Live Nation extends discounts to clubs

Artists agree to cut prices for Wednesday shows

Concert promoter Live Nation Inc. is extending its discount Wednesdays program to include general admission tickets at its clubs this week, as a successful summer of concerts at its larger amphitheaters winds down.

The recession is making it easier to agree with many artists to cut prices and help draw more fans into venues, even though concert ticket sales have been strong this year, said Live Nation’s Global Music CEO Jason Garner.

More than 350 artists — including Jewel, Boyz II Men, and All American Rejects — agreed to offer 2-for-1 prices on tickets sold this Wednesday for certain shows through the end of the year on LiveNation.com.

“The economic environment has made ticket prices and promotion at the top of everyone’s list of things to talk about,” Garner said. “We all live in a current economic reality where the stretch on the consumer dollar is extremely tight.”

Live Nation began offering discounts, such as cutting service fees, on tickets to shows at its owned or operated amphitheaters on Wednesdays starting June 3.

Since then, it has sold more than 800,000 discounted tickets, saving fans $15 million. This week’s offer on 200,000 tickets extends to shows at certain House of Blues clubs and other Live Nation venues through year-end.

The concert promoter began selling tickets on its own in January, breaking off a long-term relationship with its future partner Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.

That allowed it to cut ticket prices at its venues in the hope of making up the revenue on sales of food, beer, parking and merchandise. In the second quarter, it gained an average $18.28 per attendee in such ancillary revenue.

Chief Executive Michael Rapino told an investor conference last month that despite 30 percent of fans simply shifting their purchases to Wednesday to get cheaper prices, overall revenue and profit rose from the discounts.
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