Millions of Music Fans Staying Home?
Planning to see Britney Spears, Lenny Kravitz or Moby live this summer? Hope you’ve been saving up: A survey by trade publisher Pollstar found that concert-ticket prices rose more than 11 percent from last year to an average of $50.81, and sales for the top 50 music acts were down by 3 percent so far this year over last year and off by 18 percent from 2000, reports Reuters. This bit of news only adds to the woes of the music industry, which is facing album sales that are off by 10 percent from last year, according to reports from tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan published in Billboard magazine. But don’t shed too many tears just yet: With the increased prices, ticket sales were up 17 percent in dollar figures from this time a year ago, to $538.2 million — so the biggest stars are still raking it in, even if fewer fans are coming to see the shows. Paul McCartney, 60, was the top earner, with ticket sales of $52.8 million (with an average ticket price of $129.59), followed by the double bill of Billy Joel and Elton John with $44.4 million (average ticket price $108.70), and ’60s icons Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were third, with $34.9 million (average price $80.08), reports the news service. Boy band ‘N Sync came in fourth with $33.2 million. The year could end up surpassing 2001’s record, however, with heavy hitters like the Rolling Stones kicking off a tour in September (the Stones’ 1994 tour grossed a record $121.2 million) and Bruce Springsteen hitting the road in August.