One of my favourite things in the entire world is going to concerts. This started after my mum and dad dragged me along to the Manchester leg of the Up tour by REM (their favourite band ever) and siunce then I’ve developed a addiction to the buzz of a crowd, the chanting, the plastic cups and warm beer and sharing a moment with a person who has the same feels for a song as you do.
Like the lady with her 5 year old daughter at a Westlife concert who was crying at the song Home because her husband and the daughters dad was away from home in the army.
After missing the Taylor Swift pre sale for tickets to her 1989 World Tour I made a promise to myself that I’d be able to bag myself some tickets in the lead up to the show through one means or another. Surely there’d be someone who would decide they couldn’t attend and would let little old me Paypal them some money and I’d be able to Shake It Off IRL and take my at home performances of Taylor’s entire back catalogue to a public arena.
Yes. I’m 28 years old and I love Taylor Swift, I love her, it’s my thing, let it go.
June has fast approached and despite searching for tickets on a daily basis on the likes of Get Me In!, Stub Hub, Viagogo, eBay and even the murky waters of Gumtree, I’ve still not managed to find any tickets that don’t threaten to make my purse weep with anger at the amount of money being charged through ticket tout websites for one ticket.
Want an example?
If I withheld my rent from my landlord and lived on beans for the remainder of this month and the rest of this month I could theorticallygo and see Taylor Swift tonight at the Manchester Arena. SHAKE IT OFF, SHAKE IT OFF.
….for the very reasonable price of £224.20. Not so Shakey.
Add £100 to that figure and you’d have close to my total monthly rent. It’s also 18 copies of the 1989 album. A last minute holiday to Greece. 224 ice lollies. 44 Rimmel lipsticks. 80 trips to Starbucks.
With tickets for the show selling for the price of £61.50 face value minus booking fees, hiking up the prices to almost 4x the original value takes these tickets way out of most peoples budgets. Especially when Taylors primary audience are probably living on pocket money and the graciousness of grandparents for extra spending money.
I earn a full time wage and even I am loathe to pay upwards of £200, no matter how much it pains me. No matter how much shaking it off amongst an army of Swifties would please me.
As someone who has missed out on a number of music events because of freezing websites, mid month release dates (be kind to our pay dates, hey guys?), system down time and sneaky ticket touts who bulk buy tickets with the view to resell at extortionate prices these prices – the prices I’ve been faced with upon every search has made me want to weep into my 1989 album sleeve. In a time when I was a mere music tadpole, I had front row and centre tickets to a concert after much laborious mouse clicking at 9am ON THE DOT and the exchange of various household chores for the use of my mums credit card. Fast forward a few exciteable months and my GCSE dates were released ON THE DATE OF THE CONCERT. There was no way of me getting to the show, so it was regret that I had to list my FRONT ROW CENTER tickets on eBay.
Did I sell them at 4 x face value? No. I wanted them to go to a loving home that would appreciate them and be able to give the same amount as enthusiasm as I would have and leave them change to buy a programme and a tour tshirt, so I sold them at face value PLUS the cost to cover my eBay listing fee (this was the days before 20 free listings a month). Hell, this was even before the days of wifi.
This isn’t an artist issue. So many people are quick to jump to attack the artists for their insane prices for arena tours, but once the tickets are out on the market the likes of Taylor have no control over what the black market chooses to charge per ticket. I’m sure they’d rather you paid a fair price for your ticket and didn’t have to eat beans for a month to afford to see your idols (like that time I paid £120 to see Britney Spear’s “Circus” tour).
If you’re one of the lucky few with hundreds of pounds and baths full of diamonds and are therefore lining the pockets of the money hungry sellers, then I congratulate you on all of your money and I hope the show is worth every single pound.
However, it is regret that my adult commitments (no matter how boring they are) will confine me to an evening in the house listening to the 1989 album and searching for TSwizzle GIFs on Tumblr. Le sigh.