I’m sure we’re all feeling pretty crappy right about now with this recession looming over our heads. Here at the office, we’re being charged $.30 for every square of toilet paper we use and we’re stealing wireless internet from Starbucks, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do to make ends meet, AMIRIGHT?
Considering half the population is in fear of losing their houses, the last thing most people can afford are the outrageous ticket prices for some of the bigger tours and festivals coming around. Last year, Coachella was over $300 and that’s not including the water, food and drug costs, all which were severely overpriced. Ticket outlets are now taking a hint from the big box department stores, allowing buyers schedule a series of payments on tickets while charging a slight processing fee (example: for Bonnaroo, they raised the price $10). I think it’s a brilliant idea, because living slightly above paycheck to paycheck is a bitch enough without throwing a pair of $250 tickets on a credit card with hiked up interest rates.
The economy was just beginning its downward spiral last year, so rather than a direct response to the recession, layaway was “simply an acknowledgement that many of our fans are in college, maybe on a tight budget, and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to purchase tickets without having to absorb the ticket price in one lump sum,” said Ashley Capps, president of A.C. Entertainment, which co-produces Bonnaroo with Superfly Presents.
Noting that event producers were “pleasantly surprised” at the response, Capps guessed that layaway still accounted for less than 5 percent of total sales in 2007.
After offering a layaway option during this year’s Stagecoach festival, co-producer Goldenvoice has decided to use the strategy for its flagship festival, Coachella, as well, according to Goldenvoice president Paul Tollett. “About 22 percent of the Stagecoach tickets and RV camping passes were bought on layaway.”
The big questions here are: “Will the fans pickup on this new purchasing option?”, and more importantly, “Is the music industry finally willing to adapt and work with the consumers for the greater good for both parties?”. I honestly think that the industry giants are too bloated for their own good, and will continue to drown until they completely reform their business models to a format that involves nurturing artists and avoiding going with the ‘flavor of the year’ acts. Hell, what do I know… I’m just an asshole behind a computer.