soon.

Supply and demand is the relationship between the number of tickets available and the quantity of consumers that want to buy them.

Depending on how many people want a ticket, the resulting price is determined.

So, if not a lot of people are interested in your event, you're going to offer cheaper tickets to get them to purchase and attend.

But, if you have 30 tickets to an event and 100+ people want to go, because your ticket is in high demand you can raise prices without fearing that no one will pay what you are asking.


The changing industry and artists who need to boost profits 

The music industry has changed the focus off selling records and CDs to less expensive digital downloads.

Now that the industry provides less likelihood that artists make money from songs and album sales, concerts are now a vital source of income.

Even artists that are big on streaming sites still tour to bring in real money.

Concerts not only provide huge opportunities to earn profits from ticket sales but also the merchandise and even album sales.

Some tours and festivals will bundle a CD with the ticket sale and each one counts toward the album numbers ... sneaky!


Bigger and bigger concert productions

There is a lot more production value that goes into a festival and concert than you might think.

The cost of putting on a show has skyrocketed along with prices for concert tickets.

Everyone wants to put on the most elaborate show there is and the costs of stage production, indoor pyrotechnics, and other event technology have skyrocketed. 

When you think of festivals, what comes to mind. Basically, a wild party with a lot of humans right? An elaborate production with a lot of different bands?

Yes and yes.

So to be able to put on such a production, accommodate a lot of guests, and bring in popular artists ... it's going to cost some green.



Scalpers and the secondary market

Scalpers are the people standing outside of venues holding up signs advertising tickets for sale or saying they happen to have extras.

However, with the advent of the Internet and online ticket companies, selling and upselling tickets is easy and reliable.

an scalper selling tickets

After realizing that fans were purchasing tickets on the secondary market for more than the original price, concert promoters started increasing the original ticket prices.

If there is going to be someone willing to pay $1,000 to sit in the front row, the artist should be allowed to sell that ticket for that much.

The artist needs to capture some of that money.

Otherwise, the fans pay it and the only person winning is the scalper and other third parties. 


Some blogs are based off of direct questions we receive from our event promoters. If you have any questions regarding event marketing, ticket sales, planning advice, etc. feel free to send an email to savannah@purplepass.com and we will answer your questions!

Thanks for reading. 

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