Keep counting: Rolling Stones facing empty seats at Staples Center gig as $600 tickets fail to sell

 

Wild horses couldn't drag many of the most die-hard of Rolling Stones fans to the kick-off of the band's North American tour - at least not at prices of up to a whopping $600 (£385) a ticket.

Three weeks after tickets went on sale, and just before the band take the stage tonight, the Los Angeles Staples Center was far from sold out for the 50 and Counting gig.

Secondary ticket sellers StubHub had more than 500 tickets available 24 hours before the May 3 show, Good Seat tickets said they were slashing re-sale prices by 40 percent, and Epic Nation rolled out a 10 percent discount code.

The veteran rock band announced on their official website this week that they were releasing an additional number of tickets at a modest $85, the only price point that quickly sold out for the 3 May concert.

According to the website, some of the $85 seats will be among the best seats in house in the "Tongue Pit," with others spread around the arena. Buyers will be notified of their seat location on the day of the show.

Concert promoters AEG denied they were cutting prices, saying tickets once thought to have an obstructed view had come to light after the tongue and lip shaped stage was set up.

"Seeing (the stage) in this setting for the first time, we were able to determine that seats previously thought to have obstructed views were in fact unobstructed and could immediately be offered to fans for $85 each," AEG said in a statement.

On Thursday, seats at prices ranging from $250 to $600 were still available, according to the AXS website operated by AEG, which owns the Staples Center arena that seats about 19,000 people.

Friday's show officially kicks off the band's 17-date North American tour to mark their 50 years in the music business. It's the biggest tour by the Stones in six years and follows a handful of dates in London, Paris and New York at the end of 2012.

Tickets for the London shows in November sold out swiftly despite complaints from fans over similarly high prices.

"Having a $600 price point for prime seats is definitely pushing the envelope," said Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a concert industry magazine.

He noted it was a particularly tough sell to core Rolling Stones fans who have seen the band many times.

"It's easy for someone who has seen them to rationalize and say I'm not sure I want to skip my mortgage payment to see them again," he told Reuters.

Nevertheless Bongiovanni expects sales to pick up with the lower prices. "I wouldn't expect a lot of empty seats because they're repricing tickets to whatever it takes," he said.

The band played a more reasonably priced $20 "surprise" gig in Los Angeles last Saturday.

The Rolling Stones last went on the road from 2005 to 2007, playing 144 shows globally and grossing more than $550 million, one of the world's most lucrative tours.

Guitarist Mick Taylor, who played with the Stones from 1969 to 1974, is joining frontman Mick Jagger, guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts, as a guest on the North American tour.

As was the case last year, the set list is expected to focus on classic Stones hits like "Gimme Shelter," "Paint it Black" and "Jumping Jack Flash."

Later this summer, The Rolling Stones will play London's Hyde Park, and for the first time in their career, the Glastonbury music festival in England, both of which are sold out.

Reuters

Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
News
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Comedy
Arts and Entertainment

Review

These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London