Expensive tickets dissuade fans

Expensive tickets dissuade fans

Raw deal

Expensive tickets dissuade fans

First, it was watching films in multiplexes that got too costly, followed by play ticket rates dissuading theatre lovers from attending.

Now, it’s the prices of music concerts that are shooting up. Bangalore, in particular, has seen a rising number of big ticketed events over the last two years, especially when it comes to Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

Unfortunately, a single evening of fun can burn a deep hole in one’s pocket.
In March alone, the much-anticipated ‘Deadmau5’ concert will cost attendees Rs 2,700 (VIP Rs 5,000) while ‘Cirkus Indigo’, the most recent EDM festival, cost upto Rs 2100 for a day pass.

This has been an ongoing trend – in 2013, individual tickets to Avicii cost Rs 3,000 (VIP Rs 5,500); Hardwell cost Rs 2500; Tiesto cost Rs 2,500 (VIP Rs 4,950), Bangalore Open Air cost Rs 2,499; NH7 Weekender cost Rs 3,750 for the festival pass, while Sound Awake and Smirnoff Experience cost Rs 1,500 each.

Aseem Patil has avoided several concerts because they were too costly. “Famous artistes like Tiesto and ‘Deadmau5’ are huge sellers and big enough for any sponsor to want to stake in. Organisers should offset the event cost through sponsorship rather than exorbitant ticket prices as the revenue model. If tickets become cheaper, a lot more people would attend, which means more publicity for sponsors, making it a worthwhile investment,” he opines.

But Vikram Hemanathan, a concert-goer, feels that organisers don’t have it easy either. “It’s the indirect factors like palm-greasing to get the required permissions which add up to big numbers and eventually get sent down the line to the ones who attend the concert. These days, there are different organisers coming together for events, so the need to rake in more to make individual shares takes precedence over consumer concerns. There are also factors like free passes that organisers have to dole out and those lost sales transfer to the
paying concertgoer,” he explains.

Is the pricing fair, according to him? Vikram replies, “In Bangalore, we’re still getting a good deal as we’re in the range of ‘at par to below par’ as similar events globally. As an international city, we need to make the environment more conducive for live events. So if these factors are addressed and prices come down, the whole experience for the end consumer will increase.”

Hariharan Mahadevan, who volunteers at various music festivals and concerts, believes that concerts are well priced. “Otherwise an organiser can’t break even.

Though I’d probably work extra hard for the money, I have no qualms about spending Rs 3,000 to watch acts I’ve dreamt of seeing live. I’d even spend on flights to watch a band I love perform in another City,” says Hariharan.

It’s the big venue experience that entices Vivek Ravindran, a professional. “For smaller gigs, where there’s easy bar access and not
 too much crowd control and licensing required, it’s easy to recover costs from food and beverage sales.

But in bigger events with thousands of attendees, it makes sense to recover the cost upfront. But I don’t agree with the alcohol costs inside these concerts and feel that it should be fairly priced,” he notes.