The Police: greedy, or merely ignorant?

police black white

 

When I first heard that The Police were re-forming for a worldwide concert tour, I got very excited. They are one of those bands that I had always really liked, but had never got round to seeing in concert. And so before tour dates and locations had been announced, I decided that I would happily travel to see The Police, in case they chose not to stop in Prague.

Early on, Jono sent me a promotional email he had received at work about VIP tickets for the shows at Twickenham in London. Those tickets were going for ₤365 a pop but, I thought, that’s London and they are part of a VIP package. I didn’t imagine that price could be at all indicative of what Prague prices might be.

Before I left for The Amerika at the end of last month, I had heard that The Police would be playing in Prague, but there had not yet been an official announcement (as far as I knew) and tickets had not yet gone on sale. Then last night I was out with Mike and he asked me if I had heard how much tickets were. I had not, so he told me.

The cheapest tickets are 220.

What? 220? That’s amazing!

Euros.

What?!! No way!

Yes.

Really?? 220 euros?

Yes. 220 euros. The cheapest seats.

Those greedy bastards.

To put things into perspective… the average monthly salary in Prague is around €720. And Prague salaries are higher than anywhere else in the country. Now, even though my monthly earnings are quite a bit higher than the average, I still would not pay that kind of money for a concert ticket. The price is simply too obscene.

Contrast: Mike and I bought tickets for the Rolling Stones concert last year – which was cancelled, but that is beside the point. Those tickets were priced at 990 Kč each, or, at today’s exchange rate, about €35. And that was the authentic original half-dead Rolling Stones – not a cover band. Who the hell do The Police think they are?!

And today I did my research. The price in euros is nearly standard across Europe. I did not look at every city, but the shows in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris, Antwerp and Vienna all have the same pricing as Prague. The tickets are €220/250/290 + €30 delivery.

And that is where I might be able to give The Police the benefit of the doubt and accuse them of ignorance rather than greed. Perhaps they don’t realise that unlike the other countries where they are playing, the economy of the Czech Republic is still recovering from 40 years of hardcore communism. As an example, even now, 17 years after the fall of communism, average monthly salaries next-door in Austria are 4 times higher than they are in the Czech Republic.

But back to greed…

In England, tickets for Manchester and Twickenham are ₤240 and ₤290 or, at Twickenham only, you can stand for ₤220.

In The Amerika, it seems that the price of tickets is more varied and thus spread over a wider socio-economic range. I looked only at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where tickets go from $70 to $3080, and Madison Square Garden in New York, where the price range is $160 to $5690.

Mike and I agreed that the most likely scenario for The Police concert in Prague is that not enough tickets will be sold and the concert will be cancelled. Hey ho.

*current exchange: ₤1 = €1.48 = $2.01

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7 Responses to The Police: greedy, or merely ignorant?

  1. Martin Chrz says:

    Well, I agree with nearly everything you say.
    Though, I think the ticket prices of most gigs in Prague are as or almost as high as in other European cities. Concerts like Lisa Gerrard, Laurie Anderson or Tori Amos are about 35 Euro (the prices vary, but I take 1000 Kc as average), and I think it’s about the price the tickets are sold somewhere else in Europe (or not too much higher).
    So, in that perspective it’s ok, if the price is same in Czechia and somewhere else. People here like music and definitely have enough money to afford it – the “usual” price I mean, of course!

    But some 6 grand is just arrogance, as you say. Nonsense, stupidity, cheeky – are other words that cross my mind.
    But I think many people in the West will think the same when they hear the price 200 or 250 Euro. I reckon many – and it means MANY – people will think the same like you for instance – “I could afford it, but to spend THAT much money on a gig – on ANY gig at all – just forget it, just f**k it!”

    So, not only the Prague gig, but possibly the whole tour might be cancelled…?! ;o)
    On the other hand they should know what they’re doing, shouldn’t they..??? Strange….. :-/

    We’ll see what happens…

  2. Pozzuoli says:

    These are not the Rolling Stones……..this is The Police. It sucks that it is so expensive and I sympathize. However, the reason the prices are so high is also because of all the middle men and brokerage deals it takes to put on the gig and support a tour.

    I am sure that whoever is brokering tix in Prague (besides the outside orgs that buy up blocks of tix to sell at higher prices) is driving the prices to some extent.

    I am seeing them in Chicago at Wrigley Field. My ticket cost $150. I wish I were seeing it in Prague!

  3. Max says:

    Pozzuoli, something that you don’t seem to understand is that NO ONE charges that much for regular concert tickets in Prague. Prague is not Paris and Prague is not London, etc. I would accept the ticket prices if the concert were in a small venue and would therefore be something special, but 220 euros for a horrible arena setting offends me.

    Your ticket for Chicago, by the way, cost half of what my ticket would cost here in Prague.

  4. Me says:

    wow youre lame. writing an entire blog of nothing but complaints against a really good band…weirdo!

  5. Max says:

    Wow, you’re stupid, because you missed my whole point.

  6. brandi says:

    hey i went the concert on monday the 28th and it was fuckin asome that was the first time i saw the police and it was the best concert i ever went to. I hope the police is a group band forever and i hope they never split up again. thx i love the police they rock and Sting is a really good fuckin singer and andy and summers u were asome too.

  7. markydread says:

    I went to twickenham last night and saw the police it was a great gig very enjoyable they played some of the songs a bit slower than they used to, oh and the importatant bit my ticket cost £45.00 i was high up in the seats but had a great view. So i do not agree that they are money grabbing as most concerts are priced around the same these days unless of course you are expecting to sit on stings lap !

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