There are few things that surprise me when it comes to the entertainment industry. I barely noticed, for example, when Britney Spears turned herself in to the police for a hit and run, or when Paris Hilton decided to help out in Rwanda. When I read that Disney Channel “it girl” Miley Cyrus’ Nov. 19 Tampa concert sold out within 14 minutes, however, I was in shock.
The quick sell-out was caused by software that allows ticket brokers to purchase tickets with remarkable speed. Scalpers are now selling front-row tickets for the 54-city tour for as much as $4,572, according to the Denver Post.
This is outright wrong, considering that the bulk of Cyrus’ audience – the 8 to 14 “tween” demographic – can’t afford such prices.
“People buying tickets to make a quick buck is what makes it harder for regular people to get tickets at face value for popular shows,” said Debra Rathwell, vice president of AEG Live, the entertainment company which organized the tour for Disney.
It’s ludicrous to even consider paying $4,572 to see a 14-year old artist. Cyrus will perform as both herself and her rock star counterpart, Hannah Montana, which she plays on her hit Disney Channel show. Even Cyrus is surprised at the price of some tickets.
“Oh, gosh, it ain’t worth that!” said Cyrus on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “It’s going to be a good show, but I don’t think it’s worth what it’s going for.”
Cyrus is right. Parents should not put up with such expensive tickets when the opportunity to buy cheap ones exists, even in situations like this.
If the child desperately wants to go to the concert, parents should wait until the last minute since there’s a chance the price may not be as unbelievable.
“The prices that you see now are not the prices that are going to hold,” said Sean Pate, the spokesman of Stubhub.com. “Parents need to set a price that they are comfortable with and watch the market on a daily basis.”
This pricey ticket problem doesn’t just take place with Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus tickets, though. It happens to many other concerts. Fewer tickets are available to the public because many tickets go to the fan clubs, promoters, concert venues and sponsors before the general sale begins.
With the Montana/Cyrus concert, the public is finally starting to look into the unfair act of pre-sale and online ticket brokers. The Florida Attorney General’s Office has received 19 complaints about the Hannah Montana problem and they are currently reviewing the situation.
“It’s really getting out of control,” Ray Waddell, Billboard’s senior editor of touring at Billboard magazine said. “The industry is kind of fed up.”
Cyrus is young and probably has at least a few more tours in her, so it is to be hoped that by her next one, there will be laws protecting the public from absurd prices.
Parents may need to tell their children that they’ll just have to sit this concert out. After all, they can always remind their kids that Disney, which tries to make money out of anything, is bound to release a DVD in a few months, and then the kids can attend a Hannah Montana concert anytime they want.
Candace Kaw is a junior majoring in mass communications and history.