Are concerts only for rich people?


Many of you probably don’t know this, but the front man of Maroon 5, Adam Levine, and I are soul mates.

I understand he is presently dating his second or third Victoria’s Secret model or whatever, but I’m seeing other people too so it’s ok. I know that we will be together soon. However, I am finding the greatest impediment to our marriage is the fact that we have never actually met. Recently Maroon 5 announced tour dates and they’ll be visiting a city nearby enough to my own that I can plan a relatively inexpensive weekend road-trip to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot actually find an inexpensive way to attend the concert.

Initially I wanted to buy the $500 VIP pass which included floor seats and a tour of backstage. I felt that this would certainly maximize my chances of meeting him in order to fall in love. I couldn’t find a friend anywhere that felt $500 was an appropriate pricetag for a concert, so I eventually settled on the $200 VIP passes and figured I’d buy two and then just lie to someone that these floor seats were actually only $80, don’t worry about it. But then those SOLD OUT by the time I got the guts to put my credit card info in to make the purchase. When the general tickets went on sale a few days later, I hit refresh at least a dozen times evaluating the “best available” at $105 a pop and feeling like I can’t shell out that much to be in the nosebleed section. It is way too far away from the man that will be my husband someday. The alternative was floor seats ranging from $350-$500 each, which I just couldn’t do. It was like the Taylor Swift situation last year, where I couldn’t find it in me to spend $300 even though every song she sings is about my life (particularly “22” and “Begin Again” off her new album, Red).

Anyway, now I’m just mad.

Why do tickets get up to ludicrous prices? How do band justify charging their fans that much?

I know the answer is “because they can” but it makes me hate them a little bit.

Going to concerts is definitely on my top-ten-favorite-things-ever-in-life list, but I have a strange feeling that the hobby used to be considerably more affordable. I’ve never paid $200 for a concert ticket before and I’ve only attended shows where I have floor seating. It’s not even like I’m going to cheap artists either (ie. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga).

Even though I make more money and have less debt than ever, I still can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on one night.Β 

I know experiences are more valuable then stuff, but I’m so sick of the being-in-debt experience that I can’t YOLO it up every opportunity there is. Now I’m in this awkward situation where I don’t have tickets to one of my favorite bands and telling myself it’s ok, you can just turn up your music really loud that day and it will be like you’re RIGHT THERE.

Maybe they will do another show. Maybe they will release more floor tickets closer to the concert. Maybe I’ll get lucky on Kijiji.

Or maybe I just won’t go.

Because at the end of the day, was my quality of life drastically reduced by failing to see Taylor Swift (or Coldplay) in concert? The answer is no. I don’t wake up every day wishing I had just charged it to a credit card and danced the night away. And it will be the same with Maroon 5.

Though there are eternal consequences here… what happens if you & your soul make never meet?!




  1. That can be a tough call. I hate that concerts cost so much and then you have the fees on top of it. But, if it’s an awesome band and you can afford it it makes it easier to justify it. I hated spending nearly $200 a ticket, but my wife and I loved seeing U 2 a few years ago and the memories are priceless.

  2. I usually go to concerts in the summer when they are at outdoor amphitheaters. Then I have no probably getting lawn seats and spending only $30-$50

  3. Brian

    Wow those prices are out of control! I would never pay that much and I love going to concerts. Every year I go see Jimmy Buffett once or twice and the most I have ever paid is $95 a ticket and that’s because the concert was at Wrigley Field in Chicago and it was kind of a novelty.

    I guess the good news is, that if you spend $500 a ticket and you meet and fall in you will end up not worry about that $500 any more (and yes I know from reading your blog that you don’t want to be taken care of by a man, but chancing into a few million ain’t so bad and gives you a lot of eff your money to play with!)

  4. So I have this horrible habit of buying tickets to shows and then not going! Why? Because the tickets are $12 no fees. Maybe $25 at the most. It’s great being in the minority of the population with good taste in music πŸ™‚

    All joking aside, I really suggest going to concerts alone! Because I love bands that no one has heard of, I gave up looong ago trying to find friends to go with me. You can’t talk to them during the concert anyway and why would you want to be there with someone who doesn’t want to be there? Everyone is just watching the band so I’ve never felt lonely at a show. If you REALLY want to see one of your favorite artists, get tickets early, go alone, have a great time, and scratch it off your bucket list!

  5. I still would love to go to a concert. I wanted to go to a Shakira concert a year ago when she was on tour but I was in grad school and money was tight.
    Maybe next time she goes on tour.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for a concert before. I had Drowning Pool come overseas to do a concert when I was deployed and also saw Shinedown with tickets I won on the radio. I don’t think I could justify spending much on concerts though. It’s just not my thing. There are certain people that I think would put on a good show and might be worth attending and it’s not like you are going 20 times a year. $500 might be worth it for you to meet your soulmate. He does have a pretty cool sleeve tattoo.

    • Bridget (Author)

      Yeah $500 isn’t even that much for the love of your life!! I’ve never heard of Drowning Pool..

  7. Laina

    Two years ago, Jay-Z was only $40. Now there’s a man of the people. He even brought some kids up to the front so they’d have a better experience.

  8. CF

    Music is a big part of my life. I feel super alive when I’m at a concert. And if definitely travelled to go see a show too, more than once. I try to keep it affordable by having an irregular savings account which pays for things like concerts. I also write music reviews so I get to see a lot of shows for free πŸ™‚

  9. If it were a band I really, really wanted to see, I’d pay the price but I’d also budget the money for the chance to see someone I want to see that’s on my bucket list. It’s all about choice and sometimes our choices can get costly. Prices of concert tickets are astronomical at times but when you can stand on stage and start counting every body as hundreds of dollars that’s alot of money…

    • Bridget (Author)

      it is a CRAZY amount of money. Mind-blowing.

      I did not plan/save/budget for this so I just can’t do it =( poor bridget.

  10. The most popular bands can charge a lot more for sure. The only concert I have ever been to was at a theme park and included in the admission price.

  11. Honestly, the crazy price of concert tix is why I usually just go to indie band concerts now. I prefer smaller venues anyways and I’d much rather pay $20 to see an up and coming band than $100 to sit in the nose bleed section of a big name band concert.

    • Bridget (Author)

      Totally agree =\ but there are some mainstream bands I really really love and it breaks my heart that I can’t see them in concert

  12. God that man’s body is just sick! I can see why he’s your future husband! πŸ™‚ When I was in my 20’s, I went to so many shows, but it was so much more affordable back then because all the bands I liked played in mid-sized venues. So I don’t think I ever spent more than 75, and that was at the top end. Now I’m very selective when it comes to shows. I’ll go if I really, really want to see someone, but other than that it’s few and far between these days.

  13. Hahaha, I love that picture of Harry — I’d be angry too if everyone was talking around me. Also, I totally see you and Adam together πŸ˜‰ This Thought Catalog is awesome btw: (kinda related)

  14. I didn’t know you were such a Taylor Swift fan. I am as well!!! I saw her last July for about $120. I thought that wasn’t too bad and she was definitely worth it. I would probably pay up to $200 if i have to for this next tour.

    • Bridget (Author)

      That’s a great price!! I want to see her but she’s not coming anywhere near here on her next tour.

  15. Ticket prices are totally insane! I wanted to see the Linkin Park/Incubus concert that was playing where I live, but I too, couldn’t justify the price. It makes me sound old when I say ticket prices used to be cheaper back in the day, but it’s true!!!

  16. You make SUCH a good point. I really only go to summer concerts on a lawn somewhere for under $50 mainly bc I’m not a big enough fan of anyone to pay $200. I know it is about an experience but how much better can it be? It is hard when some people are able (or not able and do it anyway) to go to every concert that comes to town.

    • Bridget (Author)

      I don’t know if the experience really is $200+ worth. I can do a lot of other great experiences with $200.

  17. I think that concerts are soooooooooooo expensive. Everyone once in a while we consider going to one until we see the pricetag! It can easily run $60 each for lawn seats in my area. No thanks!

    The result is that we only pay to see concerts that we really, really want to see. Sometimes it is just worth the money!

  18. I’m sure in real life, he’s much shorter and smaller and uglier than he looks on TV and in pictures. If you only went occasionally, I guess that price would be OK, but still seems crazy. Any sort of huge event like concerts or sporting events is outrageously priced. I honestly don’t know how everything sells out, or maybe that’s why so many people are broke?

  19. I ran into the same problem when I wanted to go to the last Britney Spears concert tour. None of my friends were interested in spending the money, and my boyfriend said “Wouldn’t you rather save ALL THIS MONEY for our wedding?” He got me there, but I totally regret letting him talk me out of it.

    If I could do it all over again, I would go back and buy the $400 seats for me and a friend because the experience would have been worth it to me. It’s not worth it if it’s just a concert, but I think once the moment breaks into the ‘valued life experience’ category, why not? (Yes, seeing Brit Brit performing up close would be a value life experience haha… but that’s just me. Maybe next tour…)

    • Bridget (Author)

      see it’s things like this that make me want to do it… I don’t want to regret this later!

  20. That sucks! I recently paid a lot for Bruce Springsteen concert tickets and while it was awesome, it was really hard to plunk so much cash down for two to three hours of the boss. I guess as with everything, moderation is the key to success. Maybe just go to one big concert a year?

  21. Have you ever thought about the fact that concerts are so expensive now because they’re one of the main ways that musicians can earn income? Royalties on singles are teeeny, not to mention how much illegal downloads have eaten into sales.
    Unless the bands start selling their souls and licensing their songs for advertisements, concerts are where most musicians earn their pennies.
    And when no-name bands have to charge $40 for their concert to get by, of course a big-name like Maroon 5 is going to jack that up for their “premium concert experience”.

    Personally, I hate concerts, but I get why they’re expensive and I think it has more to do with people being cheap about buying music than it does about concert-goers being rich. =)

    • Bridget (Author)

      haha fair point! I paid full price for all of Maroon 5’s albums though… the deluxe editions no less!!

  22. I just read something about the increase of online streaming/downloads, the crash of album sales and the rise of concert tickets. When albums used to mostly cost $18.99 In the late 90s and now almost all full Albums cost only $9.99 and less of it goes to the artist. More is recouped through touring…

  23. I’m so elderly… I can’t justify concerts anymore. I just don’t get that much out of seeing a band live. I did when I was 11 and saw OMGBSB, but now that I’m older it takes a LOT to try to get me to go to a concert. Gotye was playing on my birthday this year and I told my friends and boyfriend that is NOT an appropriate gift idea, that I definitely did NOT want to go. I don’t know what it is, I just don’t like concerts!

  24. Why would you even want to go to a concert anymore? I agree for example with this article:

  25. Thank you for that picture. I love going to concerts! But, you have to be kind of savvy about who you’re going to see and also check out the reviews of that performer’s previous concerts. There are a lot of opportunities to see good music in my town. When big acts come through a lot of times they opt for slightly smaller venues so even though it’s expensive we are up close and personal with the artist.

  26. Jill

    If it’s Coldplay, the answer is definitely yes

  27. Matty

    Old post I know but your bitching about the cost of one ticket. Well I’ve noticed on Twitter that katy Perry has some fans that have attended over 20 concerts all VIP and on top of that flown to other countries and spent weeks just hopping around from show to show. These are high school and college kids so I don’t know what keeps you from spending the money but obviously these folks have no shame in spending thousands for concerts hehe

    • Bridget (Author)

      Well, I’m spending my own money that I earn, whereas I think a high school student is probably counting on the bank of mom & dad…