Sunday, 4 May 2014

The True Cost Of Gig Going (Part 4)

Here’s our fourth report in an ongoing blog post series examining our monthly gig going spend, leading up to a final end of year analysis in December.

April has been an odd month. In total we saw 33 live performances by bands and artists (we only count full sets, not a half set at a festival or a support band that we walked into the venue during their gig) yet paid only £35.50 for tickets, including booking fees. This may seem ludicrously cheap but it’s for one simple reason – the guest list.

Writing a music blog can sometimes bring you certain privileges; free advance copies of singles and albums to listen to, access to speak and hang out with artists that you probably wouldn’t get the opportunity to otherwise, invitations to music industry events and occasionally the gig guest list. Now these things are all very nice, but they’re not why we write the blog and we’re a little bit uncomfortable asking to be on a guest list. We prefer to be a blogger not a blagger. However, there are exceptions. These are as follows:

  • Where a show is guest list only – there are no tickets available.
  • Where we’re doing some work in connection with the show. In our case this means either writing a review of the show (we do this for festivals) or where we’ve been involved in judging bands for a competition (such as the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent competition or the Road to Blissfields Festival competition).
  • Where we’re offered a place on the guest list directly by the band or their management without us asking, usually because we’ve supported the band on a number of blog posts in the past, so in effect we’ve ‘worked’ for the free ticket.
This month saw us gaining access to gigs by all 3 of the above methods, hence our ticket outlay was very low.

So here's April’s key breakdown. Note that these figures only relate to gigs we’ve attended so far. Where we’ve purchased a ticket for a future show the cost of that ticket will be included in the month we attend, not in advance.

The True Cost Of Gig Going (April)

  • In total we saw 33 artists full performances, including support acts. That’s 84 for the year in total, of which we’ve seen 81 different ones. (Fickle Friends remain the only band we’ve seen more than once this year, now clocking in 3 times).
  • We’ve visited 6 different towns, cities and villages to see gigs, namely Brighton, Guildford, London, Pilton, Portsmouth and Reading.
  • £35.50 was spent on tickets.
  • £152 was spent on travel.
  • £63.50 spent on drinks at venues (far more than previous months, mainly because we had more money to spare due to the guest lists and also because we stayed over or used public transport for some shows so alcohol was consumed!)
  • £67.50 spent on overnight accommodation.
  • £10 spent on merchandise at the gigs.
  • The total spend this year so far is £1070.40 Travel costs continue to be the most expensive cost, representing 2/5 of our total spend.

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