Kiss tickets can cost $300

Kiss tickets can cost $300, by Sunanda Creagh - 4th May 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Concert ticket prices have soared in the past decade, with tour promoters pinning the blame on a weak Australian dollar and higher artist appearance fees.

If tickets to glam rock band Kiss indicate the trend, punters should be worried. A ticket to the band's 1995 appearance at the Sydney Entertainment Centre cost $46.80; a ticket to this month's show at the Hordern Pavilion can cost almost $300.

Promoters also cite the GST and higher production costs as causes of the ticket price explosion.

"For a straightforward arena show you are now looking at something in the region of $70 to $85. They were more in the realm of $50 or $65 about five years ago," said Roger Field, manager of ticketing and sponsorship at tour company Michael Coppel Presents.

"Five years ago you would have paid $25,000 for a decent production set-up. Now it's $50,000 or $60,000," said Michael Chugg, head of the company bringing acts such as Radiohead and The Who to Australia. "Backstage catering used to be $4000; now it's $7000 a show."

Michael Gudinski, head of Frontier Touring and founder of Mushroom Records, said Australian ticket prices had to be compared with American concert costs. "The Australian dollar has significantly gone down and American ticket prices have significantly gone up," he said.

"If the act can make a lot more money in America, then why would they come to Australia?"

Competition between promoters also drove up artist appearance fees, said Mr Gudinski. "It's become so competitive and there are too many promoters who are desperate and offering stupid money. An act can normally walk out of a gig with up to half the gross."

A spokesman for the Australian Consumers Association, Norm Crothers, said there were no controls on concert tickets.

Mr Chugg said fans would pay what promoters asked. "I've probably overpriced one or two acts in the last year. But if they really want to go and see the act, they'll pay anything."


Official websites


Michael Coppel Presents

Michael Chugg Entertainment

Frontier Touring Company




Sydney Entertainment Centre

Hordern Pavilion





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