Desert Trip ticket dump

LOS ANGELES •Tickets to Desert Trip, the concert featuring music icons such as The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, are selling for less than half their original price on the secondary market, as speculators appear to have overestimated demand.

A three-day pass for the first weekend, today to Sunday, was selling for as little as US$188 (S$258) on StubHub, US$167 on Vivid Seats and US$165 on Ticket City - a steep drop from the original price of US$399.

Costco Wholesale Corporation recently e-mailed offers to members to buy general admission tickets for US$348. Other packages were also discounted.

Mr Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a concert trade publication, said: "Everyone thought this would be a hot show and it was, but, obviously, there isn't a huge market of people willing to pay even more to access tickets."

Desert Trip has been billed as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see stars such as Paul McCartney, The Who, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and Neil Young all in one place.

It will mark the first time McCartney and Dylan share a bill after years of off-stage encounters - most famously in 1964 at a New York hotel, where the folk icon was said to have introduced The Fab Four to marijuana.

Tickets went on sale in May at prices between US$399 and US$1,599 for the three-day event. They sold out in hours even with a second weekend added.

Billboard estimated the takings could reach US$100 million, US$15 million more than the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last year. Concert promoter Goldenvoiceup, which also produces the Coachella festival, depressed the resale market by releasing new tickets two weeks ago, according to Mr Bongiovanni.

The event will be held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, about a three-hour drive east of Los Angeles. That is the same site as Coachella, which typically attracts a younger crowd to see emerging artists. The comparison earned Desert Trip the nickname "OldChella".

But Desert Trip has raised inevitable questions of who from the rock pantheon is missing. One absence is hard-rock pioneers Led Zeppelin, whose key members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have not played together since 2007. Also not involved are California's own Beach Boys, who still tour, but without key songwriter Brian Wilson, who has a strained relationship with the group's singer, his cousin Mike Love.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2016, with the headline 'Desert Trip ticket dump'. Print Edition | Subscribe