A Music 'n' Money Question

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A Music 'n' Money Question

Postby sfboy » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:43 pm

Hi everyone. I have a question. But first....I love Fleetwood Mac. There, I said it. I've come clean. I was weaned musically on Bella Donna and Tusk, and I'll always love those CDs. I know they're not as artistically deep or talented as other artists, but I still love them. So please take your pot shots now....OK, done?

Here's my question. They're touring next year, and floor tickets are going for around $150 before convenience charges. It pisses me off that they're that expensive, but I'm too big of a fan not to go. I feel like Stevie, Lindsey, John and Mick must, at this point, all be pretty darn well off. And if they're not, shame on them. My question is, how much does a band make on one show? There are 4 of them, plus I think 5 back up musicians (who, I presume, get much less per show than they do). Do you think each of them pulls in $1,000 per show? $10,000 per show? I know that there are tons of expenses, too, plus paying their tour managers, etc. If they're making a decent (as opposed to an indecent!) amount per show, and that the ticket price has more to do with expenses for a huge arena tour and not greed on their part, I'd feel a little better about shelling out so much money.

Thanks y'all. I'm sorry if this is sort of not exactly appropriate for this forum, and feel free to take it off if it's too far off the mark. But you all are the only people I know who really know a lot about music, and I didn't know who else to ask. Stevie isn't returning my calls these days. I guess she didn't like it when I told her that I've heard her do Dreams 37 thousand times and would rather she did a more obscure song live instead.

Kevin
Last edited by sfboy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby marybeth » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:50 pm

First off, Fleetwood Mac is awesome, enough said.

Second, I can't really answer your question Kevin about how much they make. But what you hear these days is that since there is no money to be made in selling CDs, you gotta make your money on the live shows. (Of course this doesn't apply to lowly singer-songwriters like myself. We are told we can play for free so we can sell our CDs--go figure.) So, I think these big famous bands merely charge what they think the market can bear to take advantage of that dynamic as much as possible. I guess they do have zillions of helpers and roadies and assistants to pay too.
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Postby ScottG » Thu Dec 11, 2008 5:16 pm

My quick take: I paid BIG bucks for my wife and I to go see the Stones and the Police during their last tours. Both shows were worth it!
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Re: A Music 'n' Money Question

Postby Fool On Fire » Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:47 am

sfboy wrote:I know that there are tons of expenses, too, plus paying their tour managers, etc. If they're making a decent (as opposed to an indecent!) amount per show, and that the ticket price has more to do with expenses for a huge arena tour and not greed on their part, I'd feel a little better about shelling out so much money.


Okay, I also heart Fleetwood Mac...it's nothing to be ashamed of. And Stevie's solo work is bangin'. She's the real deal.

I was under the impression that once an artist starts touring with the support of an infrastructure like a label or a marketing/booking agent, they have a fee for performing, which is reasonably constant - although it may vary depending on the size of the venue (or the purpose of the event...like a benefit or whatever). And based on that fee, the venue charges a markup to pay its staff and make a profit. I don't know if there's a standard percentage markup, but my suspicion is that the large corporately-owned venues make a pretty penny.

So I think that a lot of that ticket price goes to the amphitheatre/coliseum/what-the-fuck-ever for their expenses. Although once you get to the top of the heap, it's not like the artists aren't raking in the dough as well.

I have a limit on ticket price these days. If I want to go to a show, the price has to be less than a certain amount...fuck a lot of this terrible economy.

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Postby KarenL » Fri Dec 12, 2008 3:29 pm

I'm a huge Fleetwood Mac fan, too (thanks again, Kevin, for sending me some rarities a while back, too :)). I was so excited when I saw that they were touring again (even though I wish that Christine was still playing with them, I can see why she'd be tired of touring), but then realized that the ticket prices would be astronomical :( . I've wondered the same thing - do the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, Rolling Stones, really need to charge $150+ for their tickets in a 35,000 seat arena? Is it necessary or is this just to maintain a certain lifestyle that they're accustomed to? I know that people are still going to their concerts and paying huge prices to see them, so I can see why a band would try and make as much money as possible, but it pisses me off, too. Of course, the bigger the production, the more expensive the tickets are (which I agree, can really be worth it). I think I paid $100 or so when I saw Fleetwood Mac in 1997, and I thought it was worth it. When I saw Loreena McKennitt (it was so worth it) last year - ticket prices weren't astronomical, but they were $70 in a 3,000 or so seat theater - I left there thinking that there is no way Loreena could ever have put on a show of that high caliber, supported by several talented band members, plus pay her managers, sound people, hotel, etc., and charge only $30 a ticket. She needs to make money, too, especially since she doesn't tour that often. I thought that for the quality of the Loreena show, ticket prices were actually pretty low. With Fleetwood Mac, I love them, but it's just too steep for me right now - I wish I could go.
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Postby Russell » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:57 pm

$150!!!??? Are you friggin' kidding me? For a group as artistically shallow and untalented as Fleetwood Mac minus Christine McVie??? Don't they realize high-powered execs on Wall Street and in Motor City are starving.? I wouldn't even pay that much to see someone as artistically deep and talented as Barry Manilow. I haven't paid as much as $100 to see a show in my life. Uhhh, wait a minute, I just paid $100 to see Patty next month. I guess there are exceptions.

All kidding aside, Kevin, if the show's worth $150 to you, go enjoy. Who really knows how much the stars actually net for the big ticket shows? Probably a lot. But, I'm guessing a lot of that is consumed largely by the therapy and drugs (legal, of course) necessary for them to actually survive a tour with all four of them together for any length of time. At least you're not paying a scalper (I hope).

BTW, I personally think that FM, with or without CMcV, is extremely talented and that artistic depth is not necessary to enjoyable music - after all, I love Enya's music, and I've never even tried to figure out what her songs are about, assuming they're about anything.
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Postby marybeth » Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:25 am

Seriously, folks, this is capitalism, which means if you CAN charge something and get away with it, then you do. If people stopped coming and refused to pay, they'd lower the price. I am sure the band is making out very well as is everyone else involved.
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Postby TontoBronto » Sat Dec 13, 2008 7:26 am

Russell wrote:$150!!!??? Are you friggin' kidding me? For a group as artistically shallow and untalented as Fleetwood Mac minus Christine McVie???
.

I realize this was said in jest, but I'd like to say "Amen"!----
Christine McVie was always just Perfect (or else they wouldn't have named the band after her).
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Postby Turk » Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:18 am

First off: Tonto - I am in a public library right now and your spasmodic titty/nipple/mouse face may just get me kicked out.

Okay - I am a Fleetwood Mac fan as well, but 150 a ticket? Bwahahaha!

And yes, everyone in the band will make a KILLING.
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Fleetwood Mac

Postby IBeacher » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:08 pm

Well Kevin, you know I'm a Mac and Stevie fan as well. I hate that they charge what they do especially when you rarely hear anything new or obscure from them. The fact that this tour isn't even to support a new release makes the ticket price even more outlandish. Most of us could probably predict the setlist within one or two songs. They said in an interview the other night that since they aren't touring to support a new album it will give them a chance to dig in to their vault of songs and add something new. Time will tell. I know ticket prices were $125 for the Say You Will tour and that was 5 years ago. I have my ticket stub from the first time I saw them way back in 1975. Tickets were $7.50 and the lineup included Rod Stewart, Loggins and Messina and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I guess that was a good deal back then.

Every time I see Patty I can't believe the value I get from her show. And for the most part you never know what she will perform.
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Postby ScottG » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:49 pm

OK, I know these bands must be making a killing. But these people are rock LEGENDS. Icons of our time. It hurt when my friend Bill called me and said he'd gotten "best available" for the Stones and it would cost 200 more than we expected. Hell, I probably overdrew my account over that. But now... I don't care! I don't remember the cost anywhere near as much as I relish the EXPERIENCE. Do I care how much it cost to fly to Austin, drive to Birmingham or Jefferson, NC, fly to Detroit? Fuck no! If you love Fleetwood Mac and can manage in any way to go, then do it. You won't regret it.
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Postby sfboy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:15 pm

Cool postings, everyone. I agree with Scott that experience matters more than money, as long as the money doesn't stress you out. And actually, the extra, say $75 (a good ticket price would be say $100, and I'm sure that w/ convenience charges, the tickets will be around $170), a day after the show, won't mean anything at all to me personally. If I made it seem like I wasn't going to go, my bad. Of course I'm going to buy tickets (Karen, you HAVE to go!!!!). It just pisses me off that I'm going to buy tickets despite the fact that I think they're really screwing their fans. I've heard numerous interviews w/ Stevie in which she has said how much her fans mean to her, and I actually believe her. But I just don't understand how come that never translates into lower prices. If it's just the venues adding the markup, then it would be a little easier to stomach, though there are other bands that fight that.

Marybeth, I understand your idea of charging whatever the market can bear. But there are bands who take into account their fan base. The Indigo Girls, for example, used to play the Greek Theater in Berkeley a lot. But at some point the GT wanted to start charging a ticket price that the IGs thought was too high, so they just don't play there anymore. I really admire them for that. Of course, they don't have the therapists, boot designers (Margi Kent, for Stevie--see, it's a sickness with me, I even know the name of Stevie's boot designer!), and God knows whoever else to pay. (Stevie once said on Leno when she was on w/ Sheryl Crow that she never actually goes to a grocery store, and that her personal assistant does the shopping. Man, that is sooooo removed from reality.)

So part of me is pissed about the ticket prices, but a larger part of me is pissed at myself because I'm going to pay it anyway. And I'll be happy that I did. The things that music makes us do:) !

Also, as an added annoyance, they are RErereleasing Rumours. Yep, that's rerereleasing. They've already rereleased it, but now they're doing it again, this time w/ a DVD. And once again, I'll buy it. And rail as I do.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated when west coast tickets go on sale. I know that my personal emotional ups and downs are high on everyone's reading list. Kidding.

Kevin

p.s. Christine, in a spurt of concert envy and, in a wildly unexpected move, will show up at their west coast dates. The shows will be three and a half hours, without any background musicians, and the steep prices will be totally worth it. It's going to happen. It is.
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Postby sfboy » Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:25 pm

Sorry everyone, but I just had to add this. I'm laughing and crying at the same time. If any of you have ever seen Fleetwood Mac live, you'll know, as Terry made reference to, that they ALWAYS do their hits and well known songs. You know, going in, that you're going to hear Rhiannon, Landslide, Go Your Own Way, Second Hand News, the Chain, Gold Dust Woman, Tusk, Gypsy, Big Love. You just know it. Plus, you know you're going to hear concert stalwarts like Never Going Back Again and I'm So Afraid. Plus, you're probably going to hear Sara, and, during the last two tours, Silver Springs. The songs that you really really want to hear are new songs from whatever CD they're touring behind, plus maybe an older song that they bring back (Beautiful Child, I Know I'm Not Wrong, both from Tusk, on the last tour).

So just listen up here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAsnUQ3i-_A

sigh...

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Postby bivester » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:08 pm

hello. while i can't swear to this on this tour, but i believe that on most tours w/bands that have reached a certain level of success, in most cases they receive an upfront "guarantee" from the promoter(s).

this guarantee is determined based on certain criteria/expectations on ticket prices, size of venue, etc (i know that recently, ryan adams agreed to a smaller guarantee from a local promoter because there was a specific venue that he wanted to play here). in that guarantee the promoter is calculating their costs, adding in sponsorships and advertising and hoping to realize some profit. but they can also take a bath if expectations aren't met.

once the certain criteria has been met, any revenue exceeding the predetermined goals is split (at a pre-determined percentage) between the act and the promoter.

as a guide, i was told by a friend once (that would know) that an artist the caliber of a tom waits is generally guaranteed to walk with aprox $125-150,000 per-show. out of that he would pay his crew, his band and his travel expenses. his accomodations, food, etc would generally be picked up in each city by the local promoter.
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Postby outta » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:51 pm

If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate paying high dollars to see FM. They ROCK!
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