A comparison was made for Bob Dylan concert tickets in 26 cities around the world… and the Oscar for the priciest city goes for: Cidade Maravilhosa.
The ticket cost? A sweet R$500 (US$278) for the cheapest seats. According to O Globo, this ticket price is more than twice what is charged for the same ticket in Brasilia (R$ 240) and almost three times more than Sao Paulo’s (R$150). But wait… the price comparison becomes more outrageous when compared to the rest of the world. From Austria to Argentina, no one pays more than the “cariocas” to see Bob Dylan on stage. In Salzburg, Austria, the rock star sings for the equivalent of R$217. In Berlin for R$134. In Santiago, Chile, the equivalent tickets sell for R$ 97, and in Buenos Aires for R$ 83.
Question: but who is “pocketing” the earnings? Answer: definitely not Bob Dylan…
The Swedish duo Roxette, who is also playing in Brazil next month, sells its concert tickets in Rio for R$ 150. In São Paulo, similar tickets go for R$70, and in Buenos Aires for R$62. With Duran Duran, the same story. For the Rio show on the 30th, the tickets sell for R$180. In São Paulo, on May 2, for R$130 and in Buenos Aires, three days later, for the equivalent of R$66.
Being the second most expensive city in the Americas and the 12th in the world clearly has its downside for Rio de Janeiro. But here is what some experts said when trying to explain the reasons for these outrageous prices:
“Brazil is today one of the largest consumer markets in the world for music concerts” – said Peter Seiler. “When the agent of an international musician sees the opportunity to do a concert here, he instantly increases the price.
For instance, the Lollapalooza festival, which brought together 50 rock bands in Sao Paulo had its ticket prices at R$300. In the Chilean edition, which took place with 62 bands, the entry cost was the equivalent of R$170.
But, according to another expert, the big issue is the extensive use of half-price tickets (“meia entrada”), which makes the average ticket price to skyrocket. “While in Sao Paulo half-priced tickets represent 35% of the box office supply, in Rio it is more like 70%. In the Green Day concert in the city, 65% of tickets were half-priced. In Sao Paulo, it was only 30%. Of course this affects the overall price.”
A third reason for the high prices charged for international concerts in Rio has to do with the low number of service providers operating in the city. In other words: less to no competition among companies that organize such events.
“Rio has far fewer options than Sao Paulo in terms of suppliers, so obviously there’s less competition,” said a producer. “As most companies are in Sao Paulo, it is expensive to move equipment. In addition, there are less available room hotels in Rio over the weekend, which adds to overall logistics costs.”