Author Topic: Mustachian take on concerts?  (Read 7784 times)

zimtastic

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Mustachian take on concerts?
« on: April 01, 2013, 07:47:17 PM »
My girlfriend and I are doing a great job on keeping our spending down, and we've made cuts in lots of areas including food, eating out, movies, books, music, clothes, etc.

However, we both love music and she loves concerts.  We end up going to a couple shows every couple of months or so.  Typically they are favorite bands or bands we haven't seen yet.  It's hard to argue against seeing some of them, as it's an experience and a memory that we might never get a chance to see again.

What is the mustachian take on this?  We already keep spending low bringing our own food and snacks when we can, and we don't buy the overpriced alcohol or anything.  We could maybe volunteer at some events to get free admission, but for most of the smaller shows this really isn't an option.

Thanks!

Russ

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 07:50:58 PM »
Same as the mustachian take on everything else: if it's still worth it to you after logically wieghing the pros and cons of spending your money and time doing it, then go for it.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 08:45:25 PM »
You'd want to volunteer for setup, but if you want to "see the show" the gig's during the event will sometimes require you to keep your back to the stage, if you're even out on the floor at all.

You might want to start a Zine (Ha! damn I'm getting old)...I guess the kids today call it a "blog". If you can write a review and get people to read it, you can get into free shows all legit like. You'll even get "backstage" AKA: the band's van for interviews. Over time you'll get to know the staff at the venues and they'll start letting you in with or without a pass, because they're used to you.

This doesn't happen in front of you... Call or email your favorite local, or visiting band's "contact". This is often the booking info, sometimes there's a publicist or agent, but i would start small.

"Hi my name is Kisser and I'm a writer for Dirtface.com I've been following your band for a few years and would love to get an interview while you're in town and feature your show at The Fillmore. Are you available to schedule an interview before or after the show?"

The worst thing that will happen is nothing. Literally, they will simply not respond. You will be shocked at how easy it is if you just ask nicely and offer something useful to them. :)

Have fun!

skyrefuge

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 09:39:48 AM »
I go to about 65 concerts a year, which makes it one of my biggest "discretionary" line-items. Though as Russ says, it's a conscious decision, and the fact it's not just one amongst many stupid things I burn money on (I don't have a Starbucks habit, or a shoe-buying habit, etc.), means that I'm comfortable with it.

Even then, the total ticket costs mount up to only a little over $1000 per year (averaging about $17 per ticket, including fees), or about 5% of my total spending. It sounds like you might have already discovered the big secret that allows you to see awesome concerts for less than the $200 Madonna/Pink Floyd/Eagles charge, but I share this for the rest of the world unaware of the Mustachian hacking involved in concertgoing:

BECOME A FAN OF UNPOPULAR BANDS! This totally works out, because at least in music, popularity has no correlation with quality. It is, however, highly-correlated with ticket price. This is because most music listeners are lazy, and decide what bands they like based on what the radio plays, or what their friends like, etc. When everyone does this, it means that a relatively small set of artists are able to get hordes of music fans to glom onto them, resulting in an extremely unequal distribution of fans amongst artists. This allows that small set at the top to charge a lot of money because of the basic supply/demand law. Meanwhile, there are tons of equally- (or more-)awesome bands at the other end of the distribution curve rocking out in obscurity and charging only $10. This unequal distribution of fans is easily exploitable by the conscious Mustachian for big savings.

Said in Mustachian terms, most people "outsource" their music-tastemaking. "Eh, I don't care enough to dig around the millions of bands out there to find something I like, so why don't you just tell me some, Mr. Billion Dollar Multinational Entertainment Conglomerate." And just like anyone you outsource to, they aren't nearly as interested in (or even able to) maximize your value per dollar as you are. Insourcing the music-discovery process certainly takes a lot more time and effort, but like most DIY work, it's also much more satisfying. Not only can you achieve a tremendous cost-savings, it also gives you the opportunity to be Mr. Cool Music Tastemaker. "Oh, you're going to see The Burnt Flames at MegaCo Arena? That's cool. I saw 'em 8 years ago at a packed sweaty bar for a $5 cover when they were a bunch of hungry 22-year-olds pouring out their souls, so I'll probably skip 'em this time around, but, uh, I'm sure you'll have almost as good of a time...?"

But that means you have to have the fortitude to let your "favorites" go by when they get too big for their britches. I skipped seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds last night (who I love) because the ticket prices were just silly. I didn't feel the least bit bad about it because #1) I'd seen him before (both w/ The Bad Seeds, and, more economically, with Grinderman), and #2) because last week I saw Bajofondo (led by a 2-time Oscar winner!) for $25, as a rare Anglo amongst a wild bunch of Argentinians and Uraguots, and also world-class singer Anneke van Giersbergen playing for 70-some old metalheads in a dive bar for $19, in her only North American stop in 6 years. Yeah!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 09:42:45 AM by skyrefuge »

kisserofsinners

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 09:51:17 AM »
Said in Mustachian terms, most people "outsource" their music-tastemaking. "Eh, I don't care enough to dig around the millions of bands out there to find something I like, so why don't you just tell me some, Mr. Billion Dollar Multinational Entertainment Conglomerate." And just like anyone you outsource to, they aren't nearly as interested in (or even able to) maximize your value per dollar as you are. Insourcing the music-discovery process certainly takes a lot more time and effort, but like most DIY work, it's also much more satisfying. Not only can you achieve a tremendous cost-savings, it also gives you the opportunity to be Mr. Cool Music Tastemaker. "Oh, you're going to see The Burnt Flames at MegaCo Arena? That's cool. I saw 'em 8 years ago at a packed sweaty bar for a $5 cover when they were a bunch of hungry 22-year-olds pouring out their souls, so I'll probably skip 'em this time around, but, uh, I'm sure you'll have almost as good of a time...?"

Well that just blew my mind... Yes, the above tip is for less popular bands. I had simply not conceptualized it this way. Thank you so much!

Spork

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 10:36:22 AM »

This is something I struggle with as well.  While I have a fairly wide range of bands I listen to... I have one "my band."  For a while, I could say "I've seen every tour since 1983".   But ticket prices have gone through the freaking roof.  I used to buy scalped "good seats" for $20.  Face value used to be under $10.  Now face value of tickets can be about $100.  Good seats: you're paying > $500 for a pair!  Even at "once a year" this becomes hard for me to swallow.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 11:48:18 AM »
I go to concerts when a band I want to see comes to town.  Most of the bands I go see are in the $10 - $25 range.  Though Wilco and Avett Brothers shows cost me around $45. 

I have put myself on a budget this year though.  I'm giving myself $20/month for concerts.  I will be down to $2 in my budget once I buy a ticket to Ryan Bingham in May.  Just paid $50 for a two day festival in STL.

And If I go to an out-of-town show or festival, I charge it against my Vacation budget. 

I might start getting out of the concert going business though.  My experience is normally ruined by those who have to go to a show and drink and talk constantly throughout it.  I can't understand why these people just don't stay at home, buy a case of beer and talk over the CDs of the bands.  Why would they pay that much money for a ticket and venue beer prices?  I just don't understand why so many people have a problem shutting their mouth when the artist hits the stage.  Can they really not go 2 hours without talking? 

EMP

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2013, 12:01:06 PM »
If you want to know where to start finding good, local music, I suggest Sunday nights.  You can usually find some kind of acoustic showcase filled with artists that are desperate for fans.  Sure, some will suck, but imagine telling your kids you were one of fifteen people in the bar to see The Next Big Thing before they became popular.

This plan can backfire though.  I've spent a crapload of money on my favorite local band simply b/c I want them to continue to play.  For instance, CD's are free with a $10 donation to the travel fund. 

Russ

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 12:20:59 PM »
You'd want to volunteer for setup, but if you want to "see the show" the gig's during the event will sometimes require you to keep your back to the stage, if you're even out on the floor at all.

You might want to start a Zine (Ha! damn I'm getting old)...I guess the kids today call it a "blog". If you can write a review and get people to read it, you can get into free shows all legit like. You'll even get "backstage" AKA: the band's van for interviews. Over time you'll get to know the staff at the venues and they'll start letting you in with or without a pass, because they're used to you.

This doesn't happen in front of you... Call or email your favorite local, or visiting band's "contact". This is often the booking info, sometimes there's a publicist or agent, but i would start small.

"Hi my name is Kisser and I'm a writer for Dirtface.com I've been following your band for a few years and would love to get an interview while you're in town and feature your show at The Fillmore. Are you available to schedule an interview before or after the show?"

The worst thing that will happen is nothing. Literally, they will simply not respond. You will be shocked at how easy it is if you just ask nicely and offer something useful to them. :)

Have fun!

This is great advice kisser. Another way of getting in for "free" (i.e. the cost of your time) is doing promo work directly for a venue or band rather than through your own blog/zine/whatever. I go to a couple of big festivals and some smaller shows per year for free by postering and passing out handbills for the promotion company.

kisserofsinners

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 01:20:38 PM »
Another idea, and this is really on the fringe of what i think folks might be into...

There's a big move in music to take the power from the venues and ticket master. One method it to have a garage concert. This requires some leg work clearly. However small bands touring the country out of a van are usually willing to do a small show for a couch, a home cooked meal, and a shower.

Why yes, there are tricks to throwing a kickin' party, but it really doesn't have to be. An exchange of one or two nights room and board for an acoustic jam session they can tweet out for other local fans/friends and your personal entourage in your living room or back yard is a totally reasonable thing for plenty of people. The band can pass a hat to make a little extra scratch. I've known kids that book a full nationwide tour this way. They need somewhere to sleep at every stop and this is how they get all over the country for very little money beyond keeping the van running. They will also need to have things like "more t-shirts and CD's" shipped  and will need somewhere for them to go.

Damn it's been a while since I've been to see a live show...

zimtastic

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 02:23:53 PM »
Wow, lots of great ideas here - especially Kisser and Skyrefuge's!

@Kisser - Love the blog idea (I remember zines too because I'm an old man of 31).  I have a friend who did this for movie tickets, though I don't know if I quite have the time.

@Skyrefuge - I've been "insourcing" my music discovery since I was a punk-rock teenager, so most of the shows we go to are less than $30.  I completely forgot some people pay hundreds to see big rock bands/pop-artists!  I supposed I'm already better off than I expected.  However, lately we've been going to see some popular 90's bands that are touring, which is a little more expensive, but still a bargain considering.

Care to share your music discovery secrets?

mustachecat

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2013, 03:48:42 PM »
When I was in college, I wanted to work in the music industry. I ended up dropping out, but my fiance and more than a few friends stuck it out, so I get free tickets everywhere (and often, free drinks). Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

If there's a label you particularly admire and you live in any major urban area or a significant college market, email them to see if they need street team members. Basically, you tack up posters, leave postcards in record stores, etc., for new releases or upcoming tour dates, and then you get to go to shows for free.

tomsang

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2013, 06:13:05 PM »
If your favorites are big name/sell out every show types.  Consider getting on their fan site, getting a pre-sale access code and buy several extra tickets before they are sold to the public.  Sell the extra tickets to pay for your tickets.  The risk you have is if it does not sell out.  Typically, you can get your money back by selling them at face, but that isn't ideal.

The same can be done for other events.  PAX(Video Game Event/Exhibit) sells out in hours or days and six months later you can double or triple your money. 

Tom

Zikoris

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 09:43:46 PM »
I'm not a big concert-goer, but my boyfriend is. He tends to buy a bunch of tickets to a concert he wants to go to and scalp most of them, generally making enough to cover his ticket and make some extra money on the side - sometimes quite a bit. It's something to consider.

Gerard

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 09:12:34 AM »
Start a band! If you don't suck, eventually you'll get to open for bigger bands (hey, I'm not *paying* to see Nick Cave!), other small bands will put you on the list if you put them on your list, and you won't have time to go to many shows because you'll be too busy writing and rehearsing and arguing with the drummer.

But I also like that "show in your garage" idea.

rugorak

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 11:34:40 AM »
BECOME A FAN OF UNPOPULAR BANDS!

I will second this. I'm into folk metal and many of the bands are from Europe. Ticket prices are cheap (For example I am going to this in a few weeks: http://www.thechancetheater.com/event/209133-paganfest-iv-ensiferum-tyr-poughkeepsie/) and the bands are so phenomenally talented. Another advantage is the venues are smaller so you get to actually see the band (not just tiny people from a distance or people on a screen) and many times can meet them as well.

Ishmael

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2013, 10:08:56 AM »
Folk metal? That sounds awesome, as someone whose tastes went from metal to folk over the years. Can you recommend a few bands to check out?

BECOME A FAN OF UNPOPULAR BANDS!

I will second this. I'm into folk metal and many of the bands are from Europe. Ticket prices are cheap (For example I am going to this in a few weeks: http://www.thechancetheater.com/event/209133-paganfest-iv-ensiferum-tyr-poughkeepsie/) and the bands are so phenomenally talented. Another advantage is the venues are smaller so you get to actually see the band (not just tiny people from a distance or people on a screen) and many times can meet them as well.

rugorak

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Re: Mustachian take on concerts?
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2013, 04:43:07 PM »
I'll link to my post in the what are you listening to thread to start:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/what-are-you-listening-to/msg23526/#msg23526

And more:
Eluveitie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq5SJeL1QBA
Korpliklaani - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOKbhQbvpPA
Ensiferum - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALrjjJdmxgA
Arkona - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt6_65LDZ60
Silent Stream of Godless Elegy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5A5d8ZWeWQ
HeavensDust - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FvtPHXClNY (Folk metal from Japan)
Kivimetsän Druidi - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMV8fxGMDfw
Heidevolk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBpDom4QWHE
Coppelius - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Hk5lH4cCY
Tır - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fu2bgwcv43o
Alestorm - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwwmglYX7QE

That should be plenty to get you started :) Plenty of others out there that I am sure I probably don't even know about. Happy listening!