Fans Furious As K-Pop Concert Ticket Prices Rise By 60% In 10 Years
K-pop enthusiasts worldwide are expressing their dismay and frustration as concert ticket prices continue to skyrocket. Recent reports from Thailand reveal that the average cost of a K-pop concert ticket now stands at approximately 5,270 baht ($155.6), as reported by local media outlet MGR Online.
Comparing the figures to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, concert tickets have surged by nearly 20% and an astonishing 60% since 2013. Such an exponential increase has left fans reeling, especially when considering that a decade ago, the cheapest ticket could be acquired for a mere 1,050 baht, with the most expensive option priced at 6,000 baht.
For the upcoming concerts of popular K-pop girl group BLACKPINK at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium on May 27 and 28, fans are expected to pay a staggering 14,800 baht for a VIP ticket. This exorbitant fee has driven some Thai fans to seek assistance from the Consumer Protection Agency. In fact, as far back as last October, fervent followers of K-pop boy group Stray Kids raised concerns about the steep prices of their February concert tickets, with the most expensive ticket allegedly purchased for 8,500 baht.
However, despite these pleas for intervention, the Consumer Protection Agency clarified that the government does not possess the authority to regulate ticket prices.
As of now, we do not have any law to regulate the ticket prices for concerts. The price is set based on the consensus between sellers and consumers.
— Consumer Protection Agency
The situation in South Korea mirrors the frustrations felt by fans in Thailand. Many K-pop concerts now command prices exceeding ₩200,000 KRW (about $152 USD) for a VIP ticket, making it unaffordable for numerous dedicated supporters. Disheartened fans have expressed their feelings of exclusion from fan activities due to financial constraints.
As live shows gradually return following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, concert organizers argue that higher ticket prices are necessary to cover production costs and retain skilled crew members, ensuring the delivery of high-quality performances.
This surge in ticket prices is not limited to K-pop concerts alone. The pandemic has affected various forms of live entertainment in Korea, resulting in increased prices for many shows. Musical productions such as West Side Story faced criticism from fans when the production company announced its fourth run with steeply-priced tickets.
Fans are increasingly frustrated by these rising costs, but they acknowledge that as long as demand remains high, K-pop labels have the liberty to set prices as they see fit. Consequently, the future appears uncertain for dedicated fans who find themselves unable to afford the once-accessible concerts and fan experiences they cherished.
The ticket price will continue to go up because fans are buying them anyway. K-Pop labels can raise the price as much as they want since there is more than enough demand.
— A K-Pop fan commented for The Korea Times