A good question: Where does all the money from a concert ticket go?

So you’ve just shelled out $179 on a concert ticket. Ever wonder how that cash gets divvied up? Reader Bobby points us to a site called Celebrity Net Worth (“The Site Future Billionaires Read Everyday”) explains.

“[W]here does the money for that…ticket go? Fans may assume it goes right to the band – but it doesn’t. There are a lot of mouths to feed along the way. There isn’t any one figure that the whole music industry adheres to. It depends on the band, the promoter, the venue, the market budget, local taxes and so on. About 10% of the cost of the ticket is booking fees and processing fees. Sometimes a portion of those fees – last week I paid nearly $100 in fees on two Heart tickets at the Hollywood Bowl – make their way back to the promoter or band.

“Taxes also come out of ticket sales. For the U.S. that’s about 5% but in some European countries it can be as high as 35%. A small percentage of the ticket cost goes to paying songwriters and to public performance royalties. According to Ascap, royalties are dependent on the size of the venue but range from 0.8% for smaller venues to as low as 0.1% for venues that seat more than 25,000.

“At this point, about 84% of the gross ticket cost is left. That’s basically divided up between the band and their promoter – though there are still a lot more things to be paid for. These are called Fixed Expenses and include venue hire, stage hands, venue staff, electricians, power, scaffolding, barriers, security, catering, liability insurance, furniture for backstage, forklifts, rigging, medical staff and transport.

“That leaves us with somewhere between 50% and 70% of the gross.”

Read on.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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