Let’s say we’re creating a budget. We have different categories like entertainment, transportation, food and bills. I vaguely remember a time when concerts were in the category of “entertainment.” They were right up there with a nice dinner, a movie or bowling. You set aside a little bit of money each week until you saved up $60 (tops) and you were able to experience an idol in their element. There was a personal aspect that came with seeing an artist you love in concert, where you felt like you had just had a conversation with them. Now, concerts fall more adequately under the “bills” sector and quite frankly, it hurts.
It’s easy to make the argument that we can’t blame artists. Since streaming has become the new norm in place of music purchasing, artists make the bulk of their money from touring. I get that. But just how much money are we really compensating for here? Music is supposed to be therapeutic and a lot of times people connect with a certain artist because of the situation they’re in (and it’s not always a good place to be). Then those people are expected to pay the equivalent of rent on a ticket to sit three levels and 30,000 people away from their role model? It’s just hard to wrap your head around.
Normally, I wouldn’t say anything at all, because that’s how my momma raised me. We’ve all seen it happen with Prince, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and Adele. Tickets somehow sell out while the prices are sometimes triple a car payment. Things won’t change if people continue to meet the demand threshold. This all really hit close to home with me though, when Beyonce announced her Formation Tour.
I can’t remember my exact reaction – it was one of those moments where you black out from pure happiness, but I think I spilt my cup of coffee and I remember jumping up and down a lot. I refer to Bey as my spirit animal so a music video release, Super Bowl performance and concert announcement all in a few days was Queen B overload and I loved it.
Then I did something so wrong. Something that would change my outlook on life and all things good and pure…
I googled the pre-sale to purchase two tickets.
I had Stub Hub gift cards from Christmas and knew I’d have to pay a little more than the $100 they amounted too, but I was prepared to sit in the nose-bleeds and pumped about it.
Then I saw the unimaginable:
That’s right. The very last seat of the very last row of the very last section, worlds away from Bey, was more than my rent payment each month. And to be close? Forget about it! Unless you know, you won $2,000 on that scratch-off ticket and don’t have any need for money else where in your life…
Large concerts have become so selective that only fellow celebrities are able to afford them. That’s just wrong, America.
I’m using my right of free speech to say this is nonsense. And quite frankly, I’m super sad that I haven’t been able to go to some pretty stellar concerts because they’re getting grander with every passing year. As technology develops, so does the money and time behind a tour and I appreciate that so much. But honestly, I’d rather be able to afford to see Beyonce singing into a dollar store microphone on a barstool in a burger joint in Atlanta, then pay thousands of dollars for extra lights and fans.
When you care about the talent and the music, nothing else matters. So let’s start out 2016 by simplifying things a bit shall we?
“We gonna be alright!”