The $15,000 Concert Series Will Let You See Prince For A Steep, Steep Price

May 18th, 2007 // 15 Comments

princesmiles.jpgToday’s Wall Street Journal has an item on Social, a five-concert series taking place in the Hamptons this summer. Those who are interested in seeing Prince, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews, Tom Petty or James Taylor may want to drop by the series, although they’d better be fast, have a fair amount of equity, and be willing to get their snob on, as tickets to the series are limited to a run of 1,000, and will cost each attendee a cool $15,000;

The prices of Social, which work out to $3,000 a concert, may not go down easily, some music-industry analysts say. Barbra Streisand’s Las Vegas show was last year’s most expensive regular ticket in the U.S., at $1,000 a pop, concert-tracking company Pollstar says. Tickets for Alabama’s farewell tour also cost $1,000 but included meeting the band and an autographed guitar. “You’re definitely pushing the outer bounds with this,” says Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar, “even with prime rib and lobster.”

But Joe Meli, Bulldog CEO, says prices are in line with the secondary market. Tenth-row tickets to the Jimmy Buffett concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden this September, for example, are being offered for $2,995 on StubHub. Though no one may be willing to pay that much, a buyer from Omaha, Neb., did pay $11,000 for two front-row seats at Elton John’s 60th Birthday Bash in March at Madison Square Garden.

Social attendees will also be treated to amenities like free parking, food from celebrity chefs, on-site art exhibits, and seating that eschews chairs for sexier, comfier lodging like ottomans and daybeds–an innovation that, no doubt, was a Prince brainstorm. While events like Social are a likely next step in the evolution of the VIP ticket, we’d be lying if we didn’t say that we weren’t crazy about the idea of turning a rock concert series into something more akin to a society benefit–where the only thing that benefits are the obviously deformed egos of people who want to pump themselves up by bragging about having dropped $3,000 on a Billy Joel set. Okay, okay, there’s free parking, too, but come on.

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll — at $15,000 a Seat [WSJ]


  1. Butch Huskey

    why the hate? it doesnt sound like anyone is making any extra money off this, i’d bet the promoters are going to lose money on the show but hope to make it back by leasing vending space at the show to high-end marketers …

    the ticket gross of $15,000 x 1000 tickets (if it sells out, if they don’t comp. anyone) is 1.5 mil … divided by 5 artists that’s 300k gross each … (which would be a $30 ticket for a 10,000 seat show) which is probably less than what they normally charge … it’s probably considered similar to a corporate gig for the artist or their managment suggested they try something different, i’m sure they are some high-rollers who’ve dropped more than $30k on a weekend of gambling + concert tickets to see Prince in Vegas … this way that 30k makes it to the artist instead of the casinos

  2. The Van Buren Boys

    Nothing says good times at a concert like lobster and prime rib. This reminds me of a couple years ago when I saw The Who and they had ushers selling glasses of champagne in Madison Square Garden. It was pretty ridiculous seeing Roger Daltrey singing “My Generation” with the audience sipping champagne.

  3. Christian John

    The proceeds are going towards The Ross School’s scholarship program. $15,000 is pocket change for their target audience. It’s a benefit. A pricey benefit, but a benefit nontheless.

  4. PengIn

    Daybeds at a James Taylor concert? That’s one pricey nap.

  5. Halfwit

    If I were a performer, no amount of charity could squelch my disgust at seeing the idle rich lounging on daybeds while I performed songs that actually meant something to me.

  6. Chris Molanphy

    Yeah, I’m kinda with Halfwit on this one - glad to hear it’s for a good cause (at those prices, it better be), but there’s something fundamentally grody about people like Tom “Damned If My Label Will Overprice My 1981 Album” Petty playing for a bunch of well-fed beached whales.

  7. Maura Johnston

    @Christian John: the proceeds? i just thought it was the fee for using the grounds:

    “The concert site, East Hampton’s Ross School, will put its set fee from Bulldog into its scholarship fund. But, says Mr. Meli, “We’re not obfuscating what we’re doing by calling ourselves a charity.” “

  8. AcidReign

    …..15 grand for a concert ticket? I could buy BOTH of my teenage kids a car for that!

  9. Hyman Decent

    Will there be any opening acts? Or is not having to suffer through an opening act one of the amenities you get for shelling out this much?

    @Lucas Jensen: Billy Joel and James Taylor knew how to write songs.

    @Butch Huskey: 1,000 tickets x $15,000 per ticket = $15 million, not $1.5 million.

  10. Anonymous

    Do the proceeds go to charity at least?

    What a bunch of assholes.

  11. IamnotStarJones

    @dennisobell: well fed beached whales performing for well fed beached whales, i say.

    it’s just a rich selfish world.

  12. Trackback

    In what could be the finest form of stealing from the rich, the Artist Formerly Known as being far more comfortable touring outside of the US, could be setting up shop a block away from Hollywood & Highland for a royal residency.

  13. dickweed

    Butch Huskey failed math obviously. 15,000 x 1000 is 15 million dollars. Each artist probably gets 1.5 million leaving a tidy sum for the business model.

  14. abdullahthebitcher

    You know those police stings where they offer a free boat or something to folks with pending warrents, and then when everyone shows up, they get busted? Well do ya? Good!

    Because this gathering should acually be a live pay-per-view event, where once all the $15,000 a pop attendees are seated, the stage curtains are raised and eveyone is gunned down by middle aged mortgagee’s using MP5′s! Anyone this stupid and oppulent to pay this kind of price for this kind of talent needs to be removed for parking spaces for the rest of us.

    No wonder the rest of the world hates us!

  15. protectsecursvcs

    I get invited to all of these events. Enough said. I was at the Prince Concert last night and it was truly amazing. All of the food was provided by Ed Zakarian (owner of Town restaurant and Country Restaurant in NYC), the dessert was provided by Dylan’s Candy Bar Celebrations, the water provided by Voss, all the bars had top shelf liquor including Christiana Vodka, etc.

    For all those people who are calling the attendee’s snobs, why would you care honestly? I’m sure if you had the money or the connections, you’d be there as well. I will keep you all updated after the next show as well.


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