The area of stadium rock has always been one of epic proportions. Whether it was U2, Led Zeppelin or Kiss it is the domain of glamourous light shows, big screens and fireworks. Then again it probably has to be. I mean how does a band go from playing small club venues to massive football stadiums and still manage to hold an audience without the help of massive screens and big scale theatrics? But all this does come with a cost. Big bills to pay electricians, engineers and crew members to set up the show and an increase in the cost of the show means an increase in the price of tickets to the show. This leads to ticket prices going from the range of €30-€60 to €70-€150 to cover the cost of the show. While this increase in price can be explained by the increase in costs to put on the concert, what explains the price of concert tickets being driven up as far as €600 and €900? Scarcity.
Scarcity is a very simple concept in economics which just refers to a good or service being in short supply. If a good is scarce it generally has a higher price than a good which is in supply in abundance. It just makes good sense, if two people want to go to a concert and there are 40,000 tickets available then it’s quite easy to obtain the ticket so there is no great push on the two individuals to pay a lot of money for the tickets because there is a big supply of them. However, if there is only one ticket available and there are still two individuals who want to go then there is a very short supply of tickets so there is a big incentive for the two individuals to pay whatever price the ticket is priced at because it is the only ticket left. Now obviously there will be a point where the price of the ticket gets so high that the individuals value saving their money more than attending the concert, but for the most part, people generally will pay for a concert ticket at a higher price than its face value because the tickets are in short supply. However, you will get people who will pay insane amounts of money for concert tickets.
This is what happened on the ticket selling site Seatwave for Coldplay’s Croke Park gig this summer. Tickets for the event sold out incredibly quick on Ticketmaster. The price range for tickets to the gig were initially in the range of €69.50- €144.00. However, after the gig sold out there were many people who managed to obtain the tickets took to Seatwave to sell their tickets to the unlucky people who didn’t manage to get the tickets on their initial release. As of 12:44 06/06/2017 some tickets were being offered for sale at €990.00, link below.
The sellers of the tickets are able to charge such high prices because the supply of tickets has decreased even further from their initial finite number, and because the concert has sold out on the official Ticketmaster website which charges the initial price of the tickets, the only way of obtaining tickets to the gig is by buying tickets from people who managed to buy them already. Which means they can set whatever price they like, and for the more entrepreneurial among them that generally means very high prices to ensure big profit margins.
by Daragh O’Leary