After the off-brand BuzzFeed debacle -- Beyonce can’t be ugly! (seriously has anyone heard from the publicist Yvette? I’m worried for her) -- Beyoncé yesterday announced that her Mrs Carter World Tour tickets will be very accessibly priced, with tickets as low as $45 (and as high as $1300 for VIP packages). This woman does not let a bad story go unanswered for long.
I don't think the cheap tickets are a knee-jerk reaction to the PR mishap, although she was probably saving this announcement for a Super Bowl backlash, if there was one. Ticket structure is worth millions, and the price would have been decided between her team, the sponsors, and the accountants long ago - it's probably not something they could change at the last minute (even though it certainly doesn’t hurt to tell everyone about it now). Really, B is flush with Pepsi money so there’s no need to wring every penny out of a tour. And what better way to present that than with this quote to US Weekly:
"She takes care of all her fans so that every one of them can see her.”
It’s a sweet sentiment, if a touch magnanimous. B is Daddy Warbucks!
And it’s definitely a step up from Madonna who told fans they should SAVE UP to see her. That she’s worth it. I’ve seen Madonna in concert twice – there’s no doubt she works her ass off, but that isn’t the only thing that makes it worth it, you know? There has to be some kind of connection to the artist, and no matter how rehearsed or dedicated she is, I don’t know if connecting with her people is on Madonna’s list of priorities.
This is what Beyoncé is doing with these $45 tickets –- telling the fans she wants to see US as much as we want to see HER. And the $45 tickets show a lack of greed… but is that the same as generosity?
$45 is affordable, no doubt. Lainey pointed out that it’s in the ballpark of going to see a movie with popcorn – there aren’t many artists you could see for that price, especially of B’s stature.
But what about availability? Even if there are a good number of $45 tickets, like anything that is high in demand and cheap, it creates an out of whack supply and demand (meaning these tickets will be up on eBay within 10 minutes for 10X the price, just like a Rodarte dress from Target). This isn’t at all B’s fault, but she’s no rookie - it could have been anticipated that those tickets are going to end up with scalpers. It’s not fair, and it’s not why she has $45 tickets, but it’s reality.
Let’s say some of those $45 tickets do reach their intended demographic -- people who couldn’t normally afford to see her in concert – does she REALLY want their 45 bucks?
It’s like when Brad and Angelina donated their baby photo money to charity: It was insanely generous, more generous than most people - millionaire or not - would be and it would have been even more awesome if they matched it. They aren’t obligated to at all, but it just would have been amazing. I see this as a similar situation – yes, it’s very cool that she’s trying to get people through the door for $45, so why not use some creativity to get them through the door for free? You know those people paying $1300? Maybe charge them $1400 and offset the price of two tickets… because someone paying $1300 would also pay $1400 (and it would give them even more to brag about). Or do a ticket donation program in exchange for a meet-and-greet contest or work with local media to do a giveaway to local charities that she feels are important – there are ways to get lots of her fans through the door and see that she gets paid (because she does deserve to get paid, no matter how rich she is).
I know, I know: How dare I question Mrs Carter? May Blue Ivy strike me down.
Oh look, Beyonce’s making faces with her girls on her Tumblr. This means she’s OK with you looking at non-perfect pictures of her…but only if she approves it first.