Demand for live events remains high despite frustration over ticketing fees

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Demand for live events remains high with 81 per cent of Australians attending at least one live event in the past year, according to a new report by recently launched ticketing software company Eventfinda TixSuite.

The Ticketing Sentiment Report found almost half (44%) attend one to three live events a year, while one quarter (25%) attend between 4 and 11 per year.

Legacy ticketing platforms continue to dominate the market, with 67 per cent of Australians typically buying tickets to live events through the major ticketing companies, compared to just 20 per cent who buy through event websites and 11 per cent who purchase via venue websites.

The cost of living crisis has been felt keenly in the live events sector and those who attend live events. The majority of Aussies (79%) agree that tickets to live events are too expensive, with just three per cent disagreeing with this sentiment. Despite that strain, TixSuite’s report found that 35 per cent of Aussies are spending over $100 per ticket on average.

One area of discontent were the mandatory fees charged by some ticketing companies, with less than half (40%) saying they understand the various fees and charges around tickets, and what they are for.

Almost three quarters (72%) ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they’d be more accepting of ticketing fees if there was more transparency around why they were charged.

Other common complaints around purchasing tickets online for live events include high waiting times, hidden costs, ticketing websites crashing, ‘delivery’ fees being charged for e-tickets, and scalpers listing tickets that are fake or charging exorbitant prices on resale websites. Just 21 per cent agreed that providers had the best interest of consumers at heart.

Ticketing providers that give their profits to charity aren’t faring much better despite their noble causes. If given the option, 53 per cent of Aussies said they’d rather pay lower fees and choose which charity to give to themselves. Meanwhile, 23 per cent say they just want the cheapest tickets available.

A growing trend in purchasing behaviour has seen Aussies waiting until close to the event to buy tickets, a trend which has played its part in several festivals pulling the plug in 2024 after they haven’t been able to sell enough tickets quickly.

“It is clear that Aussies continue to value experiences very highly, with many continuing to spend money on attending live events even as the cost of living continues to rise,” said Eventfinda TixSuite CEO James McGlinn.

“They also continue to attend events despite many having a range of grievances with the way ticketing is done in Australia, and unsurprisingly we’ve found that the majority would like more transparency from ticketing providers when it comes to the fees attached to most live event tickets.

“This research confirms our thoughts that ticketing in Australia is broken and ripe for disruption, with trust in ticketing providers running low. Not only does the current model frustrate ticket purchasers, but also presents issues for promoters and venues running events.

“Not only are they forced to pass on per-ticket fees to ticket purchasers, but they also endure cashflow issues with ticketing providers holding cash from sales until after their event, which increases the risk events will be cancelled, so ticket buyers miss out.”