A question of supply and demand for The Stone Roses
Unlike last time around, there’s no quick sell out for The Stone Roses’ Dublin date this summer
What a difference four years and a tenner makes. Four years ago, you weren’t able to get a ticket to see The Stone Roses’ upcoming Dublin show for love or money – well, maybe money if you wanted to go down the touting route (sorry, “secondary ticketing market” route). Tickets for the band’s July 2012 show in Dublin’s Phoenix Park went on sale on December 20 the previous year and, despite a belief that they’d sell out in a flash coming to nowt, all 45,000 (or 36,000 – we never really got a clear picture on capacity for the show) tickets were gone by December 24. The gig itself was overshadowed by an unprecedented outbreak of Fear and Loathing In Michael D Higgins’ Backyard, but the masses showed up and enjoyed themselves to varying degrees.
The Stone Roses are due to play Dublin’s Marlay Park in July 2016 with pretty much the same modus operandi. A big field in Dublin? Check. A band with a ropey lead singer? Check. 40,000 or so tickets going on sale to avail of the Christmas present for the da or older brother market? Check. All the tickets sold out by Christmas Eve so the promoters can kick back and enjoy the turkey and ham? Nope, as we can see from the current run of ads for the show, something promoters never like to have to do, especially when they may have been counting on the reduced costs afforded by a quick sell-out.
So why are there still tickets on sale for a show which sold out so fast four years ago? The other difference between 2012 and 2016 is the price of those tickets, which is where the tenner mentioned above comes into play. Back then, you’d have seen the Roses in the Park for €65.50 plus assorted Ticketmaster charges, fees and what-have-you. This time, it’s €74.50 plus all those add ons.
You’d think that the extra tenner wouldn’t cause that much pushback – especially given the fact that the band sold 36-45k tickets here in the teeth of a fierce recession – so perhaps there are other reasons at play. Does the slow market in tickets come down to the fact that most of the fans, new and old, have now seen the band and don’t necessarily want to repeat the experience at that price? It took a good few years and visits before the Red Hot Chili Peppers ran out of favour with Irish audiences so, all snark aside, it would be hugely surprising if the Stone Roses have maxed out already. Cue the ads.
It will also be interesting to see who else pitches up at Marlay Park this summer. While the three-day Longitude festival is in situ for the fourth year, the only other act announced for the SoCoDu venue so far are Kodaline and tickets for its show are a much more shapely €49.50. Apart from the €25 price difference, there’s also the fact that Kodaline appeal to a younger audience who are far more likely to be going than more than just one or two gigs a year.
Back to the Stone Roses and the question of supply and demand. When a show needs a push and you want more than ads, the band are forced to do promo and interviews, never something which is top of a big act’s list of things they like to do. Can we expect to see Ian Brown sitting on a sofa across from Ray D’Arcy in the coming weeks? Given that D’Arcy is the current holder of the Worst Interviewer On Irish TV Ever and that encounters with Brown tend to be occasionally interesting to say the least, that’s an event you you could easily sell pay-for-view tickets for.