In today’s musical landscape, concert ticket prices are getting exponentially higher and higher for in-demand shows. After seeing this we thought to ourselves, “Where does the money actually go?” Are artists really getting the money they deserve for putting on the show? Is the money going to the promoters? The venues? Ticket providers?
Let’s just work off of a $100 concert ticket. Not because we like to see tickets this high, but because mathematically, it’s easier to comprehend. And honestly, seeing a $100 ticket these days isn’t that much of a stretch unfortunately. Also, these percentages are all based on multiple statistics across the net but will not be exactly like this for every show, every venue, et cetera.
Where does your money go when you buy a concert ticket?
Licensing ($1): Right off the bat, let’s take around 1% for licensing agreements, related to anything that is trademarked or someone else has the rights to.
Taxes ($5): Take 5% of the money and put it toward taxes (which could possibly be much different outside of the U.S.).
Booking Fee ($10): Around 10% is immediately taken away for the opportunity to purchase the concert ticket in booking or processing fees (you know, the fees).
Venue ($25-40): For the use of the venue, staff, stagehands, furniture, rigging, medical staff, and more, bands can expect anywhere from 25-40% of the ticket to go directly into this.
Promoter ($3-11): Of the 54-69% of the ticket left, the promoter is going to take anywhere from 5-15% to advertise the event. An important part of this is the fact that they’ll be responsible for the artist’s guarantee (which makes sure the artist gets paid, no matter how the concert ticket sell).
The Band ($33-56): The band takes home the rest… But that doesn’t mean that the money is just split up between the members of the band. A ton of work goes into making a band happen, so don’t forget about their production crew, sound, lights, transportation, and another 15-20% to the almighty manager.
When you break it down, more often than not bands get less than half of your ticket price. And again, this is based on a $100 concert ticket. Think about how hard it must be for the bands who are charging closer to $10 a show. Then think about the gas prices to get there, eating expenses, and maybe even grabbing a beer or two after their set…
A lot of the smaller acts are just trying to get their songs in front of you, they’re not doing it because they’re getting rich, they’re doing it for the love of the music. And another big consideration is, these numbers are for the main act, not the supporting acts and openers.
So the next time you see your old pal post on social media that their band is going to be playing somewhere close to you, go see them! If another friend’s band is coming to your city and they need a place to crash, hook them up with a couch. Maybe even grab the band a beer after the show because they’re not seeing a lot of the money you paid to see them. And finally, even if you have to do it alone, go out and support artists on tour because touring leads to even more ears on their tunes!