Skyrocketing US ticket prices inspire some concert fans to head overseas
In some cases, fans say the airline ticket was cheaper than the concert seat.
For die-hard concert fans, heading out to see a favorite artist perform live doesn’t typically include a transatlantic flight.
But, with ticket prices rising in the U.S., international trips can be an enticing way for some fans to enjoy the show for less.
Mercedes Arielle flew from her Dallas home to Stockholm in May to see Beyoncé perform live. The cost of her concert ticket, flight, four nights in a hotel, and a 40-hour layover in Paris was less than $700.
"When I saw the ticket price to Stockholm was under 15,000 [frequent flyer] miles each way, I bought my ticket before I even bought my concert ticket," Arielle told "Nightline."
Arielle, a travel content creator, shared money-saving tips with her TikTok followers about getting the best price and travel experience tied to an international concert. She inspired many of them to also take the trip.
"Pretty much every Black person that I saw [at the show] that was American was like, 'Hey, girl, what's up?' You made me want to do something that I never would have considered,'" she said. "And the coolest part was that there were so many girls who didn't even have passports and ended up getting passports, taking their first international flight."
Experts say that the European Union has laws that protect consumers better and help keep ticket prices lower than in the U.S., making long-distance trips more attractive to hungry fans.
Dean Budnick, the co-author of the book "Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped," told "Nightline" that the "dynamic pricing" model utilized by America’s largest concert promoters and venues inflates prices
"So, if a particular artist is exceptionally popular the tickets are priced a little bit higher right away, because there's an algorithm that recognizes that tickets that might otherwise cost, let's say $100, could theoretically be sold on the secondary market for $1,000 or maybe two or three times that," Budnick explained.
Joe Levy, an entertainment editor for "Observer," told "Nightline" that the European Union and individual European countries have different laws that cap the amount that any reseller can make on a ticket.
"Can you sell that ticket for more? Yes. Can you sell it for 5000% higher than the face value? Absolutely not," he explained.
While the White House said it is looking into ways to keep ticket costs transparent for consumers, Levy and other experts say more needs to be done to protect consumers.
"The real problem is scalpers and bots and these evil things that are, in fact, evil," Levy said.