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Record: 1 Title: Authors: Source: Document Type: Subject Terms: THE PRICE OF THE TICKET. Seabrook, John New Yorker; 8/10/2009, Vol. 85 Issue 24, p34-43, 8p, 1 Color Photograph Article *TICKETS *PERFORMING arts -- Ticket prices *CONCERTS Company/Entity: People: Abstract: LIVE Nation Worldwide Inc. TICKETMASTER Entertainment Inc. SPRINGSTEEN, Bruce The article discusses concert ticket sales in the U.S. The efforts of Live Nation and Ticketmaster Entertainment to sell concert tickets is discusses as is the decrease in album sales. Musician Bruce Springsteen's "Working on a Dream Tour" is discussed, particularly the decision to keep ticket prices low. Ticket scalping is discussed as is the use of the Internet to purchase concert tickets from alternative sources.
Full Text Word Count: 7048 ISSN: Accession Number: 0028792X 44286748
Database: Academic Search Complete Section: ANNALS OF ENTERTAINMENT
THE PRICE OF THE TICKET
What does it take to get to see your favorite band? The rock-concert business began on the evening of November 6, 1965, outside a loft building on Howard Street in San Francisco. Bill Graham, a thirty-four-year-old frustrated actor from the Bronx, had organized an "appeal" for the Mime Troupe, a radical theatre group he managed, whose leader, Ronnie Davis, had recently been busted for public obscenity. Graham was more hustler than hippie, but he understood the kids, and he had arranged for several local rock bands, including Jefferson Airplane and the Fugs, to perform at the benefit. Arriving on a motor scooter with Robert Scheer, the managing editor of the magazine Ramparts, Graham saw a long line stretching down Howard Street - "Huge hordes of people," as he recalled in his autobiography, "Bill Graham Presents," written with Robert Greenfield. Turning to Scheer, he said, "This is the business of the future." There had, of course, been rock-and-roll concerts before the Mime Troupe appeal; the Beatles had filled Shea Stadium a few months earlier. But that was show business as usual,
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staged for teenyboppers, who screamed so loudly that the musicians couldn't hear themselves play. The kids who lined up on Howard Street were there for the experience. Drugs helped, but, as history would show, it wasn't only drugs that made a great rock show a transformative event. It was the music, the artist, and the community of fans - instant cousinship, as Graham called it - together with the sudden blaze of lights, the press of sweaty flesh, and a thousand fists punching the air as the chorus rolled around. Inside the loft, Graham recalled, "I saw people come in and instantly start dancing with other people and only then did I realize that they didn't know each other. They just started dancing. I'd never seen that before." This year, Live Nation, the world's largest concert promoter, will attempt to re-create the spirit of that Howard Street happening at some twenty-two thousand hundred--> concerts, performed by sixteen hundred acts, in thirty-three countries around the world. Last year, Ticketmaster Entertainment, the world's largest ticket seller, sold more than a hundred and forty-one million tickets, valued at more than $8.9 billion. With the collapse of the record business, as a result of piracy (album sales are almost half what they were in 2000, and, according to some surveys, ninety-five per cent of all downloaded music is stolen), the business of selling live music has become the main source of revenue for the popular-music industry. That means the work of developing acts, spreading the word, and supporting tours all of which used to be done by record labels and radio (back in the days when the big rock stations played new music) - now has to be done by Live Nation and Ticketmaster, whether they want to do it or not. Almost everyone agrees that...