Tomorrow we’re going to try to get Kate Bush concert tickets – as I think thousands and thousands of others are. It’s not going to be easy for everyone (Time Out estimate there are a max of 110,000 available across all the shows), and it’s also unlikely to be cheap. Tickets start at £49 and go up to £135 (plus fees of course). If we can’t get the ‘cheap’ ones, we can’t afford it. Looking at Ticketmaster’s site, the top price ticket has a £10.50 fee, plus postage on top!
For much of my twenties I spent a good chunk of my disposable income on gigs. I’ve cut back a lot recently to help save towards travelling and now a wedding. But a big part of why I can’t afford concerts is the increasing cost.
The hype behind live concerts has never been higher and technology allows touts to get hold of even more tickets than before. The last few years has seen really popular gigs sell out within seconds, with the bulk of tickets reappearing on sell on sites such as Stubhub and Viagogo. There will be a few people trying to make a quick buck as they used to on eBay, but really it’s the same people who used to stand outside venues buying spares cheap and selling them on well over face value.
Of course that’s not helped by the increase in price for shows. I couldn’t afford last summer’s Rolling Stones gigs in Hyde Park so had to miss out. Over £100 for the basic ticket was too much. This from the band that famously played there free in 1969. The cost for the Monty Python reunion this summer has also priced me out. Arcade Fire’s big shows in June are over £45 for standing. There were £23 seats, but they’d be specks at the back of Earls Court.
Delivery fees can be ridiculous. How can there be a £3 cost to print at home? Sometimes you have no choice but to pay for recorded delivery, adding more £££ to your order.
It’s really difficult to understand the booking fees too. Recently I compared the different fees charged across the different sales sites for three shows. One site was cheaper for one show, but would be the most expensive for another. Some of the big players power ticket sales for branded shops. Though NME Tickets uses the same tech and tickets as See Tickets, each time it was more expensive.
For The Flaming Lips concert at the Brixton Academy, the all in price rocketed from £43.56 with See, to £47.75 for See via NME Tickets. In all the booking fees to get tickets delivered for that gig varied from £42 (Ticketmaster) to £48.20 (Stargreen). Face value was £37.50.
Ideally you’d have the luxury of knowing a show won’t sell out so you could shop around for the best price. But that’s rare nowadays. In the case of the Flaming Lips, the cheapest option would actually be to head to the box office and pay in cash – it’d cost you just £37.50
Give our 6 Ways To Save On Gigs guide a read – it could help you find ways to cut the costs. If like me you are thinking of trying for Kate Bush tickets in the morning, tip number 2 should be most useful:
2. Be Ready
If the sites require accounts, register and log in ahead of the ticket release time.
When they go on sale it’ll help to have more than one browser open at the same time (so Chrome, Safari and Firefox for example) and have different sites open on different tabs. Use your smart phone, tablet and computer at the same time to give you a better chance of getting through.
And finally, sign in to accounts and have the pages loaded up well before the published time. Start hitting refresh and keep your fingers crossed.
Here are the main sites selling tickets.
Best of luck and enjoy these!