Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Concert Economics

How is the current economy affecting your concert plans? Are you attending less shows? Setting a limit on the purchase price? Are you eliminating concerts completely?

At the end of 2008, I examined my finances, like I do every year, to determine how much “fun” money I had to set aside in the upcoming year. I like to have an emergency fund of living expenses, just in case something should ever go wrong, I am working hard to pay off all my debt, and I still like to have a little “fun” money. After reviewing my 2008 finances, I noticed that I had let things get a little too loose and I was going to need to tighten up for 2009.

I reviewed all the areas of spending to determine where a lot of the fat was, and I reined it in with a plan to cut and save. Unfortunately, music was one area that was going to take a hit. I had to set a cost limit on concerts, something I’ve never done before. I limited myself to spending no more than $65 (face value) per ticket. This was going to change the amount of shows I saw, which shows I saw, and where I sat.

Fortunately, I’ve lucked out so far. Although sitting in the “nosebleeds,” I’ve managed to get Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews Band tickets for my quoted face value price. I hope to attend a few more club shows this year. Theory of a Deadman at Starland Ballroom was only $20, and the setting was very intimate.

Should Billy Joel and Elton John make it to my section of the US, I may be able to see them, I’ll just have to sit high. The cheaper seats are $47. Some concerts I won’t be able to afford, and thus, I won’t be able to see them. Aerosmith/ZZ Top is out of the question unless I sit lawn only. Same for Nickelback with Hinder and Papa Roach. Incubus is another lawn seat as is Poison/Def Leppard/Cheap Trick, although I’m not sure that I’m going to that one.

Now, with the new, self-imposed restrictions in place, I may get shut out of some shows. I passed on U2 because the only seats within my limit were as high as the sky, and I prefer U2 in an arena environment anyway. AC/DC is definitely out of my price range - $100 to see them at Giants stadium, come on lads, help a poor working fan out!

If Van Halen comes around in the fall, or Kiss, I may get shut out of those concerts as well (although I did allow myself one out when I made this restriction – Kiss – if they were to tour in 2009, price didn’t matter, I had to go for best seat in the house.)

With the economy still shaky and uncertain, and cousin Ryo’s job status in the same boat, it’s hard to spend cash on concerts, especially if it’s a lot of cash. The bands don’t seem to get it though, as they still continue to charge huge amounts for the quality seats. Can Aerosmith really justify $125 to sit in the theater? I think not. And don’t even get me started on the Def Leppard/Poison prices.

What about you? Have you made any changes to your concert attending habits? Have you given up concerts all together? Comments are open. Feel free to post some.

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