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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Comment of the Moment: The High Price of Neil

We are growing weary of this thread on Neil ticket prices. But we'll try and make this the last word on the subject, although no promises. Thrasher has taken a bit of bashing here on defending Neil's position on charging high prices for seats. It's just an opinion of one fan, fwiw.

So here's another Comment of the Moment on The Price of Neil: When Art and Commerce Collide from Rob in Beantown:
I just scored seats for the 2nd night in Boston. Pretty good seats in row MM. And I'm glad to get them because it was pretty tough even through the pre-sale site.

IMHO, it would seem that the tickets are priced about right from a market demand standpoint. If the tickets had been priced far lower the shows would being selling out in hours or close to day of. If they had been priced higher than they would not be adding venues and selling out.

Outside of hard core fans and scalpers I'm not sure how well known this tour is. Once the album is released, things will probably go more mainstream and folks will go "Oh, he's on tour" and try and get tickets.

I would not be surprised that day of the show, tickets won't be available on the street except for extortion prices.

Let's face it. The ticket scalpers are the cause of this whole problem. Not Neil. I'm sure Neil would love nothing more than his tickets to go in the hands of loyal fans at reasonable prices. But nobody's really been able to come up with a system to beat the scalpers.

And Neil's having his cake and eating it to with the ticketmaster auctions. VIP seats are being bid way up. That's probably the best indicator of true value. What's up on ebay and Stubhub aren't probably realistic. Folks just trying to make a fortune.

Can't wait for the show!

I would take issue with the comment that no one has come up with a way to beat the system.

We saw Neil with Pearl Jam at the Voters for Choice show in DC in 95 (which btw, absolutely rocked) and tickets were virtually impossible to get. You had to mail in a postcard and have your name randomly drawn. If selected you were called 3 days before the show and given a confirmation #. You had to go to the box office day of the show to buy your tickets. You had to present a driver's license that matched the postcard name and the confirmation #. When we got to the box office the line was a block long and it took several hours as I recall. Was it a pain? Yes, but it seemed to work in keeping tickets out of the hands of scalpers.

The will call only system does have its complications and probably is too much trouble for artists and venues to bother with. But it does seem to work. I'm sure if someone else has a brilliant idea, they'll drop a comment. And as always, let's try and be civil and polite.


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22 Comments:

At 10/02/2007 05:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priced right?!!?

What f'g tax bracket are you in?

 
At 10/02/2007 07:02:00 PM, Blogger raging said...

Though the Ticketmaster monopoly is crap, I would bet that the phone in/wilcall thing was an orginizational nightmare. They had to staff it and be liable for it which I'm sure cost them way more than they were expecting.

I am far from rich, but who am I to question Neil on what he thinks his show is worth?

Art and commerce, it's fucked up. Even more fucked up is artists are continually made to feel guilty about asking for money. So, whatever, he's got money, does that mean he should stop charging for a performance or cut prices in half "to give it back to the people"...?

How many benefits has he done?

I am buying a ticket to a performance from an amazing songwriter, legendary if you will. Its an event, and it doesn't happen all the time. I also know its not going to suck. I am going to walk out of there having had a great experience. It's just worth it.

 
At 10/03/2007 12:29:00 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Fans have no right to complain about ticket prices on this tour. People act like its their G-d given right to see Neil without paying the going price for a SMALL venue. The guy has been touring almost non-stop for over 30 years and any serious fan has been given hundreds of opportunities over the years to see him for much less money. In '89 I saw him at Darien Lake for something like $12 and in '97 I saw him at the Catalyst (Hippie Dream Tour) in Santa Cruz and tickets were less than $20.

Seeing Neil in a small venue is a huge opportunity. Nobody is being forced to pay the going prices, although I'd say $60 for general admission seats in NYC is not outrageous at all. If you want better seats, save up the money and splurge. If its too expensive just don't go. He's likely to tour again next year, probably in a bigger venue and the prices will likely be lower.

If you do the math you'll see that Neil could have made far more money by playing in bigger venues like Madison Square Garden even at significantly reduced ticket prices.

At the end of the day, this is his job and he deserves to get paid for his efforts. Since he happens to be one of the world's best acts he gets paid well. How many of us, if we were in his shoes, would play at small venues and charge $25 per ticket? I bet most would do like the Stones and play stadiums at $100 per ticket. And I'd bet that after deducting the few thousand dollars of cost of fireworks those stadium shows reap mutiples more profit than these small arenas.

 
At 10/03/2007 06:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's something to compare NY at Massey Hall $85 - $185 3 shows sold out in a blink of eye.
Paul Anka Massey Hall $82 - 135 1 show tickets still available. it all comes down to supply and demand. If you really want your pockets picked try taking your 10 year old daughter to a Hillary Duff concert.

 
At 10/03/2007 08:36:00 AM, Anonymous Eggs Hamlet said...

I remember the lottery thingy, too. What a pain.

I still don't understand the point of the open letter. I missed Neil at the Ryman a few years back. He was performing on my husband's birthday. Nice present, huh? The only problem is that I couldn't get tickets.

I wasn't gonna let it happen again so I got seats for CDsII tour up front paying just above the presale price through the auction. Unfortunately, the people in my row will be paying a helluva lot more.

It is a choice to pay or not to pay. To go or not to go.

 
At 10/03/2007 05:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend pays $150 to sit in the MCI center and watch one Wizards game - that the F#$KING Wizards! How much is THAT worth? One of 41 home games? Football/Hockey games are just as bad... I'm paying $157 to see Neil at Constitution Hall - Row L - and I get a CD, not too bad, I figure - I'm sure he'll be better than the Wizards!

 
At 10/03/2007 05:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's been confirmed - Pegi will perform topless.

 
At 10/04/2007 08:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently bought pre-sale tickets for the first time. I see that according to the e mail I recieved that tickets wont be sent until 10 business days before the show. Is this standard practice ? Do they ever send out tickets earlier ? I dont dig the idea that I put $ 400 on my credit card and the seller of the purchased items doesnt send the goods for 2 months ! In any other business, if there is a delay in shipping a charged item, the card isnt charged until the item is shipped. Any chance they will send out tickets earlier ? I'd just like to have my tickets in advance and not worry about it when it gets close to show time !

 
At 10/04/2007 10:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Crosby and Nash are charging $ 35-52 for tickets ! Now figure that they are still making $$$ and splitting the profit 50-50(crosby-nash)....... so after reading all the excuses, justifications for Neils ticket prices of $ 157, $ 186, $ 250 etc, I think it doesnt take much brains to realize that Neil isnt charging $ 186 because of travel expenses, lack of sponsor,paying the band etc etc .
If Crosby and Nash, who I understand arent in the same league as Neil, can turn a profit with $ 40-50 tix, then it is clear that Neil is just trying to make as much $$$ on us as he can.
Many will say there's nothing wrong with that, and possibly you;re 100% correct...BUT stop making silly bullshit excuses trying to say it aint Neils fault.
IT IS ONLY NEILS FAULT BECAUSE IT IS HIS DESIRE TO SUCK AS MUCH MONEY AS HE CAN FROM THE FANS.BOTTOM LINE.REALITY.
Dont tell me all this horseshit about the band and manager and lawyers etc.Stop making excuses for the guy , as many of you are trying to say Neil isnt trying to sqeueeze as much $ as possible from the fans, as if he's making
minimal from the shows.BE HONEST.
Some of you would make excuses if tickets were $ 1000 and say its Neils expenses, not Neil looking to get richer.
The man is rich and trying to get richer.That's reality.Whether you think thats ok or not is a different argument, but first you all must accept reality ! Neil is charging $ 157, $ 186 and more because he wants to get richer and make as much $ as possible.Period !

 
At 10/04/2007 11:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marines were on their way home from Kuwait to Hawaii when they stopped at the Oakland Airport for a layover. But the Oakland International Airport said that military personnel were not allowed in the airport terminal. The Marines were forced to deplane 400 yards away from the terminal. This was not because of security reasons as the Marines were already allowed to deplane at airports in Germany and New York.

The airport has now apologized to the troops.

Can you believe how the San Francisco Bay area is treating our men and women in uniform? Here's just a partial list.

Permission to dock the Battleship Iowa in San Francisco as a floating museum to our Navy and the role of the Iowa in World War II ... DENIED.

Permission for the Navy's Blue Angels to participate in an air show over San Francisco Bay ... OPPOSED

Permission for the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon to film a recruitment commercial on California Street in San Francisco ... DENIED.

And now this debacle at the Oakland Airport?

 
At 10/04/2007 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares !!!

And what the hell does this have to do with Neil Young ?

Bush continues to misuse our military and give us a bad rep around the world. So I'm glad to hear the military is getting the message that's it's not always welcome. This aint WW2. This Iraq stuff is total bullshit, so that's what you get.

 
At 10/04/2007 01:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK So we all now agree - Neil is just a giant scum sucking money grubbing hypocrite whose songs are now officially meaningless because he is charging market rates for this tour. Whew - now that I have come to grips with that I know that on November 5th I will be watching my 33rd Neil show sitting next to my 9 year old daughter seeing her 1st Neil show. After I dig through the shroud of hypocrisy and meaningless nature of these songs - I will be moved to tears numerous times and my daughter (poor girl) who has a life that has been a Neil soundtrack will be able to see a wonderful show and see what a consumate professional does on stage. I would have gladly paid double to see that show with my daughter. Quite frankly - I think the price tag and the venue will make my daughters experience a fantastic one.

Compare Neil to whomever you choose - this is a fair price for a sensational show. God Bless the genius that is Bob Dylan - does anyone want to compare Neils voice compared to Bob? Love Graham and David - if they are charging 50 then Neil should charge 300.

If I am making Neil an even richer man then I am cool with that. I am pretty sure he is not spending the money on likker and whores.

 
At 10/04/2007 01:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just coke and pot :)

 
At 10/04/2007 01:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and Bobs only charging about $ 60 !

 
At 10/04/2007 01:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think like Neil should like just play free shows in each town and he could like film the shows and sell the video for like 58 cents or somthing like that. And then he could like pay our parking tickets and fines for camping in public parks while I bang my old lady in my filthy sleeping bag. Yunnow since Neil is worth like sixty one million dollars he could like give us free food and stuff like that. Yunnow he could also like have a talk with all of us and then he could understand like where we are coming from and then he could totally like impromtu work our real life stories into Ordinary People and like make up 50 new verses to the song like "scumbags who spend other peoples money people" and "I will tell other people who have power what the fuck they should do kinda people" and then Neil could put us all up in a motel 6 so we could take a shower and stuff like that. Cmon Neil that would be like cool.

 
At 10/04/2007 02:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

....... and don't forget.... he needs to give us an ounce of pot too.Sure he grows it on the ranch !

 
At 10/04/2007 04:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe after Neil is done with everybody who buys tickets to his shows, he will bend over and give them a turn. I have been a big Neil fan since the 80's and have seen him a handful of times, but I'd NEVER pay 68 bucks for the cheap seats. Market? Blow it our your A$$!!!

 
At 10/05/2007 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Freewheel said...

Just pay the dollers and see the best show of your Life. I did in Redrocks in 2000. When is he coming to Ireland?

 
At 10/07/2007 09:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday I got two good seats in a small Boston hall for approx. $200

I was thrilled with them

A pal paid $400 to see the Stones on a football field two years ago

Given what I know N.Y. will do -- how hard he will work -- and how great the show will be, it seemed fine.

There was no need to pay an extra premium

Maybe the whole discussion is overblown

 
At 10/11/2007 03:30:00 PM, Anonymous FANS FROM ONTARIO said...

NEIL'S CONCERT IS ALWAYS WORTH FOR THE HIGH PRICE, BECAUSE RUST NEVER SLEEPS.

 
At 10/14/2007 08:28:00 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

To the writer who has been to 33 of Neil's performances.
And to other fans of Neil Young..
Where do you see him? When do you see him? I am stuck in Florida and get on every list that I can think of so I can see him, yet have no luck.
I was just way ( so much nicer way to say g'd and f/u'd) lucky to find out he was hitting the road in time to get tickets in Chicago.

So help me out my fellow fans...(non fans...not necessary to give your input) please share this info so that one day, I will be able to say I've been to 3 or 5 or more...as it is now, I have only one I can boast of and one that I will be at in November.

Help!!!!!

 
At 9/23/2008 06:19:00 AM, Anonymous Shakey said...

Wow! Niel has stirred up hornet nests in the past because of his political point of view, but never over ticket prices. Who knows, maybe he's paying off the medical bills from his brain surgery, I'm sure they didn't give him a discount to save his life. Or just maybe they had him sign a few autographs and that should suffice.
How about we celebrate the fact that we can bitch about the price of admission instead of the price of Niel's commemorative release because his surgery wasn't successful.
This will be only the second chance in my life to be able to see Niel in concert, and I've been a fan of his since the age of 10 and I'm 46 now. This will also be the last chance I get to see my musical hero, the man who's music gave me the will to learn to play guitar, and show my 10 nieces and nephews what real music was during thier formative teenage years, or playing Niel tunes through headphones placed on my wifes pregnant belly for our two kids.
I'm am being taken to this concert by two of my nieces, a 3 hr drive from Saskatoon to Regina, because I'm legally blind and crippled up from a rare decease called Devics Syndrome, not because they feel sorry for me, but because they know how important this concert means to me.
Next time he comes around I won't be able to go see my hero. If his music means as much to you, as it does to me, you'll find the money and you know the concert will be worth every penny. If his music doesn't mean that much to you, don't go, it's that simple. I don't want you there anyway, I want to be there with all the other Niel fans who are there who love the man's music and are going for a good time.
Very little in todays world that's worth anything isn't free.

 

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