The cost of being a music fan

By: sonofabeach96

Oct 19 2015

Category: Uncategorized


On this date, in 2005, the results of a survey by Prudential Insurance Co. determined it was quite costly to be a fan of  music.  According to their results, the average person who would consider themselves a “music fan” spends roughly £21,000 in a lifetime.  The current exchange rate is £1=$1.54, so the average fan in the US would spend about $33,000 in total.  That’s a significant amount of money, to be sure.  But, honestly, that total seems kinda low to me.

Roger Ramsden, director of Prudential at the time, said, “Most people would describe themselves as a music fan of some sort or another, but what is really amazing is just how much money people find themselves spending on it – £21,000 is a staggering amount of money.”

Their list of costs included stereo equipment, concerts, CD’s, vinyl, downloads, festivals, and even the cost of night-clubbing, when seeing live music or to go dancing.  Obviously the totals would be significantly higher if the poll were done today, as this one was completed 10 years ago.  And the £21,000 amount was for the “average” or “casual” music fan.  The number nearly doubled for avid or “enthusiastic” music fans.

I can say for sure that I’ve easily spent that much money on music already, and I’m only 46.  I was introduced to concerts at a fairly young age, my fist show being KISS in 1978, as a 10 year old.  The next one I saw was E.L.O., roughly 3 months after that.  Those two shows were so visually intense, the scenes so immense for my young eyes, that I was hooked.  Those started a love affair with live music and records, and eventually led to hundreds more concerts, music festivals, and tapes, CD’s , and downloads.

I’ve probably spent $20,000 on tickets alone over the years, if not more.  In a sense, I’m lucky.  I’m of an age that when I started going to concerts, tickets were sometime less that $10, and that would be for major acts’ on world tours.  Of course, those days are over.  I remember nearly passing out when I purchased Eagles tix (their first “last time around” tour; don’t get me started on that “see us now or never” money grab thin) back in the early 90’s.  Those tix were, at the time, the most I’d ever spent for a non-festival concert.  Now that amount is the norm.

And that’s not even counting the costs of tapes, CD’s, downloads, vinyl records, concert tees, alcohol consumed (and other…enhancers), or travel expenses associated with going all over the country to see shows and festivals.  If I were to add it all up, I’m certain it’s higher than that number quoted in the survey.  And there’s no end in sight for me, even though age and parenthood have slowed my stride a bit.  Nope, it’s not cheap to be a music fan.  But for a high quality of life, to me, it’s money well spent.

My song of the day:

“Vinyl Records” by Todd Snider

19 comments on “The cost of being a music fan”

  1. I don’t think it’s particularly cheap to be any sort of pop culture fan these days. I’m a huge movie fan, and those damned tickets — never mind concessions — cost what used to be an entire night out (movie, dinner, drinks…now it’s just movie). Oh, and that’s JUST for movie tickets…Like the music fan, the movie fan has private collections, memorabilia, event tickets (like conventions and festival premieres), etc. It’s all insane, but as you say…money well spent…and I’ll add to it in that it’s what makes us who we are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s crazy isn’t it? But, if you’re a fan, you’re gonna spend money on what you love. Know what ya mean about the movies. There’s 5 of us so it’s definitely not a cheap night. We’ve started going to early Saturday showings, half the cost.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That figure does seem low, doesn’t it? I guess we balance out those people who spend nothing?

    Nice that your first concert was KISS. And then ELO! My first concert was…wait for it…Andy Gibb. Then onto Van Halen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andy Gibb, huh? That’s not bad. Love Van Halen live. Saw them a time or two with David Lee Roth and twice with Sammy. Great in both instances. Can’t imagine never seeing live music, buying CD’s, not going to Bonaroo. Guess there’s lots that don’t though.


  3. Have to agree, money will spent. Although I haven’t been to a concert in years (3 hour drive to make it to a city to see one and too much planning involved 😉) Love small venues and the local talent here. My BFF’S daughter is super talented (17) and puts on a good show. It’s frickin awesome to watch her perform.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with ya on the small venues. Lucky here in that we have numerous sites locally for intimate shows. I don’t do many arena shows anymore. Still go to big festivals though. Camping, dozens of acts. One stop shop. The prices are getting a bit outta hand. That’s one of the main reasons I support our NPR station though. They sponsor lots of free shows for the public and many members only shows too. I’ve slowed down a bit since having kids but will likely never stop.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Heck yeah! I’m sure I’ve spent at least this much and I’m 35! I’m all about concerts as well. I think it’s great that you expose your kids to it, too.

    My first concert was an outdoor concert as a kid… Jefferson Starship! LOL! I was with my parents and other family members. Still remember it to this day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Jefferson Airplane, huh? Bet it was great. We try to expose them to live music as much as possible. One of the reasons they love New Orleans is because of all the street performers. It’s amazing the amount of talent out there that goes largely undiscovered. They have great taste in music too, just from being exposed to a wide variety.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, isn’t it about almost everything? Reading is OK, Kindle books are all right, but music concerts are expensive indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is only due to my shoe collection that I haven’t spent this much on music….

    Liked by 1 person

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