Expect to pay more for local concerts

Lil Baby & Friends performing in Atlanta. Photo courtesy: Prince Williams/Wireimage

For music lovers who were eager to get back to live entertainment, the relaxation of pandemic restrictions over the year has been great but it hasn’t been good for their finances. Statistics on ticketnews.com show that concert tickets have increased almost 20% since 2019, a staggering climb that is outperforming the high rates of inflation.

Ticketmaster was in the news recently for experiencing a glitch when the tickets for Taylor Swift’s tour initially went on sale. Fans were angry they lost out on tickets but were also upset that the ticket prices were drastically higher.

In a press release regarding their 2022 first quarter earning, Michael Rapino, CEO of Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation, said, “Artists are back on the road and fan demand has never been stronger, a reflection that live events remain a clear priority for consumers as our social lives restart.”

Increased prices for concert tickets have also become a subject in politics. On Twitter President Joe Biden said, “I know hidden junk fees, like processing fees on concert tickets are a pain. They’re unfair, deceptive and add up. That’s why, last week, I called on my administration to crack down on these fees and put that money back in your pocket.”

Similar to the rest of the country, Tallahassee has also enjoyed loosened pandemic restrictions but are increased ticket sales matching the national trend?

Ironically just like their signature song “September,” Earth, Wind, and Fire performed on Sept. 21 to a sold-out crowd at Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park. In an interview with WCTV, Tallahassee resident Lori Huckisson said, “The music sounds great, and the best part is I didn’t pay for it,” as she enjoyed the concert for free just sitting on a lawn chair outside the premises.

On Tallahassee Arts Guide the tickets for general admission were $40. In contrast, a Boyz II Men advertisement was on the website for Cascades Park at the same venue in 2020 — also $40 for general admission.

According to the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, the lowest tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters were $26 in 2019. They are coming to the Civic Center again in April 2023 and the lowest tickets are now $31.50, which is almost 20% higher, similar the national average.

In an article of The Famuan in September 2019, tickets for the Florida A&M University homecoming concert in 2019 for Lil Baby, Kash Doll, and Ball Greezy were $25 for students and $35 for the rest of the public in the Lawson Center. In October FAMU had its homecoming concert featuring City Girls at the same venue with a ticket range of $59-$500 with students getting only a $10, per the Tallahassee Democrat.

There were different factors in the price hike for the FAMU Homecoming Concert including a lower budget and booking through a third-party company.

Tallahassee isn’t as expensive as major cities, but the trend of higher ticket prices is here as well.