Despite exorbitant prices, some fans are still going big

Jadrian Wooten, an associate professor of economics at Virginia Tech, said two primary behavioral factors lead consumers to spend hundreds of dollars on concert tickets, even if it is not in their best financial interest.

The first is called “present bias,” the idea that we “heavily discount the future and prioritize things we’re doing today.” 

We know as consumers and as people who have lived through a pandemic that opportunities for certain experiences may not happen again, causing fans “to go to great lengths to do that today,” Wooten said.

The second factor is that consumers base the value or the price of a product on experience, known as an “anchoring bias.” In the case of buying tickets to see industry titans through Ticketmaster, Beyoncé fans saw certain prices for Swift’s “Eras Tour” and adjusted their expectations and budgets accordingly. 

When Wooten first heard that U.S. fans were electing to travel to international shows for the same or cheaper tickets, he thought it was a “really creative way” to get two things for the price of one. 

“You’re bundling two experiences in one,” he said. “You’re getting both a concert experience and a trip that you maybe wanted to take anyway.”