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And The Beat Goes On: Summer Concert Attendance Rebounds to Pre-Pandemic Levels

And The Beat Goes On: Summer Concert Attendance Rebounds to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Concert and festival season is among us and many Americans are ready for a music-filled summer of limited restrictions and a pre-pandemic feeling. According to a new report from LendingTree, attendance is expected to return to pre-pandemic averages this year, with many concertgoers ready to shell out big bucks to make up for lost time.

Key findings

  • Americans with concert plans expect to attend an average of four shows, up from three last year and in line with pre-pandemic averages.
  • But it will cost them: 47% of concert attendees expect to spend between $100 and $499, while more than a quarter say they’ll likely take on debt.
  • Music fans are using plastic to their advantage, as more than 4 in 10 (44%) attendees will cash in on rewards or points to attend festivals or concerts.

In the era of “You Only Live Once (YOLO),” millennials (48%) and Gen Zers (41%) are more likely to splurge on nicer concert seats than they would in the past. Despite skyrocketing inflation and higher credit card bills, our survey found that Gen Zers are willing to shell out an average of $398 for their favorite artists, while millennials say they’d pay up to $383 per ticket. Gen Zers are also most likely to purchase VIP/All Access passes (18%).

While 60% of concertgoers plan to spend a chunk of their money on food and drinks, millennials are more likely to buy a new outfit for the show (41% versus 32% overall).

“Plenty of Americans have been longing for concert season to feel normal again,” says LendingTree’s Chief Credit Analyst, Matt Schulz. “Our survey shows that music fans are more than willing to shell out top dollars to see their favorite musical acts, regardless of the impact of inflation. Coming off a pandemic, going over budget or taking on debt seems worth the experience.”

With ticket prices on the rise, don’t be afraid to use your reward points or travel miles to help offset the costs; signing up early can also save big in the long run. One in 5 (20%) consumers have purchased an “early bird special” ticket for a music festival, which will typically offer lower prices before full lineups are announced.

Tips to keep concert spending under control

If concertgoers are looking to spend more on concerts this year but don’t want to blow their budget, they should consider these tips to keep costs low:

  • Budget for inflation. If they know they’re going to be spending big on concerts this year, incorporating them into their budget ahead of time will allow them to plan properly and enjoy a stress-free experience.
  • Compare popular credit cards for travel and airline rewards. Sign-up bonuses can give concert attendees the extra cash to splurge on their favorite show.
  • Get creative and cooperative. Sharing hotel rooms with friends, splitting gas or opting for general admission seating are all creative ways to combat overspending.

Methodology

LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 2,072 U.S. consumers, fielded May 6-10, 2022. The survey was administered using a nonprobability-based sample, and quotas were used to ensure the sample base represented the overall population. All responses were reviewed by researchers for quality control.

We defined generations as the following ages in 2022:

  • Generation Z: 18 to 25
  • Millennial: 26 to 41
  • Generation X: 42 to 56
  • Baby boomer: 57 to 76

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