Want to go to Coachella? Tickets on the secondary are cheaper than they’ve ever been. Weekend 1 tickets are going for $520, which is only a $120 markup over face value. Tickets for Weekend 2 of Coachella are actually selling at or below face value. You could also buy a VIP ticket for $800, about $100 cheaper than when they went on sale in January.
That’s great news for fans who waited until the last minute to pull the trigger — why bother spending hours online during the on-sale when tickets can be had for the original asking price (plus about $85 in fees, because you know…..progress). The low price is generally bad news for brokers and resellers because it means many of them will lose money on their Coachella tickets, especially those who bought up large inventory positions.
What about for Coachella and Goldenvoice? Does the leveling off of prices indicate that enthusiasm for the event is waning, or that the market is bottoming out? Probably not. It just means that Goldenvoice has done a pretty good job matching price and inventory with demand and leaving very little money on the table. It means the event’s total capacity, matched with the price they’re asking from consumers for three days of music is pretty evenly matched.
And that’s good news right? Consumers who bought early don’t get angry that their tickets are now being sold on the cheap, Goldenvoice still pockets its huge gross (which will almost certainly pass the $100 million mark this year) and fans can still get in at a reasonable price without paying a big markup to scalpers.
How did we get to this point? Below are three reasons tickets to the second weekend of Coachella are so cheap right now.
Coachella Increased its Capacity
If it feels like more people are headed to the desert this year to attend Coachella, it’s because the number of people allowed into the event has risen. Last April, the Indio City Council approved a request to allow Goldenvoice to grow the event by nearly 25 percent over the next few years. Attendance that had been capped at 99,000 is now being gradually increased to allow 125,000 attendees. Stagecoach’s capacity was also increased from 75,000 tickets to 85,000 tickets. To accommodate the larger crowds, Goldenvoice expanded the festival footprint by about 50 acres.
The expanded footprint means that more fans were able to purchase tickets during the on-sale, tampering down on demand on the secondary market and causing the price of tickets on sites like StubHub to drop. Pretty simple, right?
Brokers Over Bought
This is a popular argument among the secondary ticketing community and seems to align with the slow, steady drop in ticket prices. According to Patrick Ryan with Eventellect, a ticket pricing and distribution company, tickets to last year’s Coachella were selling at triple face value in the days leading up to opening of the festival, leading many to believe a repeat of 2016 was likely. But an oversupply of tickets, coupled with an unusually high purchase volume all this week, likely led to a price drop.
“Because last year’s weekend one Coachella passes exceeded more than $1200, brokers were more bullish on the festival this year,” he said. “Approximately 20% more tickets will transact for 2017 Coachella weekends than 2016 and that has kept prices reasonable.”
Ralph Garcia at online marketplace TicketIQ said he is seeing a similar drop in ticket pricing and believes it has to do with consumers waiting until the last minute to buy tickets.
“The story here is that those who were patient can get tickets at much better prices than a month ago,” he told Amplify. “However, with the low inventory available, it’s not suggested people wait much longer before purchasing.”
The Headliners Have Something To Do With It
Did Goldenvoice’s decision to bring Lady Gaga on as the Saturday night headliner to replace a pregnant Beyonce cause a dip in the price of the tickets on the secondary market? Probably, although it’s hard to quantify the precise impact.
A couple things to think about. Last year, it’s very likely that Guns N’ Roses decision to play the festival led to high prices on the secondary. At the time, G&R fans had few options available to see the band beyond their two shows opening T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Lady Gaga has already announced and sold most of the tickets to her Joanne world tour, including three stops in Los Angeles later this year. Many of her fans already have tickets to see her play. Guns N’ Roses would later go on their own hugely successful world tour, but that tour wasn’t announced until after Coachella had wrapped.
Would Beyonce have sustained a higher ticket price? It’s possible that there could have been a slight uptick, but because of the increase in capacity, the larger broker positions, and the late purchasing volume, it’s not likely she would have had a significant impact either.