What’s My Price Again?

Our wallets deserve better than this

Jayde Atchison (she/her) // Opinions & Columns Editor
Laura Morales // Illustrator

I did everything I was supposed to – I signed up for the pre-sale notifications and requested to have access to the concert purchases the moment the option was offered. I was ready to live out all of Taylor’s eras, dance, cry and see Miss Swift for the third time – wherever I could snag a seat. I was prepared to fly across the continent if that’s what it took (having flight perks from work was an incentive to make this bold decision). However, when the day rolled around, I didn’t even get to participate in the anxiety-ridden activity of attempting to get a spot at The Eras Tour. 

Even if I had the chance, and by some miracle it brought me to the holy grail for Swifties in 2022 – there is no way on God’s green earth I was willing (or able) to shell out the price of my rent on one ticket. The last time I took a peek at what it might look like to drive down to Seattle and see Taylor shake it off ranged from $855 to $21,753. When did going to a pop concert become an outing for the exclusively elite? I am all for spending money on memories, but if I am forking out nearly $1000, I am not settling for nose-bleed seats that are practically behind the stage. For that amount, I would hope I am close enough to see the performers pores and maybe a piece of merch. 

I understand that rent in big arenas costs a pretty penny, and the headliners, openers, dancers, backup vocalists, stage handlers and all the other people working the show need to get paid for their job (along with the stadium employees themselves), but for someone with the wealth and comfort of Taylor Swift, you would like to believe that her and her team would make this a more accessible experience for all her fans. Seeing shows like The Eras Tour and Blink-182’s World Tour make me want to cry into my 75 cent ramen noodles. I understand the idea of dynamic pricing, and that the demand to see artists will drive the prices up, but it makes me doubt if I’ll ever be able to afford a stadium concert without first selling my kidney on the black market. 

Even if I had been one of Willy Wonka’s few special people to gain access to the Ticketmastergate ‘22, I don’t want to kid myself with the idea that I could have snagged one of the low end nose-bleeds that was included in the $49-$499 estimate that was speculated. I would have been comfortable spending something in the middle, knowing that I would amass more prices with accommodations, flights, food, and the inevitable t-shirt or mug I would have bought — because I am nothing if not a sucker for concert merch. 

Is this all just one big rant saying exposing me for my jealousy of Taylor’s favourite children? Yes. However, it is also an airing of frustrations for the corruption I am seeing in the Ticketmaster world. The fans broke the internet and the company went “ah shucks that sucks, well, no more tickets for you poor folks” and moved on with their life with no visible repercussions. Ticketmaster has such a chokehold on live performances that there is no way around it. Gone are the days of lining up at a ticketmaster booth the morning of a concert sale, and happily buying whatever tickets were either cheapest or available. 

Online sales have taken the fun out of seeing your favourite artists live. Ticket resellers, buskers, and people mass buying tickets in hopes of gaining a profit based on demand have changed the scene for music lovers around the world. Until I win the next pre-sale lottery, or the actual lottery – I will admit defeat, embrace my FOMO and watch the story highlights and youtube clips of Taylor’s shows from the comfort of my couch. 

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