At £77 A Ticket Is Manchester Footing The Bill For Prince’s PR Jaunt?

A couple of weeks ago Prince turned up in London playing a series of secret shows and grabbing the headlines.

The idea was pretty neat – Prince is famous for his after hours club shows and most often his best music goes on in these blockbuster jams. The idea of  geurilla gigs and no set list is exciting – it breaks down the boring arena circuit notion of pop superstardom.

The gigs were announced at last minute and some of them were half full because people didn’t know where they were – they kept everyone guessing.

In Manchester it seemed like they were going to do the same; pitch up last minute and play but what Prince has done instead is to announce 2 shows at, what is intimate for him – the 2500 capacity Academy One and charge £77 a ticket. Of course with a catalogue as great as his he could easily justify this fee but there is a sneaking feeling in Manchester that the two Manchester gigs are being used to pay for the whole jaunt that was built around an appearance on the Brit Awards and a series of profile small gigs – brilliant PR but why should the north pay for it?

What do you think? worth every penny or footing the bill?

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  1. Paul, this is inaccurate. NONE of the shows were half full, they were not only full but left people queuing around the block. If you are referring to the first show, that was a press show / soundcheck.
    Word got out that it was “open” so people did make their way down at 23.30 in the rain during the tube strike. I managed to get there. I waited in the rain and half way through his set, us public were let in (for free).
    The Academy ticket price is £70, it shoots up because of fees & charges to £77 – 80.75.
    Here in London we have had shows at £70 too. One of which I attended after queuing for 7 hours and my show lasted less than 90 minutes. Those who arrived 3+ hours later than me for the second show paid £70 but got a much – by a long way – longer set. That’s the way it goes.
    The tour is called Hit & Run – that’s why there have been no announcements. After the first Electric Ballroom shows, there was no venue booked for the next.
    Of course Manchester has better venues to offer for such an artist (I’m from up there) but they are booked. Chances are this weekend, over 4000 Prince fans will get a 3 hour set rather than him doing two shows in one night for different lengths.
    Not everyone is going to be happy but to moan about the ticket prices is unjustified. Some artists of his calibre charge between £50 – 125 and play for less and are a mere speck on the horizon lost in an arena.
    The ONLY thing in my opinion that anyone has to moan about is the touts. Maybe the angst should be directed at those vultures. I doubt Prince is making a profit on this tour but l for one feel incredibly lucky to have been at 7 out of 10 shows in London but it wasn’t always easy or fun to get in but worth every raindrop, pound & hour spent in a queue.

  2. Frustrating and maddening – that is the lot of a Prince fan. He takes you to almost religious levels of performance and then discards fans like they are paper napkins. This is the lot.

    I have seen Prince on every tour since 1990 (most more than once) – I attended 5 of his 21 nights in London (two after shows until the wee small hours too) – I attended the spectacular final day of Hop Farm in 2011.

    I also had tickets for Blenheim Palace in 1991 – that he failed to fulfil, I had tickets, flights and accomodation in Dublin in 2008 that gig collapsed in promoter acrimony.

    The guy is unrepentant, he is unpredictable and it’s his name above the door so I hold him responsible – not promoters, agents or managers – him.

    He landed and said gigswill be priced around $10 – he said that’s what I used to pay.

    To then raise the tariff to $100 seems cruel – just keep your mouth shut – if he’d sold every show at £45 – no one would have batted an eyelid – now he’s pissed off his loyal fans (again) and lined the pocket of every tout in Manchester and a few amateur touts – who bought 4 tickets because they could – up to £1k on secondary sites at the moment –

    It’s grim –

    But by buying the tickets at £80 each (after I inadvertently purchased insurance with them in my haste) I can’t moan – as I am part of the problem rather than the solution

  3. Typical Manc moaner. You’re, never happy even when the sun is out! “Prince is coming to Manchester and we have to pay, nobody in London paid.” Yes they did, apart from the press gig, everybody paid £70 + fee! Stop with your boring rhetoric, always comparing London to Manchester and how much more they get. Instead why not think, OMG Prince is coming to Manchester! TWAT!


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