The cheapest Britney Spears’ Bangkok concert tickets are more than the cost of an average Thais’ monthly rent and half of their salary
Being involved in the music industry for so long, I am well aware how much it costs for an artist to put on a large concert. It’s expensive.
That being said, during the 14 years I lived in Bangkok, I was always amazed at how much western artists charged for tickets to their concerts whenever they performed in the city. Far more than most Thais could ever afford.
Case in point, pop star Britney Spears has just announced she will be performing in Bangkok for the first time ever on Saturday, June 24 at Impact Arena.
While that’s great for Thai Britney Spears fans, some of whom have been waiting years for her to finally show up in the Land of Smiles, the price of tickets for Britney Spears’ Bangkok concert is astounding.
A reported 3,500 baht (approximately $100) for the cheapest tickets (see BEC-TERO’s Facebook announcement below). That in a country where the average monthly salary is between 6,000 and 13,000 baht ($172 to $371).
In other words, what Britney Spears is charging for the cheapest tickets to her Bangkok concert is more than half to almost one third of what an average Thai makes in a month.
For a concert that, in all probability, will last less than a couple of hours. And by a woman whose last reported worth was between $185 million and $200 million, depending on which report you read.
Now, I’m not really singling out Britney Spears here, or her Bangkok concert, especially because I quite like her. Besides, many of the western artists that appear in Bangkok seem to think charging the same money they charge for tickets in the west is appropriate in Thailand.
I just wonder how far removed are these people from reality when they think the vast majority of their Thai fans would ever be able to afford a ticket to one of their concerts at that kind of price?
Especially as a band like Coldplay, arguably the biggest band on the planet, managed to start their ticket prices off at a bit more reasonable 1,800 baht ($51) when they played Bangkok back in December, 2016.
Because, when I lived in Thailand, it always made me sad as I knew many Thais who were huge fans of various western pop singers and bands, but would never have been able to afford a ticket for one of their concerts if they ever even came to Bangkok.
Not when the cost of the ticket was the same as the cost of their monthly rent. (And yes, millions of people in Thailand pay less than 3,500 baht per month for their rent).
So who does this leave going to Britney Spears’ Bangkok concert in all likelihood? The hi-sos (the high-society crowd), and those in the upper middle-class bracket who can afford 3,500 baht for a concert ticket if they scrimp on something else.
And where does it leave someone like me? Someone sick of the price gouging so many of the superstar western artists involve themselves in as they travel around the world to perform?
Adamant that, as much as I may like many of these artists and their music, I will never buy a ticket to one of their concerts when they come to the city I now live in. Vienna, if anyone cares.
Because good music should be affordable for all, at least somewhat, and not just for a select few and by a select few who think making obscene amounts of money every year and take, take, taking from their fans is the right way to live.
**And, if you’re interested, here is a Salon article on the same subject — live music being a luxury so many can no longer afford
Rant over. But Jesus, Britney, how could you?
I'm a former radio DJ, an ex non-profit Director of Development, and a left-wing human rights advocate with a 20 year background in gay rights and HIV/AIDS rights advocacy. I'm also an avid video game player. Minecraft is my obsession.