Half of Britons have been priced out of attending live music events in recent years

Joanna MorrisData Journalist
December 22, 2022, 11:52 AM GMT+0

Half of the public strongly oppose ‘surge’ ticket pricing

Music fans are paying more than they bargained for to see favourite acts play live following the introduction of dynamic – or ‘surge’ – ticket pricing.

Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are among the pop superstars to have set concert prices soaring by agreeing to sell tour tickets at a price that fluctuates with demand.

According to a new YouGov survey, a large majority of Britons (71%) are against the idea, including 52% who “strongly” oppose surge-pricing in live music.

Online seller Ticketmaster says introduction of dynamic pricing will support artists and help in its battle to tackle ticket touts.

But just 5% of the public support the system, which has been criticised by industry experts for leaving fans paying over the odds for concert tickets.

Younger people, however, are generally less against the idea than their elders – 51% of 18 to 24-year-olds oppose dynamic pricing, compared to 74% of over-55s.

Active support for surge pricing is also higher among the young, with 15% saying they support it compared to 2% of over-55s.

Already used in the UK to sell tours by the likes of Styles and Coldplay, surge pricing has left some forking out hundreds of pounds for a single ticket.

Nearly one in five Britons say ticket prices have frequently prevented them attending gigs

Six in ten Britons (60%) have ever been to a live music concert (including 14% who go regularly), but many say they are being priced out of the live music scene.

Though around a third of the public (34%) say they haven’t wanted to see a concert in recent years, half (51%) say the price of a ticket has stopped them from attending a gig at least once in the last five years – and 18% say it’s happened frequently.

Even outside of surge pricing, more than three-quarters of Britons (77%) believe the price to see live music is expensive, with 44% saying it’s “very” expensive.

Three-quarters of the gig-going public (75%) have paid more than £50 for a concert ticket, including 36% who spent more than £100 on a ticket and 9% who stumped up £200 or more.

In comparison, when we asked people to tell us what a fair price for a standard ticket to see a popular act at a large-scale concert would be, most (53%) of those who gave us an answer put the value at £40 or less.

More than a fifth of Britons have bought gig tickets from unofficial sources

Unscrupulous touts snapping up tickets in bulk to resell for profit can undoubtedly contribute to fans having to pay more than face value if they want a ticket to see their favourite band.

Overall, 18% of Britons say they have bought tickets from unofficial sellers, including 2% who say they’ve bought from touts on the street. A further 3% have bought from strangers and 8% from online resellers.

The most common source of second-hand tickets is friends or family, with 9% of those who’ve purchased resold tickets buying them this way.

More than a third of those who have bought from unofficial sellers (36%) typically paid more than face value to do so, including 13% who paid “considerably” more.

Picture: Getty

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