Americans will spend $95 billion this year on movie and game tickets and another $79.9 billion on theme parks
Going to a concert, a game or even taking the kids to a party is now becoming an unattainable dream in the US. There has even been talk of “funflation” from the English word for fun and inflation.
That year, concert tickets for music stars reached thousands of dollars, forcing many middle-class Americans to simply stop spending money on entertainment. There was also the phenomenon of people going into debt in order to be able to give themselves pleasure.
Almost 60% of Americans have started saving for entertainment such as concerts and sporting events in 2023, according to a US study by the Wall Street Journal and Credit Karma. And nearly 40% of the respondents declared that the prices of entertainment are already prohibitive for them.
Shocking, since concerts and sporting events are not essential goods, but
20% of Americans are ready to take out a loan,
but to go to an event of their choice.
26% of Americans have stopped spending any money on live entertainment, which is a huge increase compared to 16% before the COVID pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal survey.
In fact, the prices of tickets for concerts and games, as well as those for amusement parks such as “Disneyland”, have increased in price much more compared to those of food and fuel in 2022, according to data from the US Bureau of Consumer Affairs. And the increase in prices has continued in even greater proportions this year as well, the “Wall Street Journal” claims.
Funflation is largely due to people scrambling after the lockdown during the pandemic. Suddenly, concerts and stadium visits became possible again and people untied their wallets, eager to provide themselves with unforgettable memories. And normally,
high demand led to high prices
“Tickets for every single live event, for every way to give yourself pleasure and memories literally skyrocketed,” says Jessica Reif, who is an analyst at Bank of America. She was the first to talk about the phenomenon of fanflation. “And despite the exorbitant prices, everything is sold out, tickets are snapped up within hours,” adds Reif.
According to the latest analyzes of the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, this year Americans will spend 95 billion dollars on tickets to movies, concerts, and sporting events. That’s up 23% from 2022 and up 12.5% from the previous record $84.4 billion paid for entertainment in 2019.
And $79.9 billion is expected to be given to entrance fees to theme parks and campgrounds.
The champion of funflation are the concerts, for which there is still a huge demand despite the exorbitant prices. According to music producers, this is due to the huge marketing effect social media has on concerts. This also explains why internet stars like Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny or the Korean girl band Blackpink, who until recently were known only from the web, suddenly start filling stadiums around the world.
The real champion of price gouging, however, is Taylor Swift. With an average US concert ticket price of $120.11, itself a 7.4% increase from 2022 and 27% from 2019, tickets for her summer tour were comfortably running into several thousand dollars . And for the first time in history, everyone in the top 5 of the best-selling musicians, where besides Taylor Swift there are also Bruce Springsteen, Harry Styles, Elton John and Ed Sheeran,
has a profit from concert ticket sales in excess of $100 million,
and that’s only for the first half of 2023. Something unheard of for the last 2 decades, during which it was difficult for a performer to reach this quota.
According to “Pollstar” data, in the second quarter of this year, the average price for a Taylor Swift concert was $254. As the price range was actually $49 to $449 and that was before fees. Unlike Europe, US prices do not include VAT, and the tax is added to the advertised price. After Swift, the most expensive were the Eagles with an average price of $239, Bruce Springsteen with $226 and Phish with $206.
In the summer, however, a real frenzy began. The average price of a sold ticket for a Taylor Swift concert reached $1,095, according to data from cultural event ticket portal StubHub. Tickets for concerts by Beyoncé and Harry Styles reached an average of $400.
The attraction of Lionel Messi from “Inter” Miami brought the same madness on the prices of sports tickets. Before the Argentine superstar joined the team,
the average price of a ticket for an Inter match was 30 dollars
After Messi enters the game, the prices go up to an average of $255 per ticket.
The result is that many people cut back on the total number of concerts or sporting events they attend in order to save for one or two more expensive events. Or they give up all kinds of entertainment altogether, the “Wall Street Journal” claims.
The newspaper ordered a special analysis of the data on what is paid with credit cards in 16 popular sites in the USA such as “Ticketmaster”, “StubHub”, “Vivid”, etc. Data from the turnover of amusement parks and cinemas were also added. And it turns out that the share of people spending money on concerts and sporting events has fallen by 10% compared to 2019.
Even more frightening is the increase in prices in amusement parks. A visit to Disneyland for a family with one child costs about $6,000. As “Disney” additionally introduces “hooks” to get more money. For example, with phone apps where you skip the queues for a fee. The prices of food and souvenirs on the territory of the parks are also increasing, and “Disneyland” in Florida has also raised the prices of the parking lot.
There is also an increase in ticket prices at zoos, the study of the “Wall Street Journal” found. The one in San Diego, for example, has raised the one-day ticket from 59 to 69 dollars, the justification being the increase in staff salaries and the increase in the price of food for the animals.