Allman Brothers ticket prices skyrocket

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HOST 1 INTRO: Over the past quarter century, the Allman Brothers Band has played the Beacon Theater on the Upper West Side 222 times. Each show, they sold all 2,800 seats. But tonight starts what may be the band’s last run of concerts there.

HOST 2 INTRO: Two longtime members have announced they’re leaving the group. That’s made ticket prices for these shows more expensive than those of any music residency in the country. Matt Collette reports.

The Allman Brothers Band started playing at the Beacon back in 1989. They’d had a rough decade, and those shows were part of a big comeback tour. They’ve returned almost every March. It’s become a big rite of spring for fans of the legendary rock and blues group.

ECHOLS: I grew up with these guys pretty much in Georgia, so it’s been on my bucket list to hear the at the Beacon.

That’s Lee Echols, who came up from Atlanta to see Saturday night’s show. What makes these shows special is that they’re the last for Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, two longtime members of the band who’ve announced this is their last tour with the band.

ECHOLS: Not only are two of the guys leaving, but the band’s breaking up at the end of the year. So this will be their last time up here. The last chance to hear them here. (0:13)

Maybe. The group hasn’t announced official plans, but the sole founding member, Gregg Allman, is in his sixties, and he’s said he’s ready to retire. But these shows have always been popular with fans – you can watch a lot of them on DVD or YouTube.

FADE UP: 2003 CONCERT RECORDING

Fan demand has driven ticket prices way up. The Beacon box office sold out in minutes. Secondhand tickets are averaging about $400. The most expensive ones cost almost $4,000. Compare that to the other big show in town: Billy Joel, who’s playing Madison Square Garden once a month. Those tickets are averaging about $350.

These purchases are happening on ticket resale website — this isn’t the like the black-market scalping that used to be common outside shows. Jan Eglen runs Digonex, a ticket pricing consulting firm, and he says this how ticket sales work now — and that’s good for consumers.

EGLEN: The idea is to match up what the market demand is against what the price is that the client is charging.

And that way, Eglen says, it’s all pretty fair.

EGLEN: The consumers are voting, so to speak, whether they like the price by either buying it or not buying it.

Musicians don’t get a cut of sales from these sites, but Eglen says bands can use this information to set future prices. So far, ticket prices for the Beacon shows have held steady, but a sudden uptick in demand — say Gregg Allman officially calling it quits — would change that.

LAWRENCE: Unless they would make an explicit announcement I don’t think we’d see a huge price increase.

That’s Jesse Lawrence. He runs the ticket sales site TicIq (Tick IQ) and writes about the secondhand ticket market for Forbes.

LAWRENCE: But I do think it will creep up toward the end as people become more and more aware of the fact that this is certainly the last run for the Allman Brothers.

Tonight’s show at the Beacon is the first of 14 this month. You can still get tickets online, but they won’t be cheap.

Matt Collette, Columbia Radio News.

WITH SIGN OUT: 20 SECOND BUMPER – 2003 ALLMAN BROTHERS CONCERT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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