Anat Givon  /  AP file
The Rolling Stones, seen here performing in Hong Kong last November, charged an average of $200 per ticket last year.
By Reporter
updated 3/28/2004 7:19:51 PM ET 2004-03-29T00:19:51

If you have plans to see your favorite recording artist in concert this year — get ready to shell out some big bucks.

For the past several years, concert ticket prices have been on the up-and-up. And while the increases may have slowed a bit — there's still no sign of a pullback.

Last year, the average concert ticket cost $50.35 — a better than 95 percent increase over just seven years ago — with the top tours commanding huge prices. The average ticket for a Rolling Stones concert last year went for $200, followed by the Eagles at $116 and Elton John and Billy Joel at $110.

And you can expect that escalation to continue this year.

The Material Girl, Madonna, is hitting the road this summer for her Re-Invention tour, and reports have the best seats in the house going for $300 a pop, with nosebleed seats fetching $90.

The question is: Why are prices soaring? Ray Waddell, who follows the industry at Amusement Business Magazine says there are several factors

"I think there was perception that: a) Concerts were underpriced at one time and that, b) Scalpers were routinely getting three, four, five times what the face value of the ticket was,” he said.  “The promoters decided why not catch up with them."

The bottom line is that the concert business, led by Clear Channel Entertainment, remains strong. In fact, experts say it's the healthiest part of the music industry.

Last year, concert revenues were up 25 percent, led by the fact that a lot of top acts went on the road.

Clear Channel was not able to make someone available to CNBC for comment.

All is not lost, however, if you do want to see a big show.

Prince kicks off his Musicology tour next week in Los Angeles, with top seats going for less than $100.

But if you can't make the show, the concert will be simulcast in Regal Cinemas, where the top-priced seat will sell for $15.

"I think it's a great idea,” said Waddell. “It lets the artist tap into a market that maybe he had overpriced. It's just another way to capitalize on the live performance."

© 2012 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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