Music lovers have heard the recent horror stories about how some of Taylor Swift's fans were upset when they could not get tickets to see her upcoming mega tour. As a cynical, middle-aged, music fan and insurance professional, this prompts me to offer some advice: welcome to our world of supply and demand!
As a consumer you may be investing hundreds of dollars for a ticket. But when business managers and tour promoters sit down to figure out their potential revenues, and how to protect their investment from the possibility of refunding tickets due to Mother Nature or the inability of the artist to appear due to myriad health reasons, they find the investment can reach multi-million dollar levels.
To protect that investment, it is not uncommon for major touring artists to have their tours insured for upwards of $50 million or more. Coverage for this class of business is known as Non-Appearance/Event Cancellation insurance and it is designed to protect the policy owner if a show or series of shows is missed, postponed, abandoned, or rescheduled.
When a large act goes on the road, the artist's management determines the potential income from the guarantees plus percentages put up by the promoters. Then they factor in what the loss would be if the artist failed to complete all or part of the tour. Most venues are paid up front, and they get paid whether the concert is successful or not, or if it even takes place or not. Rebooking dates can be a challenge if the venue is used for other events.
When Tom Petty sang, "The waiting is the hardest part," perhaps he was describing what it's like staring at a screen hoping to get concert tickets. So, whether you are trying to get those valuable tickets for your demanding children, or you simply want to escape for one night back to your concert-going days, keep in mind there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and big money goes into making sure your experience is fulfilled.