Concert attendance and revenue hit record-high numbers around the world.
According to Live Nation Entertainment’s year-end report, the concert promotion and ticketing giant grossed $16.68 billion USD in 2022 with concert revenue making up the majority of their total sales.
While ticket sales are at the forefront of the entertainment industry, fans should consider that Live Nation also relies heavily on on-site spending at their venues, and service fees for additional revenue.
Onsite spending was up 20% in 2022 from 2019 and rising, according to the report. This includes concessions at the venue, which often have an enormous price markup and unexplained service fees.
Live Nation’s year-end report stated that their average revenue per fan grew due to their, “focus on elevating the fan experience and providing a range of options for enhanced products and services.”
Concert attendance was at an all-time high in 2022 which generated more spending due to more fans.
Live Nation reported over 121 million fans at their events worldwide, which was their highest concert attendance to date. Since 2020, fans have been eager to see their favourite artists and bands live but were quickly disappointed due to the cost and availability of tickets.
“It was very heartbreaking at the time because buying concert tickets is not what it used to be,” said Mercedes Gaztambide, a concert goer who purchased tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour via resale.
Gaztambide says although she and her friends knew the chances of them getting tickets at all, let alone for cheap, were slim, they were willing to do anything they could to get seats to the most anticipated concert of the year.
Ticketmaster, a ticket-distributing site that merged with Live Nation Entertainment in 2010, has a new system that requires fans to register through their accounts to receive an access code that will allow them to purchase a ticket called, Verified Fan.
According to the Ticketmaster website, Verified Fan is meant to eliminate bots and scalpers and prioritize real fans. People are then selected at random, with no way of knowing which accounts are fans and which accounts belong to scalpers.
“You can’t ensure that those tickets do end up going to fans and that fans aren’t paying exorbitant amounts [of money] to buy pre-sale codes from whomever,” said Gaztambide.
“I literally saw people on their Instagram stories posting ‘I got a pre-sale code, $150 for my account info,’ like no, we’re still extorting people.”
The pressure to purchase tickets has created such a high demand and enabled resellers to set their prices at more than double the original ticket price.
Gaztambide recalls getting asked to pay $800 for a ticket that the seller bought for $250.
In addition to concert revenue and sponsorships, Live Nation reported that their fee-bearing ticket revenue was up 28% bringing their ticket revenue to $2.2 billion USD in 2022.
“I hesitate to engage in that kind of culture of ‘I need to be there, I need to be there,’ because I think that it’s just a sense of over-consumption. I feel like it’s capitalism really at work,” she said.
Live Nation and Ticketmaster didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.