Be­cause she’s worth it: PJ on the great ticket price de­bate

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

Con­cert tick­ets con­tinue to be a hot topic, and the price of PJ Har­vey’s Dublin con­cert – up to ¤64.80 plus book­ing fees – has gen­er­ated much heat on The Ticket’s On The Record blog. Do artists know how much their fans are hav­ing to pay to see them live? “I’m al­ways aware of what my tick­ets are priced at,” says Har­vey. “That’s some­thing I think ev­ery artist is in­volved in. At least I am.” Do artists have a say in how much is charged for their gig? “I can’t an­swer for other peo­ple, but I’ve al­ways taken an ac­tive part in know­ing what’s go­ing on. I don’t want to feel that my work is be­ing pre­sented in a way that I knew noth­ing about, if you know what I mean, so I’ve al­ways taken an in­ter­est in what’s

hap­pen­ing in that way.” The per­cep­tion is that Ir­ish au­di­ences are pay­ing more to see their favourite artists than UK or Euro­pean au­di­ences. What do you think? “I was look­ing through Time

and look­ing at the ticket prices, and I think it’s the same deal here (in the UK). Quite a few tick­ets are up in the £40 range, which is about ¤60, isn’t it? So it does seem to be here as well.

“I think qual­ity more than quan­tity is im­por­tant. A lot of artists are suf­fer­ing from the way that there are less and less record sales, so th­ese days it is the con­certs that bring in the in­come.

“And it’s go­ing to be­come even harder and harder for mu­si­cians to be able to af­ford to do what they do, which is prob­a­bly a large part of why peo­ple have to charge more [for con­cert tick­ets], just be­cause they have to live, to do what they’re do­ing. It’s a strange off­set, be­cause ob­vi­ously peo­ple can get mu­sic for free if they want it, whereas if you want to see a per­son live, then you’re gonna have to pay a bit more.

“But to an­swer you’re ques­tion as to whether it’s go­ing up too high, I re­ally don’t know. What do think?”

Polly Jean. . . what do you think?

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