Nov 19
A Ticket to Ride
icon4 Nov 19th, 2008 | icon2 Concerts |

I have before me a pile of concert ticket stubs spanning the last 23 years. Flicking through these old tickets now brings back some fond memories, but also makes me realise how much the cost of attending concerts has risen in the past two decades.

The first live band I ever saw was Queen at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on the 28th April 1985. I couldn’t hear for a week after and it cost $22. You could buy a Queen CD for that nowadays. Eric Clapton charged nearly ten times that amount for a decent seat at his 2007 concerts. (It was worth every penny by the way.)

In the interests of science I have plotted ticket prices for the concerts I have attended since 1985. This is only big-name, international artists – your Eltons and Stings and McCartneys and so on.

You’ll notice quite a clear upward trend in prices. You’ll also notice that I appeared to drop from the face of the earth between 1998 and 2004. Not sure what happened there. Perhaps ticket prices for the Sydney Olympics shocked me into submission for several years.

In fact, I can tell you that during those “lost years” I spurned the international “big names” and saw quite a few local bands for often a comparative pittance. Bands such as You Am I – the greatest band in the known universe, and one of the hottest live acts in recent times – tour regularly and always keep prices down. We recently saw them at the Metro Theatre in Sydney for a measly $35. This is what it cost to see David Lee Roth at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in 1988! A ticket to Tim Rogers at the Opera House Studio in 2002 was only 20 bucks!!

So give the superstars the proverbial finger … $150 to see Kylie Minogue? No way! John Mellencamp (with special guest Sheryl Crow) at Acer Arena for $151.25? Fark awf! Leonard Cohen, the senile old git, for $195.80? Get a dog up ya!

By the way, I would provide the raw data for the above graph were it not for my acute embarrassment at some of the artists involved. Has anybody heard of ELO Part II? No? Good. I also had the misfortune of seeing Elton John shortly before he entered rehab and got some new hair. It haunts me still.

One Response

  1. Professor Cucumbers Says:

    This piece is equally brilliant in its simplicity and inspiring in its depth.