Will a tour pass the billion-dollar milestone in revenue? Between Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, the summer of 2023 sees the return of big shows that fill stadiums, despite the discontent around ticket price inflation.
• Read also: New Ticketmaster bug for Taylor Swift’s Paris dates
With their world tour, the country pop star and ‘Queen Bey’ are among dozens of mega-stars who have hit the road again to meet high demand for live music after cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.
From Pink to Coldplay, from Bruce Springsteen to Drake, without forgetting SZA and The Weeknd, stadiums are filling up in the United States and around the world, promising the year 2023 to break records.
“I’ve never seen so many artists on stage at the same time, in the same space,” says Stacy Merida, a professor at American University who studies the music industry.
Elton John in front of Ed Sheeran
Madonna, a pioneer of contemporary tours with strong sets and costumes, was to start a new one in mid-July, but she had to postpone it for health reasons.
Consequently, it’s 33-year-old Taylor Swift who sees the billion-dollar mark in revenue within reach, with all 106 dates – at this point – on the ‘Eras Tour’. Observers promise similar success for Beyoncé, who begins the North American leg of her “World Renaissance Tour.”
The record so far belongs to Elton John, whose ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, which began in 2018 and ended July 8 in Stockholm, has grossed $910 million as of June 18, according to the site. specialized Billboard Boxscore.
Before him, pop singer Ed Sheeran reached $776 million with his “Divide” tour (2017-2019).
But where Sheeran tickets averaged $100 according to Pollstar.com, a basic ticket to a Beyoncé or Taylor Swift concert costs at least twice as much.
Beyoncé and inflation
Entertainment company Live Nation, which merged with ticketing site Ticketmaster in 2010, says it has already sold more than 100 million tickets in 2023, more than for all of 2019.
“In a world that has almost fully reopened, it is clear that concerts remain a priority for fans,” Live Nation said in its latest published results.
The two dates of Beyoncé’s show in May in Stockholm have even been cited by an economist as an inflationary factor for the whole country.
But with the rise in demand comes growing discontent around the dominance of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.
For years, concert fans have complained about hidden fees, skyrocketing ticket costs, and shrinking supply because of pre-sales.
The chaos surrounding ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s tour has forced Ticketmaster to face the US Congress over alleged anti-competitive practices.
“The built-in vertical monopoly really has a lot of ripple effects in terms of price,” says Andrew Leff, a music industry veteran who teaches at the University of Southern California.
“If you’re Ticketmaster, you can charge whatever you want, you don’t have competition, and there’s demand for Taylor Swift or Beyoncé, it’s a supply game and demand,” he told AFP.
“They can charge whatever they want, and that’s what they do.”
But according to him, the boom in concerts does not necessarily benefit everyone, especially small groups.
“There are really two music industries,” he notes: “the music industry of the 1% and the music industry of the other 99%.
The story is known: tours are expensive, but it is a lifeline for artists whose copyrights in the face of streaming remain low.
But the post-pandemic catch-up is pushing up demand and prices on everything from room rentals to buses.
Last fall, independent artist Santigold was one of the first to speak out about these struggles and cancel her tour, saying she “just couldn’t make it work”. Main causes, inflation and competition in a saturated market.
We would like to give thanks to the author of this post for this awesome material
World tours: Will Taylor Swift and Beyoncé pass the billion-dollar milestone in takings?