Want to See the Legends Play in the Desert? Pay Up

The talk of the concert industry is the three-day Desert Trip this October. Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, The Who, Roger Waters and The Rolling Stones, all over the course of three days.

Pretty cool, yes? At first glance, the prices seem slightly north of insane. (All in USD)

  • Single-day general admission: $199
  • Single-day general admission plus shuttle: $225
  • 3-day general admission: $399
  • 3-day general admission plus shuttle: $429
  • 3-day general admission plus food: $898
  • 3-day standing pit: $1,599
  • 3-day reserved floor seats: $699-$1,599
  • 3-day reserved grandstand seats: $999-$1,599
  • Service fee applied to all tickets: $26.91

A lot of money, to be sure. But once you start deconstructing things, this is actually a bargain, given that each of these acts routinely charge $250 a ticket on their own.

Okay, so maybe you can rationalize things that way. But then we have the Ferarri-style list of extras and options.

  • Shuttle access around the festival site: $25
  • Camping: $99
  • VIP parking: $150
  • “Food experience” options: $179-$499 (“The weekend will feature over 30 culinary masterminds including Marcus Samuelsson, Curtis Stone, Scott Conant, Dominique Ansel, Daniel Humm, Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Mina, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michael Voltaggio, Dean Fearing, Dominique Crenn & more.”)
  • RV parking: $950
  • A“fully pitched and ready-to-go tee-pee style tent with 16-foot diameter equipped with two cots”: $1,600
  • Safari tent camping option (“Shakir-style tents,” outdoor lighting, secure fence lines, and snacks): $10,000

And we haven’t even talked about, airfare, transportation to the site ($50 minimum for a bare-bones, bone-jarring van ride from LAX) merch and swag. For example, a festival poster will set you back $75.

That’s a lot of money, of course. Then again, how long will these last-of-a-dying-breed of rock heroes be with us?

Demand has apparently been overwhelming. A second weekend–October 14, 15 and 16–has already been added.




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.

2 thoughts on “Want to See the Legends Play in the Desert? Pay Up

  • May 10, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I tried to get tickets, and then realized that for good seats, hotel and airfare, it was going to be well north of $10,000 Canadian. I’ve decided to buy a hot tub instead.

  • May 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Lets assume that none of these bands are currently performing at their peak, most have no new music to offer, and the chance of you seeing one up close is direct proportion to how many garage bays the country estate you own has…. so most of us, for all that money would be seeing shit. Suckers are born every minute. Try seeing some relevant performers and have twice the fun doing it.


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