Over 50% of gig-goers have been priced out of live music, new survey finds

Empty seats
(Image credit: Cavan Images/Getty)

It's something of an understatement to say that the live space is a challenging one right now, with a heady brew of covid, labour supply shortages, performer's mental health issues and surging energy prices proving very much not what the doctor ordered for a beleaguered music industry. 

Now, a new YouGov poll of concert-goers has quantified the effect on British gig-goers' spending habits and attitudes. 

The survey discovered that over half of those asked had not attended a specific gig due to high ticket prices at least once in the past five years. 18% of respondents reported that they were “regularly” priced out of gigs, while 44% called attending live music generally “very expensive.” 

While more than half of respondents peg a fair ticket price at no more than £40 (about $48), a majority admit to having paid more than double that.

YouGov’s report also paints a bleak picture of punters’ views on surge or dynamic pricing, which bases cover price on demand and is used by giants like Ticketmaster. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a large majority (71%) were against the concept, while over half “strongly” opposed the practice.

YouGov’s poll found that the majority of Brits (71%) are against the idea, with 52% “strongly” opposing the pricing strategy.

Last year, Ticketmaster told the BBC that the practice was aimed at deterring ticket touts from hoovering up tickets at low cost before selling to eager fans at exorbitant mark-ups and is “an important shift necessary to maintaining the vibrancy and creativity of the live music industry”. 

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.