UEA students paying more each year to see their favourite acts

There has been a 936% increase in the average price of Uea(su) gig tickets since 1971, research has found. This means on average gig prices have increased by 7.57% each year. The research covers prices from 1971 to 2017. A ticket to see Mungo Jerry in 1971 was 50p. A ticket to see Kodaline this year was £29.50.

However, the inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), has increased by 9.44% on average in the same time. The CPI measures changes in the price of a shopping basket of typical consumer goods. According to CPI, inflation has risen 1277% since 1971.

This increase in inflation has meant that the cost of artists touring has increased significantly from 1971, leading to artists increasing the prices they are charging for concerts. The cost of advertising the tour, paying supporting staff, travel expenses, food,  and accommodation for the artists have all significantly increased since the 70s. 

In a statement Uea(su) activities and opportunities officer Alicia Perez said: “It’s important to remember that everything we do to raise money goes back into providing societies with support, our independent advice(su) team and supporting campaign work.

“The cost of gigs at uea(su) has undoubtedly gone up over the last 30 years but then, what hasn’t? We know that the cost to artists of touring has increased massively with shows more complicated than they once were back in the 70s. 

“The industry has also changed with streaming now being the way that most people listen to music – artists who used to make their incomes from album sales now have to use touring to make money not just promote their work, which means prices go up. Another big factor is that as our venue has got more well respected, the quality of acts we attract now are some of the biggest names in the industry and that does come with a cost.”

She added: “I think the most important thing to note is that uea(su) does not set price for gig tickets, the artists and promoters do.”

Students seem to be divided on whether the increase is justifiable or not. While some feel the prices are fair others feel they are too expensive. In a poll of Concrete readers, 72% said they were unhappy with the price of gig tickets at the LCR compared to 28% who voted they were happy with the prices.

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Bryan Mfhaladi

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January 2022
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