How Not To Sell Out Your Concert?

I admit that I don’t know all the ins and outs of putting on a concert, paying everyone involved, etc. etc.

But when your concert has some of the highest priced tickets that the venue has seen this year and you’re not sold out with just four days to go, it does make you wonder if those $129 seats should have been closer to, say, $99.

Check this seating chart out, courtesy TicketMaster:

Floor plan of the venue. Stage at far left. Balcony section at far right.

The red area front and center was never for sale to begin with. I’m guessing that it’s in the contract that the band gets those seats to do with what they will — radio show giveaways, fan clubs, music reviewers, friends and family, etc.

The gray dots are the seats that have sold, and the black dots are seats still available. I’ve never been up in that balcony that’s pictured at the far right of the map here, but I can tell you that in the “orchestra” section at ground level, there’s not a bad seat in the house. You’re never that far away from the band. The venue is small enough that I’d take a back row seat and be happy with it — for a decent price.

But look at all those unsold seats in the lower level. They’re all the $112 and $143 tickets. Maybe those people are waiting for the last minute to buy tickets, like at the door on Tuesday night? Some seats have definitely sold since I started watching this chart earlier in the week, but will the rest move at the last minute? Maybe they will. Maybe I underestimate people’s tendencies to hear about a show at the last minute and buy their ticket at the door. Would you feel safe with that, as the vendor? I’d start Grouponing the concert, if I were them.

The balcony is nearly sold out, and I have to believe it’s a pricing issue. Those tickets furthest away have been the cheapest to go, and they’re all about $50. The front of the balcony area is still $91.

But, seriously, it looks like half the venue is still unsold. That’s shocking to me. If you moved all those people from the balcony to the floor level, you’d come close to emptying it out.

As a concert photographer, though, it just means less people to shoot over. =)

I’ll check back on this chart on the day of the concert. We’ll see if the last minute folk show up in droves.

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