Long-range concert planning isn’t new.
One Direction put tickets for their debut at Jones Beach on sale 14 months before they were set to arrive in 2013. Aussie boy band 5 Seconds of Summer put tickets for their Jones Beach debut on sale 13 months before their arrival in 2015.
That is part of a long tradition of promoters looking to get famously fickle teenage fans (and their parents) to commit their cash to a show before they find someone else they like more. One Direction’s Niall Horan continues that tradition, putting tickets for his Sept. 12 show at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater on sale a year ahead of time. His bandmate Harry Styles also started selling tickets for his Madison Square Garden shows in June 2018 a year in advance.
But this trend is now starting to spread beyond teen-friendly acts.
On Monday, Nov. 20, tickets for U2’s June 9 show at Nassau Coliseum and June 25 at Madison Square Garden go on sale, more than seven months before the concerts. Last month, P!nk started selling tickets to her Garden shows in April nearly six months ahead of time.
So what is going on? Well, it’s a variety of factors coming together, say concert industry experts.
BUNDLING As it becomes tougher and tougher for artists not named Adele or Taylor to sell a lot of albums, more musicians are giving fans a copy of their new albums when they purchase a concert ticket to boost opening-week sales numbers. That means the tours need to be announced even before the albums they support are released — which is happening with U2’s “Songs of Experience” album, which doesn’t even hit stores until Dec. 1.
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COMPETITION Artists know that music fans only have so much money they can spend on concerts. By putting their concerts on sale early, they hope to get their fans’ entertainment dollars before another band does.
PROMOTION The early concert announcements give everyone more time to advertise and promote the event, making sure that every show is a sell out.
Put all that together and you have a phenomenon that looks here to stay. Start planning your 2019 concert-going now.