From Bruce Springsteen to Taylor Swift, “concert prices are soaring, at the risk of accentuating a gap between audiences”

Swould you be willing to officially pay several thousand dollars to attend a concert of your favorite singer? When Bruce Springsteen went on sale for his upcoming US tour in July, many fans initially thought it was a bad joke. Or a bug in the servers of Ticketmaster, the world’s leading provider of concert tickets. When the ticket office opened, some seats were offered for… $5,500 (5,280 euros), a price generally reserved for resale sites or the black market.

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But he had to decide quickly: these exorbitantly priced tickets were not suspicious. Under pricing laws aptly dubbed “dynamic,” Ticketmaster, in perfect agreement with the show’s producer, raises the prices of certain seats based on demand. The higher it is, the more the prices rise. Result, for a tour as expected as Bruce Springsteen’s, prices are panicking and hitting records.

This system has long been applied to seats sold by airlines or railway companies, such as the SNCF. It allows these companies to modulate prices according to inflows and thus, in theory, better ensure the filling of their trains or their planes. In sports, the big clubs also organize the resale of tickets themselves and here too: the more prestigious the meetings, the more you have to put your hand in your wallet.

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But the arrival of this dynamic pricing in the entertainment world, and more specifically for the tour of an artist like Bruce Springsteen, who was known as “close to the people” and usually charged – relatively – reasonable prices for his concerts, caused a great stir on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Betrayal of his fans, scandalous system, greed… The “Boss” and his entourage had ringing in the ears and not because of the feedback from the guitars.

Gangrene on the black market

A few days ago, Springsteen revisited the controversy in a lengthy interview with the magazine Rolling stone. He assumes this inflation. “For the past forty-nine years we have played below market prices. I loved it. It was good for the fans. Today I am 73 years old. I want to do what everyone else does. That’s what happened. Buying tickets has always been confusing, for spectators and performers alike. Most importantly, most of our tickets are affordable. And then you have those tickets where the prices go up, very high. Either way, resale sites or someone else will take that money. So what I’m saying is why shouldn’t that money go to those who sweat for three hours on stage? »

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