Concerts aren't selling like they used to

A growing number of music fans are looking at the astronomical prices for concert tickets and saying, “In this economy? No, thanks.”

What happened: Big-name acts accustomed to filling arenas are finding sales are slow this summer, with some even cancelling their tours in recent weeks.

  • Jennifer Lopez and The Black Keys are the two highest-profile performers to cancel their entire tours. Bad Bunny cancelled one show of his tour so far, reportedly because of poor sales.

Dig deeper: We looked at ticket listings for six of the biggest shows at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena this summer and found only one that appeared close to selling out.

  • Thousands of non-resale tickets are still available for shows by Future, Missy Elliott, and Snoop Dogg (who plays this Wednesday). Tickets for shows by Usher and Childish Gambino appear to be selling faster.
     
  • Based on Ticketmaster listings, Avril Lavigne’s August show is the hottest seller — only a couple hundred tickets were still available for sale at face value.

Why it matters: Last year’s phenomenon of “revenge spending” on expensive concerts — driven in part by Taylor Swift and Beyoncé’s blockbuster tours — appears to be over.

  • That tracks with Statistics Canada data showing that Canadians’ spending on recreation and culture has declined since the highs of 2023.

The good news: Slowing sales may mean cheaper concert tickets. Recently released data from SeatGeek shows resale ticket prices for summer concerts are 17% lower than last year, per Axios.