An interesting new essay from Scott Honsberger (chief blogger at Your Band’s Best Friend, Founder & President of the Toronto Music Industry Association) talks about the pricing practices at local shows in small venues, and makes a case that the oft-default door price of five dollars is too low:

“Five bucks, in my mind, is WAY too low.  When I played in bands in my early twenties (about 10 years ago), shows cost five bucks THEN. You know what else cost five bucks? A pack of cigarettes. Try finding a store that sells you smokes for under $10 now. (Note: I’m in Toronto, Canada, so your prices may vary depending on where you live).

The live music scene – and again, I’m talking about club shows, here – has sort of backed itself into a corner.   How often do you hear this:



'You’ve got a show on Friday? Cool! What is it, like, $5 to get in or something?'

People have gotten so used to charging $5 at the door, simply by default, that if you charge more, patrons tend to be surprised. But the cost of guitars, amps, strings, gas to get to the venue, food, and virtually everything else has gone up.  Why hasn’t the price of seeing bands?

No business in the world can survive without raising their prices at some point. Nobody likes doing it, but imagine if a can of Coke still cost a nickel, or hotels (nice ones) were still $10 a night. They would have gone out of business ages ago.”

What do you think? Would a show being 7-10 dollars instead of 5 keep you from attending? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.