The Rolling Stones have announced their first gigs for five years - including two nights in the UK - to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The tickets are expected to be snapped up - but at an extraordinary price. They start at £106, and the best seats in the house will fetch more than £1,000 each.
So can this possibly be worth it?
TicketsThe band will be playing two nights at London's O2 arena: on November 25 and 29. There will be 30,000 seats available; the ticket prices start at £106 and go up to £406 each (if you include the booking fees). The £1,000 tickets are those in the pit at the very front of the stage - delightfully called the 'tongue pit'. If you want a seat there you'll have to buy a hospitality package costing £1,140.
The tickets have gone on sale to American Express cardholders and those who want to buy packages today. O2 customers and those on the Stones mailing list will get a chance to buy on Wednesday, and everyone else will have a chance to buy on Friday.
Why so pricey?It's hardy surprising. The ageing rockers aren't churning out new hits the way they once were. They have just released two new tracks - their first in six years - and bundled them together with some 'greatest hits' in order to flog them as part of an album. They last toured back in 2007.
And this is just the start of it. Music Week has reported that some ticket resale sites are already advertising tickets at extraordinary mark-ups, including £106 tickets for £309 - far off in the distance of Level 4. Meanwhile, the best floor tickets (with a face value of £375) are on offer for an astonishing £11,000. It remains to see whether anyone will actually go for them.
Would you?There are those who would pay anything they have to in order to see the band. On Twitter one fan, Kat Hannaford, echoed the thoughts of many fans when she said: "I may be in the minority here, but however much the Rolling Stones tickets cost, I want 'em. Those boys won't live forever."
Of course, whether or not people will pay this money to see the band is only part of the issue: there is also the question of whether they should have to. Some have argued that this is exploiting them, and Twitter has been alive with complaints.
Jon Furlong tweeted: "Gutted that the rolling stones tickets are nearly £400 #thatsaholiday!" Stu Hurst added: "Funny that the Rolling Stones mini tour is called "Grrr!" cos that was my reaction to the ticket prices...... @RollingStones".
Why?Tom Pakinkis, deputy editor of Music Week told AOL that these sorts of prices are not a huge surprise: it's the basic rule of supply and demand: "Given the stature of the Rolling Stones, and how little they tour these days, prices can afford to go that high. They have huge pulling power: people want to see them and who knows how much longer they will be touring for," he said.
He added that live performances were always an area where the artists themselves stood to make a great deal of their income, but added that the explosion in downloading and the decline in CD sales means that this trend has been exacerbated.
It doesn't bode well for any avid concert-goer. However, there is a small sliver of good news for die-hard Rolling Stones fans. They will have a chance to see the Stones at a lower cost, because members of the fan club will have a tranche of standing-only tickets released at a lower price soon.
But what do you think? Would you pay this much to see the Stones, and do you think these prices are fair? Let us know in the comments.