Are you dying to see a Beyoncé or Taylor Swift show? Some fans go abroad – and save money

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As the cost of tickets to see Beyoncé and Taylor Swift strut on stage It rises to absurd heightsSome Americans drop coupon codes and pick up their passports.

So-called concert tourism, where people venture outside for live performances, was gaining traction among Americans even before the pandemic, ticket sales data Displays. But with prime ticket prices for popular shows skyrocketing into four figures, some music fans are heading abroad to see their favorite acts.

Shelby Messing, a huge fan of Beyoncé, said she saved at least $1,000 by flying to Spain to see Beyoncé perform during a stop in Barcelona on her Renaissance World Tour. It is estimated to cost between $2,500 and $3,000 for her two-week trip. This includes the cost of a round-trip flight from Atlanta to Barcelona, ​​accommodation, a $227 general admission gala ticket and an additional flight to Mallorca.

In comparison, in Ticket Master A single VIP ticket to Renaissance World in the United States is a minimum of $3,757 and $5,007.

Messing saved hundreds of dollars on the concert, in part due to the relatively low ticket fees in Spain, which the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) previously Crack down on disproportionately high ticket fees for live music events. She paid a flat fee of about $27 for her ticket to Beyoncé’s show in Barcelona; In the US, ticket fees for the same show would have cost her nearly 50% of the face value of the ticket, she told CBS MoneyWatch.

“I’m not surprised that more and more people are coming to shows in Europe instead [are choosing to] Stimulate an economy that doesn’t benefit people,” Messing said.

Data from the Project on American Economic Freedoms, an antitrust group, shows fees now add an average of 32% to ticket requests, up from an average of 27% in 2018, The New York Times mentioned.

Don’t even think about traveling.

While tickets for concerts are often cheaper abroad, the cost of traveling to Europe, Asia, or other regions around the world is. high this year.

That’s why Triada Cross, another Beyoncé fan, used credit card points to travel from Dallas to Germany to attend a show. I paid a total of $2,850 to see the singer perform twice, once in Hamburg and once in Frankfurt. Including the cost of the trip, a five-night hotel stay and a train ride between the two cities, she estimated she paid $3,525 for her entire trip—still less than the cost of a single VIP ticket package for the same show in America.

“I used to live in Germany … so I already understood that Europe has better consumer protection laws than the US,” Cross told CBS MoneyWatch. “For me, it was a no-brainer to travel to Europe to see Beyoncé, especially after seeing the Taylor Swift Ticketmaster debacle unfold.”

Ticketmaster Factor

Ticketmaster, the platform owned by entertainment company LiveNation, controls ticket sales for nearly three-quarters of the major concert venues in the United States, according to estimates cited by lawmakers at a Senate hearing in January. on company practices.

Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” model adjusts ticket prices according to popular demand, said Ron Knox, a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, an advocacy organization focused on corporate power.

“Ticketmaster can use dynamic pricing to turn a profit and steal fans…[providing] Knox said, “One of the worst ticket-buying experiences imaginable. For fans and artists alike, Ticketmaster is unavoidable, and the experience of attending concerts in the US is much worse because of it.”

Critics of the platform say Ticketmaster also charges high fees, inflating costs for concert-goers in the United States. Krista Brown, senior policy analyst at the Project on American Economic Freedoms, said that since Ticketmaster has signed exclusive agreements with so many of the country’s major concert venues, there’s often no way around those fees.

“Exclusive contracts between venues and ticket providers like Ticketmaster are the single most important factor in what drives up US ticket prices relative to the European market,” Brown told CBS MoneyWatch. In the United States, these exclusive arrangements ensure that they will not face competition.

Ticketmaster did not respond to a request for comment from CBS MoneyWatch.

Lawsuits and legislation

Ticketmaster’s fee system has irked fans and artists alike. In March, Robert Smith, frontman of The Cure, targeted the service, tweeting that he was “sick” of the company’s feewhich exceeded the face value of tickets to his band’s performances.

Last year, fans of Taylor Swift who couldn’t get seats to the shows of her Iras Tour He sued Ticketmaster and Live Nationalleging that the companies committed fraud and violated anti-rust laws in selling concert tickets.

Swifties vs. Ticketmaster


In April, lawmakers introduced a “junk fee prevention.” RepresentTo “limit” excessive or deceptive mandatory fees. “But it will take more than that to make concerts more affordable in the US,” Brown told CBS MoneyWatch.

“Current legislation is trying to address some of these issues, but significant federal action is needed to address the broader market issues that Live Nation has created.” [and] “Ticketmaster’s monopoly power,” Brown said.