Fleetwood Mac for a mere £125: Has the rock ‘n’ roll resurgence become too expensive?

They aren't the first band to ride the wave of nostalgia back into the public spotlight - and expect fans to pay the (extortionate) price

Share

When tickets to Fleetwood Mac’s UK tour went on sale Friday morning, elation quickly turned to outrage as fans were faced with tickets costing as much as £125.

“Sorry Fleetwood Mac but your tickets cost more than my rent,” tweeted one bitter fan. Others were similarly unsympathetic. “When do tickets for Fleetwood Mac go on sale? Just so I have time to sell my arse to Satan for the cash,” groaned @Spiral_Scratch. “Why not sell your tickets at a reasonable price?! Or do bands only like their rich fans in attendance these days?” commented @KimSim21.

Despite such protestations, tickets to see the immortal rock veterans sold out in minutes. Of course, Fleetwood Mac is not the first band to ride the wave of nostalgia back into the public spotlight. Led Zeppelin arguably kick-started the current trend with their 2007 O2 arena gig, a one night only reunion that saw lucky £125 ticket-holders picked at random.

At the Rolling Stones’ 50 Anniversary concert last year, Mick Jagger openly joked about the £395 price tag for some seats, stating the band’s £100,000 curfew fine amounted to “like ten seats.” With Roger Waters dusting off his old Pink Floyd opus The Wall for a £79 resurrection in September, and Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey’s similarly priced ‘Quadrophenia and More’ tour hitting UK arenas in June, it seems the behemoths of Sixties and Seventies pop culture are all clamouring to get one last shot at stardom.

This phenomenon is not just consigned to the arena either: Fleetwood Mac’s announcement that they have three new songs lined-up for their autumn tour is no new feat for an aging rock outfit; Stevie Nicks and co. have joined David Bowie, the Stones (again) and even Prince in releasing new tracks, albeit in the wake of iconic re-releases and re-packaged boxsets.  While such marketing strategies in no way detract from the merit of the music, it is hard not to wonder whether waning royalties have anything to do with this newfound enthusiasm.

Of course, a large part of the problem lies not with the musicians but the touts. Ticket touting is legal in the UK, yet with the unchecked rise of the industry online it is increasingly hard to understand why. It is widely believed that touts now use illegal automated ‘bots’ to buy up vast swaths of tickets when they appear online, with the intention of selling them back to the consumer at double or even triple their original value.

On top of mind-boggling booking fees, police estimate the lucrative industry accumulates £1 billion a year in this country alone. In a distasteful act that shows even death has its price, touts are even selling tickets to Dr Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson’s farewell tour at an inflated rate. Ticket site Viagogo defended the move, arguing that there has always been an “aftermarket” for tickets.

With both Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones rumoured to headline Glastonbury this year, perhaps the question we should be asking is why bygone bands are once more enjoying their moment in the sun. Sadly, the return of these pop culture juggernauts says far more about the current state of modern music than their desire to shift 40-year-old records. In times of political apathy and economic uncertainty, it is perhaps understandable that sure-fire rock ‘n’ roll hits are such a popular form of escapism.  But at such a high price, it is up to ticket buyers to ensure they won’t get fooled again.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Related Articles
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The bustling Accident & Emergency ward at Milton Keynes Hospital  

The NHS needs the courage to adapt and survive

Nigel Edwards
 

Letter from the Sub-Editor: Canada is seen as a peaceful nation, but violent crime isn’t as rare as you might think

Jeffrey Simpson
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
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?