Live music shouldn't be out of reach for anyone. It's understandable that desirable seats sell for more, but when admittance on any level is attainable only by those with massive amounts of disposable income, there's clearly a serious issue at hand. The upcoming three night Grateful Dead reunion/farewell show in Chicago is the grossest example of a situation like this, and the saddest part is that greed is the sole cause.
Despite the Dead's efforts to combat excessive re-sale prices, the cheapest tickets available on StubHub are around $600, and GA options soar as high as $10,000. Because the show will take place in Soldier Field, Chicago Bears season ticket holders were given first pick of the tickets, allowing them to sidestep the band's own first-come-first-serve system, according to Stereogum.
The ticket re-sale game is nothing new, but it has now achieved a unique level of negative influence. This is clear cut exploitation of die-hard fans in a space that should be free of such wanton capitalistic excess. Jerry Garcia would burst into tears if he new that his legacy was being infringed upon by selfish people trying to make a quick buck.
There should be a limit within these re-sale websites on the percentage markup possible when listing tickets. The limitations could even fluctuate depending on the original price. For example, a $50.00 seat could re-sold for a maximum of a 100% mark-up, while a $300.00 seat is limited to a 20% increase. The public outcry would be insane if organizations instituted rules such as these, but it would benefit the whole of the show-going population. That being said, I'd love to see what a person that spends ten grand for a concert ticket looks like, just out of curiosity.
Watch Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir talk to a much younger David Letterman, and get a glimpse of what Dead Heads were once all about: