Why Are Ultra Music Festival Tickets So Expensive?
If you click on any photo posted to the Ultra Music Festival Facebook fan page, it’s easy to notice the comments of angry fans slamming the festival’s organizers for their astronomical ticket prices. They have a legitimate complaint, as the cheapest ticket available on the StubHub ticket marketplace sits at a remarkable $466.99, with the most expensive soaring over $20K. But, of course, the festival had no problem selling out thief general admission tickets once again this year, and offered plenty of payment options so that fans could fill Bayfront Park for another 3 day weekend.
The question still remains: why are tickets SO expensive? Well, it all starts in the process. The festival organizers have to pay a fee when they apply for their permit from the City of Miami. Next, the costs of building each different stages always climbs each year, as the Ultra organizers always want to top the past edition of the festival. There is no confirmed cost online, however, one can easily assume the number stretches into the million dollar range. Here comes the most expensive part: booking artists. The very headliners that draw fans through the gates are the ones that give the financial minds at Ultra headaches and sleepless nights. Clearly, these guys do not play for free, and Ultra has to use ticket revenue to pay each DJ/performer for their work. According to Forbes magazine, Tiësto alone averages payment of $250,000 per night, on his way to earning $32 million in 2013. Calvin Harris earned $46 million in 2013, so one can only imagine how much he charges per night. For these reasons, Ultra has to foist the majority of its expenses on festival attendees.
Ultra is trying to manage their expenses, but still put on a tremendous show, and this has translated to high admission prices. But, as is illustrated above, the blame should not be placed on Ultra. DJ’s are now demanding incredibly high booking fees, and their riders add another complicated and expensive aspect to the entire process. So for those fans who decide to take their frustration out on the Ultra staff, just stop. Ultra would let everyone in for free if they could, but the ones stopping them from doing it are the DJs themselves.
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