'Extraordinarily high' cost of tickets for gigs putting music fans off
MUSIC lovers are avoiding many of the summer's biggest gigs because they can't afford the tickets, consumer advocates have claimed.
As A-list acts Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams and Neil Young all failed to sell out venues at the weekend, the chief executive of the Consumers' Association of Ireland, Dermott Jewell, said the "extraordinarily high" cost of tickets was putting people off.
However, concert promoters have insisted that ticket sales are holding up and that other big concerts and festivals in the coming months will sell out.
MCD said that its big shows, Bon Jovi at Slane and Robbie Williams at the Aviva, were each attended by more than 50,000 people.
Slane usually boasts a capacity of 80,000 while the Aviva can hold 55,000.
Large sections of the 25,000-capacity RDS were empty for the Neil Young show.
A spokeswoman for the organisers Aiken Promotions could not say how many attended.
Tickets remain on sale for several big concerts and festivals scheduled for the coming months including Eminem and Oxegen.
Three-day camping tickets at Oxegen – which features dance music artists David Guetta and Calvin Harris – are €155.60.
Eminem will play Slane on August 17 with tickets costing €79.50.
A spokesman for MCD maintained that while Bon Jovi failed to sell out, "it was close to it".
He said that Slane's usual 80,000 capacity was reduced because seats were installed for the concert.
And he insisted that Eminem would sell out.
Asked about the failure of big names to sell out their gigs this year, he said: "I wouldn't say that. Compared to last year, we've got a lot more shows on. The demand seems to be there for them."
Mr Jewell predicted that an increasing number of shows would fail to sell out, adding: "We're going to start to see the number of concerts signif-icantly drop because there won't be any incentive for artists to visit."