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Cork, Ireland
An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Arcade Fire At The O2

Oxegen headliners and now chart-toppers Arcade Fire are set to return to these shores in December for one, if not two dates at Dublin's O2.

According to Jim Carroll at the ever reliable On The Record, the band will play the O2 on December 5th, with the 6th provisionally reserved for a second gig. Jim says that his "sources" have suggested tickets are priced at a ridiculous €73 and that support will be in the form of Vampire Weekend.

As expected, a fierce debate erupted on the page @ http://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/ontherecord/2010/08/10/arcade-fire-dublin-december-2/ with regard to the prices of the tickets, how fair and unfair it all was, etc. Arcade Fire manager Scott Rodger stepped in to voice his own opinion on the matter. He had this to say:

Part of the issue is the expense in moving the band, crew and production over to Ireland for only one or two shows. you could argue the same for moving from Europe to the UK or from the UK to Europe. However, those markets generally have more than one or two shows to help absorb the costs. on the current Arcade Fire tour, one third of what we earn goes straight out on equipment – sound, lighting, projection and trucking. from the rest, we have to pay tax (Canadian band – not European), salaries to crew, flights, buses, agent fees, accountants, legal etc etc.

Arcade Fire have always charged a fair ticket price. in most cases less than they could have. It’s almost impossible to find venues anywhere on the planet that are not locked into ticketing arrangements with ticketmaster or similar firms. we try and negotiate their fees and limit them to no more than 10% but we’re not always successful. we make no money from Ticketmaster or the service fees. we absolutely control the cover price of the ticket. We get to sell 10% of the total inventory via our website so that we can attempt to sell the tickets for the lowest possible price.

We are aiming to give every fan value for money with the bill we present. Vampire Weekend who happen to be touring at the same time as us were scheduled to play in Dublin at the same time. we thought we could bring them on board, pay them a real fee and absorb what we can within the ticket price. we also have another act that we are about to confirm on the bill too.

I’d be happy to talk with anyone about this as the band are not in any way attempting to rip off their fans. they never have done. This is a band that last month donated 100% of their fees from several shows ($1m) to give to charity. Every show they do they give £1/€1/$1 to charity. ($800,000 on the last tour).
email me directly on scott.rodger@gmail.com and i’ll respond to everyone personally.


Further exploration on the matter has led me to other sources that have suggested that the second support act is not, in fact, the National as had been suggested by Mr. Carroll and others, but Devandra Banhart. Tickets are also rumoured to be €61 for standing and €73 for seating, excluding ticketmaster's share of course. Expect that to be around €5 or €6 extra.

While I love Arcade Fire, and Vampire Weekend at that, these prices are insane. My brother is off to see them in Lisbon a few weeks beforehand and his ticket cost about half that. The same for the tickets in France and Germany. I understand that the cost of transport, etc. is a difficulty for the band; while it is a known fact that insurance for the O2 is higher than the average cost for a venue of it's size in Europe, but there has to be something done. AF are in danger of simply pricing themselves out of the market here. A half empty O2 would not do them justice - the performance would suffer and the whole experienced would be soured.

And as for Mr. Rodger - nobody is doubting the band's generosity and dedication to their fans, in particular the Irish. This is a band who have returned to this country time and time again to showcase their talents for us and have remained faithful to the causes they commit too - see their work in Haiti for evidence of this.

The simple fact remains that the country is broke and people have to be very careful as to where they shell out their excess income. €73 for concert tickets is not an option for the vast majority of people. Let's hope that by the time an official announcement comes from MCD the situation has been rectified a little.

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