Thursday, 10 July 2014

The True Cost Of Gig Going (Part 6)

Here’s our monthly geeky round up of our spending on live music (and spending related to live music) over the last month and for the first half of the year.

As summer festival season kicks in we spend much more time in our wellies and / or sunblock watching bands in a field (or at multi-venue events) than the more traditional gig venue. In fact over June we went to only 1 standard gig (Lorde at Brixton Academy) but four festivals of various types (Field Day, Bushstock, Camden Crawl and Glastonbury, all reviewed on the blog).

So do festivals provide better value than a normal gig? Well value is not just about hard facts and figures, but what you perceive you're getting for your money, so this is difficult to answer as it includes intangible things such as your 'experience'. A typical larger festival can cost anywhere between £100 and £200 for a ticket and if you’re like us it’s pretty easy to see somewhere around 10 bands a day. Transport costs can be reduced as whilst you may be travelling further you’re only having to do it once and the festival is likely to be over several days. Then you need to take into consideration how much you spend at the festival itself. Some like Glastonbury can work out very cheap if you take your own food and booze as you can take your own drinks anywhere on site, whilst others can be horrendously expensive if you have to buy overpriced cheap lager / cider from the festival bars due to restrictions on carrying drinks into the arena areas.

At Breaking More Waves we are extremely lucky as for some of the summer festivals we’ve attended we haven’t had to pay for a ticket, having either received a complimentary one (for instance Glastonbury) for helping judge their Emerging Talent Competition or we’ve received press accreditation, where we’ve written previews and reviews about the festival. It’s one of the perks of running an established music blog with a small but loyal readership.

So our spend at festivals doesn’t reflect the norm, but as the end objective is to reflect our personal total yearly spend on live music and associated costs we’re not attempting to include ticket prices for tickets we didn’t buy. We’re also not including the cost of food purchased at a festival. Whilst this expense is greater than our typical supermarket shop, we have to eat so this isn’t considered an associated cost as such, particularly as for most festivals we do take quite a large amount of our own food with us (particularly breakfasts) to help keep costs down. So for the purposes of this exercise we can't accurately say if festivals do provide better value or not. What we do know is that we love them, so to us personally they must generally represent good value.

So here are the key points of this month’s gig and festival going:

- In total we saw 71 artists full performances. That’s 212 for the year.

- Our biggest spend this month  was on tickets at £173. 

- We’ve spent £441.95 this year on tickets. That equates to £2.08 / band on tickets only. Festivals work out cheaper at only £1.62 per band but it needs to be taken into consideration that we had free tickets to the value of around £260 at these festivals.

- Our biggest spend over the course of the year so far is on travel (£558.50) and accommodation (£594.15).

- Our total spend on gigs and festivals including tickets, travel, drinks, merchandise and accommodation where applicable in the first 6 months of the year was £1,987.90

- The total current running average cost of seeing any band, including support acts and at festivals, including all associated costs such as drinks, travel and accomodation is currently £9.37. Therefore a typical average 3 band gig actually costs us just under £30.

We'll continue this series next month and talking of festivals and gig going this is our last post till next week as we set off to do both of those.

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