It’s a disaster.
And it’s hiding in plain sight. All you’ve got to do is go to their site and see what’s available, your jaw will drop.
Enthralled with the ancient British rockers, the mainstream press has completely dropped the ball on this story. So busy reporting last weekend’s club gig, the sycophantic reporters refuse to do any…reporting. To see that the bottom just dropped out of the Stones business.
Yes, go to Rolling Stones
And click to “Get Tickets.”
Then pull up May 3rd’s gig at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, America’s number two market, home to more poseurs than anywhere but the Cote d’Azur.
First you’ll be stunned how seamlessly AXS works. We’ve been told for eons that Ticketmaster is an unbeatable champion. But AXS is faster, easier and just an all-around better experience.
So pick the May 3rd gig. If you can’t navigate to this page, stop reading this now, you’re too ignorant to get the points I’m going to be making anyway.
Select 2 seats. Don’t allow for splits. There are frequently single seats available in good sections for the most desirable gigs.
Select “Best seat at any price level.”
Then click on “Find Tickets.”
You can sit right down front!
But it gets better!
You can still get 8 seats together in desirable sections!
Sales are horrific.
It’s even worse for the May 20th gig. You can still get 8 seats together right down front!
How did this happen?
Let me tell you how this works. AEG pays the Stones whether they sell out or they don’t, whether anybody shows up or the hall is empty.
This is a far cry from the way business was done in the years the Stones became the “World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band.”
Used to be there was a guarantee, and then a split after break even.
But then Michael Cohl revolutionized the business.
And then Bob Sillerman rolled up the promoters and the acts had a field day, raping big time promoters for huge guarantees.
And the small shows got squeezed out, only the big ones counted in the mind of the public. And the Internet burgeoned. And suddenly, scalping became rampant. Even via the eBay company StubHub, never mind by individuals speculating.
And the game was rigged. There were so many pre-sales and holdbacks that demand seemed to outstrip supply in all cases. So resale prices went through the roof!
And until 2008, everybody was loaded with cash, the rich still are, they want to go to the show not to see it, but to say they were there.
And Mick Jagger is pissed these people have more money than he does. He wants to fly private and vacation without the hoi polloi, so he needs to rip you off, he needs to get all that money!
That’s what the inflated ticket prices are all about. Making sure scalpers don’t get the markup.
But this time around, prices are so damn high the public is balking, which surprises even me, because this truly looks like the last tour. But what we’ve learned here is the mania surrounding recent Stones shows has been created by the press, there’s just not that much demand, people cared more about Miley Cyrus and Beanie Babies. Yes, parents care more about their kids than decrepit rockers.
The initial shows last fall did well. Because of the mainstream press around the marketing angle of fifty years…
But just like the Cream comeback was an event in London and a dud in New York City, the bloom is off the rose, there’s no story, people just don’t care.
Do they care for $100?
A lot more.
Then again, the Stones have been doing weak business for eons. You could always get a ticket.
So where does this leave us?
In the land of Kid Rock. Where everybody scales back, where we have a reset, where even the execs take less.
Because what once was is no longer.
The Stones have jumped the shark.
And that means most of the other classic rock acts have too.
Furthermore, if you think the Stones are phenomenal in concert, you haven’t seen them, or are used to the Grateful Dead. They lock on occasionally, otherwise, it’s rough.
So if you’re against paperless ticketing, you’re a weasel. That’s what delivered $600 tickets, fear that the scalpers would take too much of the profit.
And if you’re against airline style variable pricing, you’re part of the problem too. Because if we had such a system, AEG could lower the price and sell out. But now they can’t.
Oh, they’ll find some way to fill the hall. The biggest stars paper, from Springsteen to Kenny Chesney.
And a loss is in the offing, unless the Stones give back.
But they won’t.
But maybe they will. Dainty dropped out because he couldn’t come up with the money. Maybe if AEG does a great job they’ll get a better, profitable deal in the rest of the world.
Yes, at some point, everybody drops out. The deal becomes too expensive. Not only for the promoters, but the public.
But this is what income inequality has wrought. Acts pissed that record sales have dropped have raised ticket prices so high the public has now cried UNCLE!
Visit the archive
If you would like to subscribe to the LefsetzLetter
Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.