Apparent price slashes on Rolling Stones concert tickets are actually part of a “flex pricing” strategy by promoter AEG Live and reports of sluggish sales are inaccurate.
That’s according to John Meglen, co-president of AEG Live subsidiary Concerts West, which is behind the Stones’ 50 & Counting tour.
The Rolling Stones' anniversary concert dates have come under scrutiny after significant ticket price drops leading to suggestions of a lack of demand at higher price points forcing the promoter's hand.
Speaking to Billboard, Meglen said that price adjustments were made in an attempt to keep Rolling Stones tickets out of the hands of brokers.
“It’s unfortunate in our business that everybody wants to be cynics,” he said. “The fact is, the tour is doing great and we have no problems whatsoever.”
He explained: “[Our] philosophy was, if we would’ve charged $200 a ticket for every seat in the house, everybody would have said, ‘OK, that’s fair.’
“We’re selling 240- 260- degrees, about 15,000 tix (per), and that would have been about a $3 million gross [per show].
“But when you showed up that night, the actual gross would have been well over $5 million because of what the brokers got. So if I had 15,000 tickets out there at $200, if the brokers could take 6,000 of my seats that I charge $200 for and charge $750, that’s $3 million [per show]. Why should they get that money?”
Meglen said that the promoter is flexing $450 tickets up to $600 on the on-sale and “When every single one of them doesn’t sell, you have to rescale some of them, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
He said that more than 20,000 tickets sold for $600 across the Stones’ four Los Angeles shows.
“Did we hit a point where we ran out of people that would buy at $600? Yeah,” he added. “But why can’t we do the ‘market value’ thing? Why do we have to let the market value proposition live with the scalpers? Why should, in my estimation, $3 million go to the brokers, instead of the artists, in every one of these markets?”
Meglen moved to assure Billboard that “there are no $600 tickets turning into $85 tickets.
“We’re smart enough to know that you re-scale,” he added. “We will not discount a ticket, and we’re holding to that.”