Too Old for Rock and Roll?

Now that my kids are teens, or nearly so, we suddenly have an interest in going to rock concerts. Yay!

Unfortunately, I'm feeling horrible sticker shock. Despite Pearl Jam's best efforts in the 90s, ticket costs have gotten even more crazy than they were "back in MY day."  *grumble grumble grumble*

To whit, I bought tickets to Green Day for this summer, and in addition to the five hour drive to the middle of fucking nowhere plus the overnight stay that necessitates, I paid $89.95 per ticket plus a $19 PER TICKET "service fee." Dude, my bank prefers it when I use computers to do my transactions! So why am I being charged 20% more for buying online???

Wondering if I'm just that old, I used the math we've been doing in Antonio's algebra class to check whether the price increase is a natural result of inflation. I remember paying $30 for the ticket plus $7 in "service fees" for seeing Pearl Jam in 2000 or 2001. If I remember the price correctly, that would mean that the ticket price and service fee have increased at an average of over 6% per year. For context the CPI has averaged about 2.5% per year since 2000.

But Green Day is my kids' favorite band, and I like them too, and it's a good day at the end of summer, right between the kids' birthdays, so OK. I bit the bullet and bought the tickets.

Then today I got an email saying that the Goo Goo Dolls are playing their nearly-annual summer concert here at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. At least it's a short drive home from SPAC. I tried to see how much tickets cost because I would love to go. Not only are they close to that $89 Green Day price tag—plus "service fees" of course—but they are currently "pre-sale" only. WTF? They're on sale before they're on sale? They are only available to special groups who have paid for the advantage of getting tickets early. I could join the GGD fan club (for $29.95/year plus tax) in order to buy tickets today instead of waiting until they are available to buy tomorrow. (Head still wrapping around that.)

Keep in mind, I'm not talking about going to see some spectacular Beyonce and Katy Perry choreographed dance and multimedia extravaganza. It's just a couple of plain old rock concerts with aging musicians standing around singing and playing guitars and drums. Maybe colored lights and a big screen that's there at the venue anyway.

So it's not just that I'm getting old. We ARE getting screwed on ticket prices and service fees and gimmicks to separate us from ever more cash to see live music.

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