Live music ticket price concerns emerge in Australia: investigation

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Photo credit: Kgbo

The price of live music and other in-person entertainment is now a bigger concern for Australian fans than the risk of contracting COVID-19, according to newly released research.

This and similarly interesting data points were recently revealed in a report of the Audience Outlook Monitor, a government-funded initiative that describes itself as “an international collaboration” designed “to get a sense of how the public feels about going out again and what will make them feel safe in order to organize a successful return”.

The organization interviewed 5,438 people in October 2022 “who had attended an in-person arts or cultural event since January 2018” as part of the analysis. 71% of those respondents reportedly said they were ready to attend entertainment outings “now”, up from 65% in August.

In addition, 51% of participants indicated that the frequency with which they attend “cultural events and activities” would “definitely” (seven%) or “probably increase” (44%) increase over the next 12 months, depending on the document.

However, 40% of respondents said ‘financial reasons’ may inhibit their concert attendance in the coming year, a 16% increase since August.

Meanwhile, 38% cited ‘risk of contracting or transmitting the virus’ as a potential barrier to attendance, followed by a lack of attractive events (32%), ‘prioritizing other things in my life (24%), “lack of energy to go out” (19%) and difficulty getting tickets (16%), respectively.

It’s also worth pointing out that 65% of attendees said they were comfortable going to “comedy clubs and music venues” for shows, up from 51% in March 2022.

The precise impact on respondent sentiment remains to be seen, but when it comes to the busy concert schedule of 2023, one should bear in mind the troubled state of the global economy.

Live Nation saw record attendance and revenue in 2022, for example, and touted double-digit increases in fan spending at shows during the third trimester. And more than a few ticket holders (and future ticket holders) lamented the astronomical cost of passes at high demand concerts.

Nevertheless, all sorts of well-known acts are prepare the 2023 tours; Lizzo today unveiled a 17-date “second North American leg” of its Special 2our, as Foreign announced a farewell tour for next summer.

On the artists’ side, artists like animal collective and Santigold canceled touring plans due to factors such as exorbitant costs and fierce competition for fans’ time and money. Lorde in an email to supporters describe the “almost unprecedented level of difficulty” of the live entertainment space today.