5 January 2018 | Live

Are fans getting priced out of the entertainment industry?

As festival prices soar to an all time high, it’s time to prioritise the fan again


Written by Rosie Dodds

Do you remember the price of your first festival ticket? It might have felt like a lot at the time as it would have taken you approximately 26 paper rounds to be able to afford it, but I doubt it was anything like the prices you’re confronted with in 2018.

And what about your parents? If you’ve got an ex-hippy in the family you’ll probably have heard the age-old spiel about how Glastonbury used to be free back in the 70s, and that when Bob Dylan headlined the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969 tickets were only £2.

Last year tickets for Glastonbury were £238 without the booking fee - that’s a price rise of almost £100 in the last 10 years, and what's worse is that Glastonbury isn’t the only festival that can be classified as extortionate. If you want to go to Reading this year it’ll set you back £205 compared to its price of £135 in 2006, and even jolly old Latitude will cost you £197.50 despite only amounting to £95 in its first year.

However, this markup isn’t just limited to festivals. In fact, it seems that any event, artist, or activity that generates a loyal fan base is seemingly being capitalised on to the maximum degree by those in charge of pricing.

"There has been an unmistakable sense of greed emerging from the entertainment industry as of late."

Recently Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has urged Premier League football clubs to lower their ticket prices for fans. And with the cheapest season ticket for a club like Arsenal F.C. currently being sold at £861, as well as more expensive tickets costing anything up to £1768.50, that doesn’t seem like a bad shout.

West End theatres have also seen their fair share of ridiculous prices in recent years. Fancy going to see the Book of Mormon? You should be prepared to fork out as much as £200 if you do. That’s right, the infamous musical comedy was the first show to break the £200 barrier in 2015, a feat that has since encouraged neighbouring shows to hike up their prices in competition. And then there are artists like Taylor Swift, who last year sold tickets for her Reputation tour at the somewhat outrageous price of £80+.

So what happens to fans who simply can’t afford these prices? Are they simply expected to miss out on seeing their favourite artist, or to just stop renewing the season ticket that they’ve been buying since they could walk?

Of course, you’ve got to take inflation into account, but there has also been an unmistakable sense of greed emerging from the entertainment industry as of late. Football tickets and festivals don’t come cheap, but equally, fans shouldn’t be extorted for all their worth.