With concert season officially here, many Americans are gearing up for performances and live events. CivicScience data show that 43% of U.S. adults anticipate going to at least one concert this summer, similar to last year (42%).* 

While attendance may appear healthy, additional data show that expected spending on live events, including music, sports, and many other activities is down this year. Thirty-six percent of consumers say they will spend less on concerts and performances, up three points from this time last year.

One effect is that concert-goers are limiting the number of events they plan to attend this summer. Most expect they’ll attend just one or two concerts (66%), but just 8% say they’ll attend five or more concerts compared to 11% last year.

This follows a backlash in consumer sentiment seen in late 2022 after Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster debacle, when 54% of U.S. adults reported to CivicScience they were less likely to purchase concert tickets in general as a result of Ticketmaster’s steep prices and practices.

Weigh In: What has been your experience with Ticketmaster?

Despite this – and a wide variety of companies offering competitive ticket sales – recent polling data show that Ticketmaster/Live Nation remains the most popular ticket seller year over year, leading over other sellers and resale market platforms by a landslide. A majority (51%) of concert-goers say they often use the company to purchase tickets.

While Ticketmaster Verified Resale offers resale tickets, cheaper tickets can often be found elsewhere if buyers are willing to take the risk. StubHub, which is reported to be seeking an IPO this summer, leads among secondary ticket resale sites included in the poll at 15% – up three points from last year, suggesting a slight growth in resale alternatives. Yet negative experiences with ticket resale platforms like StubHub pose a problem to further growth of the ticket resale industry. Among people who have used ticket resale websites, nearly 1-in-3 (32%) report they have encountered problems or complications when purchasing tickets.**

When it comes to StubHub in particular, countless anecdotes of failed ticket deliveries – some of which have gone viral on TikTok – have cropped up in recent years. New polling data show that 27% of U.S. adults have purchased tickets using the platform, but just 16% say they are likely to use the company again. And poor customer experiences are likely to blame for at least half of these non-repeat users who report they have encountered problems with ticket resale purchases in general.

Join the Conversation: How often, if at all, have you purchased tickets to a live event from a reseller?

While the 2024 summer concert season is still likely to be big, continued inflation and the high cost of concert ticket prices (estimated to have increased by 35% since 2019) coupled with the risks of purchasing cheaper tickets through resale platforms, are likely to impact the post-pandemic live events comeback. Time will tell whether the DOJ’s antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation and the Biden administration’s goal to eliminate “junk fees” will change things to the benefit of the consumer.

Stay ahead of these and other trends with real-time, forward-looking consumer data available in the CivicScience InsightStore. Get in touch to learn more.

*n=701 responses from May 14, 2024 to May 15, 2024 **n=770 responses from May 14, 2024 to May 15, 2024