No, it’s not your imagination. Concert tickets are WAY more expensive this summer.

After a couple of years of being sidelined by the COVID pandemic, the live music industry has roared back to life–and it looks like artists and promoters are looking to make up for lost time money. Have you seen the cost of concert tickets this summer?

The worst seems to be Drake. His OVO Festival is making a return to Toronto. A spot on the lawn at Budweiser Stage (an outdoor amphitheatre for those outside Toronto) is going for $900. And no, I didn’t accidentally add a second zero. NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS and you don’t even get a seat. Nearly a grand for the privilege of sitting in the dirt. If you want to sit on the floor, prepare to pony up at least $2,000.

Those are face value prices, not what scalpers and the secondary market is charging.

Wait. And there’s none left? Jeebus.

This might be an extreme case, but concert ticket prices are up between 17 an 20% all across North America. For many people (cf. Harry Styles tickets that are going for nearly $1,000), it’s coming down to a choice between a concert and an all-inclusive week in the Caribbean this winter.

The Globe and Mail did a little looking about and found that with the Red Hot Chili Peppers are going for $200. GA (i.e. standing) almost $900., Meanwhile, Kendrick Lamar tickets will cost you about $500

If we want to cast our net wider, we see that the average Canadian concert ticket costs $162 USD this year. That’s up from $145 USD in 2019.. But things are still cheaper than in 2019 in the Before Times. Back then, the average ticket cost$198 USD last year.

The combination of high demand and the need to recoup the losses of the last couple years are resulting in some real financial pain.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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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