Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Fish pedicures, laser teeth whitening and a ticket to see Britney

Your daily email from Groupon may be about to feature tickets for big gigs alongside fish pedicures and dinner-for-two deals. Promoters Live Nation recently used discount sites to flog 5,000 half-price tickets for Britney Spears’ UK tour, while Ticketmaster UK …

Fri, Nov 4, 2011, 09:56

   

Your daily email from Groupon may be about to feature tickets for big gigs alongside fish pedicures and dinner-for-two deals.

Promoters Live Nation recently used discount sites to flog 5,000 half-price tickets for Britney Spears’ UK tour, while Ticketmaster UK have jumped on the deals’ bandwagon with new site Tmdeals for “theatre, music, sports, comedy and family events”.

It’s not an unexpected turn of events given the poor performance of many arena shows over the last 18 months. Promoters have to do something to shift tickets and recover losses from the colossal fees they’re paying to acts (Live Nation just reported more declines in attendances, though the money the company makes from selling fans stuff when they’re at the gig is up) hence why they’re utilising discount sites. Who could say no to deals on paintballing, laser teeth whitening and a ticket to see Britney at the local shed?

The problem, though, is that once you begin discounting tickets, punters may wait for deeper price reductions if they suspect the gig won’t sell out immediately. After all, it’s not secret that the number of instant sell-outs at arena level is substantly down on what was the case a few years ago.

Price sensitivity is something which had a negative effect on attendances at Irish festivals last summer but don’t expect to find Electric Picnic deals on Groupon, according to Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn.

Speaking to the BBC, Benn said people would then come to expect such deals every year and “it would damage the viability of a festival in the long-term”.

Yet for all the negatives, there’s no doubt that promoters will try new initiatives to sell tickets and fill halls. Blockbooking ads and bombarding social media sites don’t cut the mustard so it might well be time to look at dynamic ticket prices and the airline model. While many players (especially artists) will resist this move, we’ve seen with the record industry that everything is now up for grabs. Watch this space.