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Louisville or London? Beyoncé's US fans explain why they opted for European tickets


The exorbitant price of concerts by great artists in the United States has caused many fans to find cheaper options by traveling to Europe.

By Daysia Tolentino and Kaetlyn Liddy -

NBC News

Tickets to see Beyoncé in the United States are so expensive that some American fans prefer to fly to Europe to see the pop diva live.

The number of American fans attending concerts abroad was steadily increasing before the pandemic, but recent Ticketmaster controversies have highlighted the difficulties of the ticketing process in the country.

With dynamic prices driving up the cost of concert tickets in the United States and young people spending more and more money on experiences, seeing Beyoncé in Europe gives some fans more for their money. 

In the last month, TikTok users have demystified the international ticket buying process and made more consumers aware of the potential savings.

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Content creator Mercedes Arielle is no stranger to strategy.

In 2018, she spotted Beyoncé and Jay-Z on the

On the Run II Tour

in Paris, securing floor seats for $92 each.

In her hometown of Dallas, the same tickets cost $900 more.

This year, after witnessing Taylor Swift's

Eras Tour

botched , Arielle said she didn't want to be dependent on Ticketmaster or the American system.

Arielle paid less for her international flight, her hotel stay, and a ticket to Beyoncé in Stockholm than her friends in the city paid to see the same show in Dallas.

Her VIP tickets to the Stockholm concert cost $366, and even the hotel was "practically free" thanks to points and miles.

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“Beyoncé is going to sweat the hell out of it,” he says.

"That's how close I am."

Since she last traveled to Europe to see Beyoncé, Arielle has been sharing affordable luxury travel tips, like using points to buy flights.

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“It's really important to me to make people aware that living within your means doesn't mean your lifestyle can't be fabulous or that you can't have those brilliant moments that will be forever memories,” she says.

“For me, the savings are priceless,” she said.

Other netizens agreed that it may be cheaper to splurge on a concert and vacation than to pay a similar amount to see the show in their home cities.

When Kylyn Schnelle, 28, searched for runway tickets to Beyoncé's

Renaissance World Tour

stop in Louisville, Kentucky, where she lives, she found a few seats selling for more than $800.

Given the high price, she decided to look around London for runway tickets to see if she could find a better deal.

“When I looked in London, it was £167 [about $200] and the flight was about $660,” he explains.

"I said to myself: this really costs the same."

Schnelle's best friend lives in London, so it took "very little convincing" for her to go. 

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“If you're going to spend $800, why not squeeze the most out of it?” she says, adding that she has the privilege of traveling abroad for concerts because she's young and single and has a job that gives her paid time off. . 

Resale restrictions differ in Europe

Frustration at Ticketmaster, embroiled in controversy over the November sale of Swift's

Eras Tour

, has reached a fever pitch in recent months.

The company has been criticized for its dominant role in the US ticketing industry.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January, the company was questioned about the prevalence of bots, exorbitant fees and high prices.

Ticketmaster's use of dynamic pricing, which adjusts prices based on demand, has been especially controversial among concertgoers in the United States.

Although it is increasingly used in the UK and other European countries, it is still less common, making tickets more reasonable in the eyes of US consumers. 

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Schnelle posted a video on TikTok recounting his experience buying tickets in Europe and praising UK and European consumer protection laws.

In the comments, some viewers shared similar experiences, while others expressed interest in exploring European options for future concerts. 

“I don't think what Ticketmaster has done in the United States after the pandemic is sustainable for their business, because they have upset a lot of people,” Schnelle said.

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Also, while ticket resale is still a serious problem in Europe, the UK and some other European countries cap resale prices, which drives down market prices.

Ticketmaster is also facing increased competitive pressure abroad, with Eventim and Dice the top ticket sellers in the region. 

A Ticketmaster spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sam Shemtob, CEO of ticket resale advocacy group Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing, says ticketing platforms can apply limits on their resale policies, but the numbers vary across Europe.

On the European ticketing website Eventim, resale tickets are limited to face value plus booking fees in the UK, and a 20% margin over face value in countries like the Netherlands.

By contrast, in Germany there are no limits to reselling at Eventim. 

“Laws are getting better in Europe in the sense that they are becoming more homogenized and equal,” says Shemtob.

"But at the moment, there are quite a few different laws in the different Member States."

Last year, the European Parliament approved the Digital Services Law, which includes rules on tickets and will enter into force on January 1.

Shemtob hopes he will create "a more level playing field both in terms of regulation and enforcement."

TikTok users have demystified buying international concert tickets like those for Beyoncé's upcoming 'Renaissance World Tour.' Lauren Schatzman / NBC News

The DSA will require resellers to provide proof of identification and contact information, will require the disclosure of third-party sellers' details on reselling sites, and will prohibit “panic buying” tactics, such as the use of timers. 

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“We are studying and trying to better understand how it will be enforced, because without enforcement, the legislation is meaningless or almost meaningless,” said Shemtob, who stated that enforcement remains a problem in European countries. 

Although the United Kingdom and the European Union are taking steps to solve the problem of ticket sales, fans may continue to face high prices and confusing resale margins similar to those in the United States, depending on the country.

Shemtob stated that “consumer education is very important” when buying tickets, adding that campaigns like

Make Tickets Fair!

provide resources on resale laws throughout the region. 

Despite Outrageous Prices, Some Hobbyists Still Going Big

Jadrian Wooten, an associate professor of economics at Virginia Tech, says there are two main behavioral factors that lead consumers to spend hundreds of dollars on concert tickets, even if it's not in their best financial interests.

The first is called “present bias,” the idea that “we discount the future too much and prioritize the things we do today.” 

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As consumers and as people who have lived through a pandemic, we know that the opportunities to experience certain experiences may not happen again, which makes fans “go out of their way to do it today,” says Wooten.

The second factor is that consumers base the value or price of a product on experience, known as "anchoring bias."

In the case of buying tickets to see industry titans through Ticketmaster, Beyoncé's fans saw certain prices for Swift's

Eras Tour

and adjusted their expectations and budgets accordingly. 

When Wooten first heard that American fans were opting to travel to international shows for the same or cheaper tickets, he thought it was a “really creative way” to get two things for the price of one. 

“Two experiences come together in one,” he says.

“You get both a concert experience and a trip that you might have wanted to do anyway.”

But not all fans opt for the jet-setter

Some fans claim that their European ticketing strategy backfired.

Jamaya Powell, 26, bought expensive tickets for Beyoncé in Germany before looking at flight prices, which she later realized she couldn't afford.

Powell went viral on TikTok because she desperately tried to sell the two German banknotes. 

“Online, I really couldn't get an idea of ​​how much the tickets would cost in the United States,” said Powell, who lives in Atlanta.

“I just thought, because of everything that's been going on, that they would be very expensive.

So I impulsively bought the tickets in Germany,” he explained.

Powell bought dynamically priced tickets on Ticketmaster for €409 each.

A friend who lives in Austria bought face value tickets in the same section for a lower price. 

Powell was unaware of dynamic pricing at the time and says she felt "ripped off by Ticketmaster."

She had a hard time reselling her tickets because he had bought them above face value.

Powell ended up selling the tickets at a loss, at 240 euros each.

He was also able to get two tickets in his hometown of Atlanta for $741.60.

“It's hard not to be impulsive when you want to go to a concert that is highly anticipated and people are very interested in,” Powell said.

“I would just tell you to make smarter decisions than I did,” he added.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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