Sabaton Singer Joakim Broden Explains How Bands Are Losing Money on Sold Out Shows
The touring/live music situation isn't all that great right now. At the same time that fans are paying record prices for concert tickets, countless bands are also losing money on the road and Sabaton singer Joakim Broden explains how and why this is happening, despite sold out shows.
Recently, underground metal band Irist launched a crowd-funding campaign to help recover the $20,000 in losses they suffered on a European tour with new age doom heroes Pallbearer and Elder.
They're far from the only band operating in the red when it comes to touring and plenty of other acts have nixed non-domestic runs due to guaranteed financial losses.
When asked about dealing with rising prices (due to inflation), Borden tells Andrew Haug Radio (transcription via Metal Injection), “A lot of bands have tours with tickets sold a long time ago that have been postponed. Those tickets are sold with a special calculation in mind, that these are our costs, and that's what we need to be able to make. So there's the reason as well for a lot of bands that, even if they sold out a show, they're gonna lose money because of the increased costs."
Throughout the early phase of the pandemic, artists postponed hundreds of tours where ticket holders were told they would be granted entry to the rescheduled shows. This was often the case in lieu of a full-on cancelation, which would necessitate refunds being issued for ticket purchases as well as a future sale for new tour dates.
With ticket prices and other goods and services increasing in price since live music returned in the wake of the pandemic, it can be reasonably stated that the original ticket prices are not enough to sustain the bands' costs of doing business.
"It is a bit of a struggle for a lot of bands. Luckily enough, we're not in danger of becoming bankrupt," Broden admits, "so for us it's more of a situation – luckily enough – that we aren't really making much money but we aren't, on the other hand, on the brink of extinction either."
Watch the full interview near the bottom of the page.
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In September, Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge decried the state of touring today and said, "There's just simply too much going on right now — so many bands out — and it's just too crowded."
Behemoth leader Nergal also lamented the overpopulated scene in mid-November, discouraging people from starting a new band.
"The world is overwhelmed with bands, with records, with albums. There's really no space there for anything. There's only seven days a week. There's too many tours around. There's too many shows. People don't have, and will have less and less money. So all the tours are suffering. Do you really want to put another song on another album that no one will pay attention to? No, you don't want do that," argued Nergal.