Where the money from concert ticket sales actually goes
Words: Bernard Zuel
When you buy a ticket to a major concert at a venue such as Sydney's Entertainment Centre or Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena you're paying for more than the artist whose music you've come to hear.
The queue to share some of your cash is lengthy and varied, spreading through crew, media, caterers, managers and the venue itself. And this doesn't include the fee you pay on top for the privilege of buying the ticket and, gallingly, printing it out yourself at home.
So who gets what in a standard $150 concert ticket? This breakdown is approximate and subject to significant variations depending on scale of show (a Beyonce pop extravaganza may chew up more in some areas than a Foo Fighters rock gig), type of support act (locals get considerably less than an international act brought along as a co-headliner or as a hefty incentive for ticket buyers) and the artist's clout.
Nonetheless, this is a fair indication of where your $150 goes.
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WHERE THE MONEY GOES
$2.25 or 1.5 per cent, is taken by the Australian Performing Right Association, as payment for all songs played. This is distributed to songwriters and their publishers.
$3 covers insurance, including injury, cancellation and other risks.
$4 goes to ‘‘inside charges’’ the ticketing agencies charge the promoter, in something of an equivalent to the booking fee they charge ticket buyers. These charges vary between venues.
$13.75 would cover expenses for advertising and marketing at the venue, in media and other outlets. This would not include advertising by a record company, or personal sponsors or marketing arrangements in place for individual artists.
$15 goes to the federal government for GST.*
$16 of each ticket is allocated to the production. This includes wiring and staging costs, PA hire, and additional show elements, such as Pink’s trapeze.
$22 is the promoter’s margin, a figure that can be a good result if the concert is sold out at say, 8000 to 10,000 seats, but if a second or third show is less than fully sold the overall result can be a loss.
$24 is for venue hire, which includes room access, ushers, catering, riggers and other staff.
$50 is for ‘‘talent’’, including the headline act, support acts, crew wages, transport and pre-tour expenses and management fees.
Correction: The GST on a $150 ticket would actually be about $13.63 ($136.36 x 10%). This error has been noted, but the article left in its original form. All figures are an approximation.
This article initially appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald.