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Concerts: What you need to know about Soft ticketing VS. Hard ticketing

The music industry evolves every day. Even though you can’t see it with the eye, the small changes are still there. Maybe no one ever heard about the terms of ‘hard’ of ‘soft’ ticket selling. It doesn’t mean that tickets are selling slow or fast. In fact, it means something so different and I hope I can teach you something new with this article. Remember when I told you about what you actually pay for at concerts? There was a piece that I wrote that said:

For festivals there is a case of making deals. Agents can give the festival organization a specific deal so that if they take one headliner on their line-up, they have to take 2 smaller bands.

This, is still the case. I really don’t see anything bad about it. Smaller bands need a little push to get more exposure and I really believe this helps them out. What I don’t like, is that a thing like ‘hard ticketing’ is happening for festivals.

Normally, a festival is sold in ‘soft tickets’. This means that the tickets that are being sold, can’t be tied back to one artist. Which is the logic way of ticket selling. You can’t split a percentage of what you sold for your festival tickets to one band.

Now the term ‘hard ticketing’ is used for an artist in concert. Like, for example, Billy Idol is doing a show in Madison Square and he has 2 support acts. This is hard ticketing because you know that a percentage goes to the headliner for sure.

Now, with the changes in the music industry, it’s happening that the headliners, and more the labels behind the big headliners, are asking for a percentage of the ticket sales. To me, this is outrageous. Because a lot of festivals use the money of the ticket sales to pay for the most bands that come on that festival. They are doing a form of hard ticketing and if one headliner starts, they all want a piece of that cake.

What do you think about this? Will festivals survive with giving a percentage of the ticket sales?

One thought on “Concerts: What you need to know about Soft ticketing VS. Hard ticketing

  1. In the long-run… No. The Smaller Fest operators will be out of the biz. The larger operators (Live and AEG) will love this, they will be able to consolidate without looking like a duopoly (which they are).

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