Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Poor concert etiquette and high entry prices need to go

Linley Nyirenda

Imagine hearing loud and excessive screaming, being packed in like sardines in a crowd of people and feeling a general lack of respect at an event you paid an exorbitant fee to attend.

Perhaps this sounds like a claustrophobic nightmare of mine, but it is quite literally the description I would give of the current state of concert etiquette. As a frequent concertgoer, I’ve been in all the sections and situations you can imagine. I’ve been in the seats, on the lawn and even as close as the barricade. Even so, I always have some complaints about how the concert goes. 

My most recent concert was Ryan Beatty at The Studio at The Factory, and while Beatty was phenomenal and I was quite close to the stage, it was frustrating having the girl right in front of me record the concert in its entirety.

Last year when I saw Faye Webster, I initially started at the left side of the stage, but with the fear of it being too crowded, my friends and I decided to be right in front of the sound booth. As more and more people came in, our view was little to none because a couple of giants decided to plant themselves in front of us. We ended the night with no view right next to the bar.

Nowadays, the only way to get a good view or a view on the barricade is to “camp” or wait in front of the venue for hours. Unfortunately for me, and many other working-class music fans, I don’t have the luxury of spending hours and hours in line to have a good view for less time than I spent in said line. 

Aside from the physical cost of attending a concert comfortably, the price of attending does not reflect the experience you are going to have. Concerts are not getting any cheaper with the recent surge of excessive fees, dynamic pricing and the long-time problem of ticket scalpers and resellers.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a newsletter notifying me about Cigarettes After Sex coming to Dickies Arena for their most recent tour. General admission floor tickets were listed at $99.50 before taxes, which is already a little unreasonable, but I was willing to drop the money. As I sat ready at my computer during the presale, I was greeted with the same tickets being listed at $189.50.

I left empty-handed because that price could never be justified. 

Even as I look at upcoming concerts I want to attend, sections where you aren’t even guaranteed a good view, or a seat – lawn sections for example – are listed at $40 or more. Smaller artists and venues aren’t cheaper either, with most tickets for the most popular indie artists these days averaging around $30 or more.

God forbid you want to attend a stadium tour. Unless you have money set aside for concerts, you’re going to make a dent in your bank account.

The cheapest tickets for Latin superstar Bad Bunny start at $171 for resale, and $258 for standard tickets, which is insane.

With rumors going around Beyoncé will be touring amid her new album release, my friends and I half-jokingly say we need to start saving now if we even want to consider getting tickets. 

So are concerts even worth attending anymore? I think if you’re willing to make the sacrifice of comfortability in terms of waiting outside of venues, standing close to a stranger whilst you wait for the artist to come on, and risking not even seeing the concert due to your height or a sea of phones obstructing your view, then maybe concerts are for you. It’s up to the artists, the fans and especially the ticketing companies to be more aware of these issues and adapt and enforce new rules and better prices. 

President Joe Biden’s administration recently enforced all-in pricing onto ticket tycoons Ticketmaster and Live Nation to avoid the façade of affordable tickets and show consumers the price of a ticket without hidden fees.

This isn’t enough. Dynamic pricing, the demand-based pricing model in which prices go up and down in real-time based on the level of interest and the number of seats available, must go. Platinum pricing with no real “platinum” benefits needs to go. And more respect among concert attendees needs to increase. 

Until then, to attempt to save money and discover new music, I am encouraging myself and others to start looking toward the local music scenes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. There are so many affordable concerts all around and it’s always great to support our creative peers who reside close to us. There is no reason enjoying music must cost an arm and a leg, both literally and figuratively.

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