Concert Slump or are Fans Avoiding Ticket Surcharges?

(antiMusic) The San Diego Reader had an interesting article about how a lot of shows are selling well below expectations. One insider has one take saying the slump will force promoters to bring down ticket prices next year, while another says that fans are just waiting so they can avoid Ticketmaster's outrageous surcharges (and they are outrageous). Here is part of that report: "AEG is hurting with George Michael," says one insider about how AEG Live is struggling with its June 17 booking at the Sports Arena. "Michaels is kicking off his first U.S. tour in 18 years at the Sports Arena, and they have only sold 4000 tickets [out of 15,000]."

The insider notes that tickets for Stone Temple Pilots and Sheryl Crow shows (both to take place at Concerts on the Green, near Qualcomm Stadium) are selling below expectations. "You always hear about the high cost of tickets with extra Ticketmaster charges and everything and that eventually the promoters will respond and bring tickets back down to earth. I think the promoters will get burned so badly this year that this will finally be the year they wake up and start bringing prices down for next year."

One promoter agrees that the local concert industry is in a slump. "I would say that overall sales are down by as much as 20 percent," says the promoter, who agrees that local promoters will take a drubbing this summer. But he doesn't agree that tickets will come down next year. "What you are seeing is that people are waiting until the day of the show to buy tickets. I would say that advance ticket sales are down 30 percent, but day-of-show sales are actually up. By waiting to buy tickets on the day of show, people are avoiding Ticketmaster altogether."
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