'Born to Run' artwork hanging in Deminski's house
Jeff Deminski photo

The picture of this old concert ticket is inside a frame along with the album cover of Bruce Springsteen‘s Born to Run. It hangs on the wall in a hallway in my home. The quick backstory on that is my mother-in-law knows I’m a big Springsteen fan and she was going through some of her things and being a very crafty person decided to put this together as a gift one year. Which I love. The actual album is still inside.

Damn, that's a cheap ticket.
Jeff Deminski photo

Take a good look at the ticket though. This was 1975 a few months after Born to Run was a runaway hit album landing Bruce Springsteen on both the cover of Time and Newsweek at once. Now look at the price. This concert ticket was only $6.50.

So are we paying too much for concert prices today? I found a website called USinflationcalculator.com that lets you know the value of a dollar from any given year starting in 1913 compared to today’s present value. Think about what you would pay to see Bruce Springsteen today. This is how the math works out if it were fairly priced at the rate of inflation:

If in 1975 I purchased an item for $6.50, then in 2019, the same item would cost $31.02.

You got it. At a fair rate of inflation it would be $31 and change. Yes you could argue that he had so many more albums and became even more of a legend by 2019. But you could also argue Born to Run was one of two peaks of his career with Born in the USA being the other one almost a decade later.

Even accounting for the body of work to come and doubling the price to $62 you know you are paying way more than that to see Bruce Springsteen or any other band. The cost of concert tickets has become obnoxious and yet people will pay.

No I’m not blaming Bruce Springsteen; it’s just an example that I had at hand. But think about it. By this measure an artist who has a current hit album and is on fire enough to grace the cover as of two major magazines should be getting about $32 for a concert ticket.

Something‘s wrong.

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