For big tours, most of the money earned through the base price of a ticket — before surcharges — goes to the artist. So Live Nation can afford to discount its tickets because it makes far more money through parking, food and other concessions, and through those fees. At the Goo Goo Dolls show, beers were $11 and $13.
…Not everyone in the concert industry is seeing doom. Dennis Arfa, a veteran agent whose clients include Billy Joel, said that while there had been some problematic tours, plenty have been doing well. (Mr. Joel’s most recent tour with Elton John, for example, grossed $108 million for 42 concerts.)