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Jagger comments on Stones ticket pricing

By | Published on Tuesday 13 November 2012

The Rolling Stones

Mick Jagger has addressed complaints that ticket prices for The Rolling Stones’ upcoming 50th anniversary shows in London and New Jersey are too high in an interview with Billboard. According to the singer it’s fine for standing tickets bought direct from the promoter to cost £375 because if people sell them on the secondary ticketing market they’ll do so for a profit.

Yeah, I’m struggling to work out the exact logic of that, but maybe a quote from Mick will clarify. “I don’t think there should be a secondary ticket market”, he began. “I don’t think it should be legal”.

Now, you might say that’s a strange thing to say in response to the question, “There’s been controversy about your ticket pricing for the London and New Jersey shows. What’s your take on that?”, but that’s not all Jagger said, so let’s just allow him to continue, shall we?

“To my mind, there has to be a better way of doing it, but we’re living, really, with the way the system functions. We can’t, in four shows, change the whole ticketing system”.

Yes Mick, but why are the cheapest tickets £95? “You might say, ‘The tickets are too expensive’ – well, it’s a very expensive show to put on, just to do four shows, because normally you do a hundred shows and you’d have the same expenses”.

Ah, so it’s a matter of costs, I see. Why didn’t you just say that in the first place instead of banging on about secondary ticketing? Glad we cleared it all up. Oh, what’s that, you’re not finished?

“So, yes, it’s expensive. But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we’ve sold them for, so you can see the market is there. We don’t participate in the profit. If a ticket costs 250 quid, let’s imagine, and goes for 1000 quid, I just want to point out that we don’t get that difference”.

Oh right, I see. What Mick’s saying is that if people are willing to pay over the odds for tickets to a show, then they might as well do so at a point where the band actually earn some of that extra cash for themselves, rather than it going to a tout. There’s a logic to that. Of course, it’s a logic that only really works if you assume that the majority of tickets are resold for a profit after their primary sale, and that Rolling Stones fans are all have limitless amounts of money to spend on entertainment.

Basically what he’s saying is that if you’re on a moderate to low income, he doesn’t want to see you at his show. Not unless you’re so desperate to see The Rolling Stones play that you’ve saved up especially to be able to do so. And, as we’ve noted before, it’s that sort of attitude to ticket prices by top level artists which ensures that people go to fewer live music events and ultimately damages the industry as a whole. Well done, Mick.