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Thread started 07/03/07 5:39pm

jseven

L.A. Times Invades The Org!

Http://www.thebumpsquad.com
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http://www.latimes.com/en...ness-enter

Concert ticket prices amp up

The average cost climbed to $61.58 last year, but maybe you'd like to shell out $15,000 for a five-event series.
By Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff Writer
July 3, 2007



Graphic
Ticket inflation
click to enlarge
Tony Harris first saw Prince in 1988 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. He sat in the nosebleed section, surrounded by thousands of screaming fans. He can't remember how much he paid for the ticket, but it wasn't more than 30 bucks.

His last Prince show was on a recent night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where he paid 10 times that for a standing-room-only ticket to an intimate show that kept Prince jamming nearly until the sun came up. If he had actually wanted a seat, that would have set him back $3,121 a pair — priced in homage to the artist's recent album, "3121."

"I can't think of a worse cause than the Prince wallet fund," said Harris, 34, a Hollywood Hills resident. "But I have to say, it was worth it, the experience of it, the after-show with the jazz. It was something that, you want to say, money can't buy."

Then, he added: "But I guess it did."

Not many people can afford the price Harris paid. And that could be enough to alienate fans and consign Prince to a pop has-been.

But Prince still has the cachet that can pack them in, whether at a small hotel lounge or Staples Center. The Hollywood Roosevelt concert, however, shows how artists are searching for ways to offset lagging album sales as more fans turn to the Internet for their music. In addition, artists such as Prince are increasing their revenue by dealing more with corporate sponsors and using other marketing tricks to draw mainstream audiences.

Prince, who performed last year on American Idol, has teamed up with Verizon Wireless to promote its new V Cast phones, which enable customers to download songs and videos including his new single, "Guitar." Verizon is sponsoring his seven-night concert-and-dinner shows at the Hollywood Roosevelt, which accommodates only 200 people. The intimate performances have generated a great deal of buzz from pop critics and in the blogosphere.

"In the past, artists have been more sensitive to not wanting to be perceived as charging high ticket prices," said Don Passman, a Los Angeles attorney and author of "All You Need to Know About the Music Business."

"The stigma on that has changed."

The average concert ticket price climbed to $61.58 last year from $25.81 in 1996. Tickets are generally priced based on the acts — and the demographics of their fans. The Cheetah Girls, for example, sold their tickets for an average of $35; Fallout Boy, $27. Seeing Barbra Streisand cost an average of $298.

"We're kind of playing in an unknown area," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert trade publication Pollstar. "Who knows how many people really can afford $1,500 or $3,000 for tickets to see anybody? That's going to be a very small market."

This summer, folks willing to pony up $15,000 for a ticket can see Prince, Billy Joel, Tom Petty, James Taylor and Dave Matthews in a five-concert, 1,000-seat series in the Hamptons in New York. Guests will dine on food prepared by what organizers call "celebrated chefs," peruse art exhibits and be entertained before the concert by illusionist and stuntman David Blaine. And they promise no long waits for the bathroom.

"Our clients told us over and over that they wanted to see the big names perform but didn't want the hassle that came along with attending a concert in a big stadium," said Joe Meli, chief executive of Bulldog Entertainment, the "Hampton Social" promoter.

"We believe our ticket price is in line with what ticket-reselling websites such as StubHub already get for high-profile events."

Even with high ticket prices at a limited-seating venue, it's not about the cash, Bongiovanni said. "If [Prince] wanted to make money, he'd be playing at Staples."

Neither the Hollywood Roosevelt nor Bulldog Entertainment are disclosing financial terms of the deals, including how much the artists are getting paid. Hotelier Jason Pomeranc, whose Thompson Hotels operates the Hollywood Roosevelt, said that although the deal was profitable, it was also about the intangibles.

"It was to create a special event and to send a really nice branding message for Prince's album, for the hotel and for Verizon," Pomeranc said.

The price and exclusivity are sparking a debate among Prince's most avid fans over how much is too much to charge.

"Let's hope his next album isn't called 987.654," quipped one fan on the message boards at prince.org. Another said: "This is really sad…. I mean doesn't Prince know that a lot of his hard-core longtime fans are now between 35-45? … We have house payments, kids, car payments, etc."

Others, though, including the Los Angeles man who runs Prince's Southern California fan club and prefers to be called "J7," defended Prince and said it all balances out in the end.





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Graphic
Ticket inflation
click to enlarge
"The blue-collar people know that Prince will perform for them," he said, noting that Prince played a free concert in Los Angeles last year when he released "3121."

"Prince is very loyal to his fans, but we're in an industry where he has to make money."


During the Musicology tour in 2004, he handed out albums to concertgoers — included in the ticket price — driving up sales numbers. This summer, he has teamed with Verizon Wireless to give away free downloads of "Guitar" to anyone with a V Cast-enabled Verizon phone.

And when he plays in Britain this summer, tickets will cost 31.21 pounds, or about $63. His most expensive ticket when he plays Saturday in Minneapolis is $131.20.

Harris felt conflicted about shelling out $312.10 to stand at the Hollywood Roosevelt concert.

"It really feels greedy of him, but the thing is, he understands his value," Harris said. "He knows he can charge this amount and give something special to people who kind of like feeling special — especially in Los Angeles…. Artists have to get more creative."

And Prince is adept at reinvention. Over the years, he has ditched his name and label and used alternative ways to promote himself and his music.

Being charged a little extra every so often doesn't bother Veda Adams, who happily handed over her $3,121 to celebrate her 40th birthday last weekend.

"It was pretty pricey," Adams said. "But every once in a while is nice. We were with the stars and all that — right there behind P. Diddy and Suge Knight…. I was right by the stairs and one of his fingers [gestured], 'Come on up.' So I went on up. I was shoulder to shoulder, shaking my tambourine. I touched his guitar myself. It was the ultimate Prince experience…. Money wasn't an object."


-----
kimi.yoshino@latimes.com

---

(INFOBOX BELOW)

[please see microfilm for full chart information]

Ticket inflation

Average price in 2006 for selected concerts

Barbra Streisand: $298

Madonna: $184

The Rolling Stones: $137

Elton John: $125

Bon Jovi: $75

Dave Matthews Band: $46

Black Eyed Peas: $40

--

Source: Pollstar
[Edited 7/4/07 0:20am]
Silence Speaks A Thousand Words.
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Reply #1 posted 07/03/07 7:17pm

CJBabyDaddy

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If the LA Times had any journalistic standards and Pulitzer Prize ambitions, they'd send out a team of investigative reporters and do an expośe on this alleged J7 character!

Inquring minds wanna know. hmm
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Reply #2 posted 07/03/07 8:34pm

littlemissG

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Great article J7!
U did the org proud!
No More Haters on the Internet.
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Reply #3 posted 07/03/07 10:36pm

statuesqque

WOW, way to go org woot!
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Reply #4 posted 07/03/07 11:55pm

sj1600

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cool
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Reply #5 posted 07/04/07 12:55am

anon

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This one turned out good. Still, is there anything sacred anymore!? Are we gonna have to start speaking in code around here?
Why do you like playing around with my narrow scope of reality? - Stupify
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Reply #6 posted 07/04/07 3:40am

KoolEaze

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I find it a bit unfair that they treat his 3121 shows like regular concerts.
We all know that Prince also does much cheaper shows and that the 3121 shows are in a totally different ( and more excluisive ) price category ( not that the shows are necessarily better, though...just more expensive).
The Stones, Madonna and countless other big artists constantly charge huge money for their shows and would never play for 250 bucks a week ( Xenophobia Celebration 2002 ) or play for 7 $ ( like in the mid 90´s at Paisley Park , regularly ) or for 31 pounds ( London 2007).
" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #7 posted 07/04/07 4:11am

metalorange

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KoolEaze said:

I find it a bit unfair that they treat his 3121 shows like regular concerts.
We all know that Prince also does much cheaper shows and that the 3121 shows are in a totally different ( and more excluisive ) price category ( not that the shows are necessarily better, though...just more expensive).
The Stones, Madonna and countless other big artists constantly charge huge money for their shows and would never play for 250 bucks a week ( Xenophobia Celebration 2002 ) or play for 7 $ ( like in the mid 90´s at Paisley Park , regularly ) or for 31 pounds ( London 2007).


Exactly. These are exclusive shows in tiny venues, not big concerts meant for mass consumption, so it is ridiculous to compare to other artists doing stadium concerts. Any of those other artists would most likely charge similar prices if they ever did small intimate gigs. When it is a regular concert, Prince actually charges far less than most, as shown by the price of the O2 London concerts.
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Reply #8 posted 07/04/07 5:09am

actionthisday

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anon said:

This one turned out good. Still, is there anything sacred anymore!? Are we gonna have to start speaking in code around here?


I think we can speak in just emoticons and everyone would understand eye fallinluv fro music
'A pillow covered in all our tears'
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Reply #9 posted 07/04/07 5:14am

dealodelandron

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"The blue-collar people know that Prince will perform for them," he said, noting that Prince played a free concert in Los Angeles last year when he released "3121."

"Prince is very loyal to his fans, but we're in an industry where he has to make money."


Very well said, imo.

"It really feels greedy of him, but the thing is, he understands his value," Harris said. "He knows he can charge this amount and give something special to people who kind of like feeling special — especially in Los Angeles…. Artists have to get more creative."

Kind of a ridiculous statement for him to make. Its not a tour. Why is it that folks feel that they are entitled to go to every show Prince puts on? I understand the excitement of hearing about an upcoming show, and of course disappointment if attendance isn't convenient. But its not all that serious. P is addicted to performing as you all know. You'll get your chance soon enough. Artists have been participating in special and/or exclusive engagements for years.
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Reply #10 posted 07/04/07 8:02am

jseven

In must say, I adv the Times reporter that I run the "unofficial" Southern California Prince connection, and I said unofficial because all Prince sites outside of 3121.com r unofficial.

No 1 cracked on me 2 say that. I am just restating that as I always represent myself and the bump Squad that way.
Silence Speaks A Thousand Words.
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Reply #11 posted 07/04/07 8:12am

jseven

as 4 defending Prince, I did and will. He owes me nothing. I have nothing but love and respect 4 him and his music. I have his back regardless.


I have never shared the stage with him or nothing. I have respect 4 him like others on here have.

Perhaps not on the same musical level but what his music and what he brings 2 the table, has hade a huge effect on my life. My ear is trained better 2 notice things in music I perhaps would not have known or heard if not 4 xperiencing his music and 4 that, I will always be eternaly grateful and appreciative, 4 the music, 4 the words, and 4 what he brings 2 the table.

Just had 2 say that. I am done.
Silence Speaks A Thousand Words.
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Reply #12 posted 07/04/07 8:51am

pennylover

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jseven said:

as 4 defending Prince, I did and will. He owes me nothing. I have nothing but love and respect 4 him and his music. I have his back regardless.


I have never shared the stage with him or nothing. I have respect 4 him like others on here have.

Perhaps not on the same musical level but what his music and what he brings 2 the table, has hade a huge effect on my life. My ear is trained better 2 notice things in music I perhaps would not have known or heard if not 4 xperiencing his music and 4 that, I will always be eternaly grateful and appreciative, 4 the music, 4 the words, and 4 what he brings 2 the table.

Just had 2 say that. I am done.

I feel where you're coming from J7. I like your style and keep up the good work. Like Prince say, u have 2 b willing 2 do the work and you r doing a great job. Keep representing the Purple One thumbs up!
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Reply #13 posted 07/04/07 8:58am

luv4u

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moderator

Thanks for the article smile
Edmonton, AB - canada
Mod Goddess of the SNIP & BAN Making Moves - OF4S
Ohh purple joy oh purple bliss oh purple rapture!
REAL MUSIC by REAL MUSICIANS - Prince
"I kind of wish there was a reason for Prince to make the site crash more" ~~ Ben
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Reply #14 posted 07/04/07 12:25pm

g3121

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prince isnt going to like this article much is he..
**NPGMC refugee**
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Reply #15 posted 07/04/07 1:58pm

sosgemini

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jseven said:

In must say, I adv the Times reporter that I run the "unofficial" Southern California Prince connection, and I said unofficial because all Prince sites outside of 3121.com r unofficial.

No 1 cracked on me 2 say that. I am just restating that as I always represent myself and the bump Squad that way.



aww man... i wish everyone within the prince and associated world would be as down to earth like you. whistling

not naming names or anything.


lol
Space for sale...
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Reply #16 posted 07/05/07 9:45am

Sander

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http://www.latimes.com/en...ness-enter

"Let's hope his next album isn't called 987.654," quipped one fan on the message boards at prince.org.


Wow, they actually quoted me! Now only if I knew what kind of paper the L.A. Times is...
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Reply #17 posted 07/05/07 10:16am

paisley16

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anon said:

This one turned out good. Still, is there anything sacred anymore!? Are we gonna have to start speaking in code around here?


falloff


boxed
Ask where they're going, they'll tell U – "Nowhere"
They've taken a lifetime lease on Paisley Park ...music
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Reply #18 posted 07/06/07 11:46am

2freaky4church
1

Prince is a has been and he knows it.
All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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