It was widely reported in today’s national press that fans of live music can look forward to discounted gig tickets in the wake of a number of international artists failing to sell out their recent tours. Whilst we can hear you cheering, we wonder if its such good news after all…

Britney Spears was the most recent artist who failed to entice punters ”“ hardly surprising when you consider the tickets for her current Femme Fatale tour were initially offered at £62.50, then add booking fees, the dreaded card charges etc.
However a matter of days before the gigs you could pick up tickets via discount voucher site Groupon for as little as £30 as promoters looked to redeem some of their initial outlay ”“ obviously those that shelled out for the full price tickets were left fuming.

Mark Pearson, founder of My-VoucherCodes.co.uk confirmed that the discounting of tickets is likely to become more commonplace ”“ its essentially customer driven, and gig goers like any other consumer are, especially in the current climate looking for ways to make their money go further. Pearson commented “the music industry is naïve to think that discounting won’t reach the sale of concert tickets” ”“ I guess Pearson should have some insight into this ”“ his site is used every month by 11 million people. “Were used to discounting now, we expect it. Surely filling a venue creates a good atmosphere for everyone and that is ultimately better for the artist because they can gain a bigger fan base from people who wouldn’t ordinarily have gone to see them”

Groupon have already offered a couple of discounted shows this year including Bon Jovi, Snoop Dogg and X-Factor dirges JLS.

Bearing in mind touring has become one of the few areas bands and artists can be assured of earning some money should we be worried about this development? Does it effect the sort of acts that LTW readers generally support ”“ if it bankrupts JLS would we miss a beat? Or is that attitude too simplistic? If gig goers can get into Britney Spears gigs for £25 then will that force prices for other gigs downwards, that being the case how long will it be before newer, less well known bands are forced to drop their entrance price. Will touring become a loss leader as opposed to a money earner ”“ will touring become a thing of the past, if that’s the case how will new talent be nurtured?

Let us know what you think”¦.

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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