/ Money, Travel & Leisure

Put a stop to festival ticket price hikes

Festival crowd

As if festivals tickets don’t cost enough already – now there may be increases to the compulsory levy on ticket sales. Are you willing to swallow the price rise?

If (like me) you’re up for wearing wellies and going without a shower all weekend in the name of good, live music – brace yourself.

Any dedicated festival goer knows that tickets come at a price, but a proposed shake-up of the royalty payments could slice a bigger cut out of the organisers’ takings. And that means one thing – ticket prices go up.

Why the need to increase prices?

At the moment the UK pays one of the lowest compulsory levies on ticket sales – 3% – and it hasn’t changed since 1964. The Performing Rights Society (PRS), who collect the charges, says the live music industry has changed so much during this time that the charges need to be reviewed.

Fair enough, but keeping in line with Europe could cause levies to double, which is a pretty drastic increase. Then add the January VAT hike and a day ticket to next year’s Latitude could rise from £60 to £65. If you’re happy to swallow that, consider the same sum applied to Glastonbury’s £185-a-pop entry. Tickets would be knocking on £200. No thanks.

Festival prices already too steep

With most ticket prices topping 100 quid already, why should we be coughing up more? Last year I ditched plans to go to Camp Bestival when I realised that family tickets and camper van entry for the three of us (not to mention all the extras inside) would easily match the price of a European break.

That’s a lot by anyone’s standards. Raising the prices even more will just make festivals elitist and force people to rethink their holiday plans.

The consultation is now underway, closing on September 7. It’s open to customers as well as music industry types, so if you don’t want to be priced out of festivals, best fill out the consultation response form and tell them why you won’t pay more.

Cass Myers says:
8 July 2010

Festivals are way over priced – that is one of the main reasons I don’t go to them. By the time you add all the ‘basic’ extras such as transport, camping equipment, wet weather gear, food etc. it becomes very expensive for a bunch of friends to catch up over a long weekend – and at Glasto you don’t have mobile coverage so if you happen to be separated from your mates you generally only meet up with them when you are back at your tents ready to sleep.

It’s also the London day festivals in Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Clapham Common and the likes that are over priced – the day ticket prices are £40 or more once you’ve included all the booking fees and they finish up at 9 or 10pm due to noise restrictions.

It’s a shame that the music industry, ticketing companies and promoters are money hungry and the people wanting to attend suffer by paying through the nose for the privilege.

It definitely is expensive – but then festivals and concerts are where music companies and artists make a lot (if not most) of their money now. With the advent of itunes and the death of CDs and albums, there’s less money in music sales.

Also – sporting events are just as expensive, if not more. Think of Wimbledon prices and then compare it to the acts and personalities you’re going to see in a music festival. Still, all these extra fees and price hikes should be left in the mud at Glastonbury.

klw says:
9 July 2010

Whilst ticket prices are pretty steep when you actually think about what you get for your money it’s pretty good value. It would cost a whole lot more to see all the artists individually and then throw in the whole experience, atmosphere etc its definitely worth it. Couldn’t afford to do it every year though…

Luke says:
9 July 2010

You keep your European break, to some cheap Spanish resort at that price, and I’ll go and spend 5 amazing days at the most amazing place seeing endless great music. £200 for Glastonbury, work it out, still a bargain for a live music lover. Let alone all the other stuff it offers.

James says:
9 July 2010

The price of festivals isn’t too bad, I think individual gigs are too expensive. The Charlatans are playing Bristol soon and charging nearly £30 per ticket! There’s no camping or anything!

One of the real ripoffs with festivals is being forced to drink and eat only what they sell. Glastonbury may be an expensive ticket but you can save money by bringing your own nourishment. Other festivals actively search you lest you dare bring in your own crisps and beer, forcing you to buy the overpriced rubbish sold by the festival sponsers.

Emily Marchant says:
20 July 2010

Rises in the price of festival tickets restricts the accessibility of festivals. I find this actually hinders the atmosphere at festivals, and you don't get the range of people that you used to. I know this sounds like a trivial point, but when you think of the roots of the likes of Glastonbury, which was somewhat a product of hippie ethics, and part of the free festival movement and look at the commercialised event that it has become. Like the o2 in London, festivals have become a money grabbing sensation for businesses, and artists alike. They're basically just massive billboards for the privileged youth who's parents can buy them tickets.

I also agree with the above comment, not only can you pay up to £200 for a weekend festival tickets, but you are forced to eat and drink the extremely poor quality and expensive food on offer at festivals. Don't get me wrong I know rubbish food is a part of the experience, but I think it's ridiculous to pay up to £5 for a portion of cheesy chips.