Today’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.