Friday Question of the Day – Foo Fighters tix for Anthem’s First Show are $100 – $175 before fees “a jerk move to their fans?”

by Prince Of Petworth June 15, 2017 at 10:22 pm 124 Comments

Rendering via The Wharf

“Dear PoPville,

Foo Fighters will be playing the grand opening of the new music venue, Anthem, in Southwest Waterfront.The show is October 12th.

While this will undoubtedly be a great show, the tickets are $100 – $175 before fees. I love the Foo Fighters and I don’t know how much the band controls ticket prices, but this seems like a jerk move to their fans.”

Since I really have no idea, I’m curious what you guys think – jerk move or not?

  • C

    A jerk move to their fans? Seriously? The Foo Fighters could, and regularly do, sell out much larger venues at higher prices. Yes it’s a lot of money, but it’s unbelievable to me that someone can find fault with these prices after all Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have done for DC. Get over yourself, they owe you nothing and have done more than enough for fans in DC.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, this is supply and demand. The alternative for fans is to buy from scalpers who scooped up underpriced tickets. At least this way the money goes to the band.

    • KR

      It’s “unbelievable” to you, eh? Well, I guess that settles that.

      Um, despite the fact that it’s now settled and all I’m gonna suggest, nonetheless, that (1) yeah, those are really high ticket prices, and (2) maybe YOU should get over yourself.

      Seriously, man, it’s just a conversation about concert ticket prices. Is Grohl your mom or something? Seems really personal to you.

      • LJ

        FIrst off, KR, you’re freaking out and overreacting to everything right now. Yes, you are. Don’t argue.

        Secondly, to address the topic, on the one hand, this is an opening event, not just a concert. It’s not like they’re playing the 9:30 club and charging that much. It’s the opening premier of a new venue; it’s a big deal to all the staff, investors, city, etc., and that warrants a higher price.

        Now sure, the alternative is that tickets are lower, scalpers buy them all, and all the money goes to 3rd party resellers instead of the band. The best case would be that things went back to the good old days when scalping was actually illegal, instead of decriminalized for sites like Stubhub and even Ticketmaster. But since the government won’t bother to enforce scalping, tickets have to be expensive enough to make scalping less worthwhile. Laziness screws everyone.

        • fwiw

          For a conversation about concert tickets, this first part of this response seems overly aggressive.

          • it’s friday guys, relax

            Everyone in this thread is being a bit dramatic.

        • Leslie

          Stub Hub was reselling them at 10:03 am for $1695.00 a piece and they had a bunch. That is where it becomes unfortunate and the bands and the club are not receiving any of this.

          • Leslie

            Don’t get me wrong…I most definitely feel the $100-$175 price range is worth every penny to see the Foo Fighters and The Struts in a venue this size. I was just shocked how quickly the tickets sold especially when they were only allowed to be sold 2 at a time and how many got to groups like stub hub. I really think they should go to fans first. Really disappointed. $1650.00 a piece is just wrong.

      • dcd

        I agree. Unbelievable is the wrong word. It is entirely believable that some people would whine about ticket prices for a concert. We should not be surprised by this (unfortunately).
        It is ridiculous, however. “A jerk move to their fans?” Because they owe it to their fans to . . . what? Come on.

    • Leeran

      +1. Unfortunately concerts for big-name bands generally cost this much. Don’t love it either, but this is the way the industry has been working for years and why most people don’t go see huge shows often.

    • [rrrrr]

      Drama aside for a minute, anyone have info on “all Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have done for DC.” I wasn’t aware and am genuinely curious.

  • suzy555

    $100 to wait in line for 6 hours? What about that is not reasonable?

    • Leeran

      Where are you seeing anything about a wait? They’re selling tickets online for a show.

  • phogoodness

    Prices are driven by supply and demand. If they are able to sell out at $100-175, why should they charge any less? They don’t owe any fans artificially under priced tickets.

  • Rich

    Have posters not been to a concert lately–they’r not cheap? Granted FF are basically an oldies act (like 90% of the people who tour) and I don’t really know that they’ve done anything for DC besides help give it some musical bragging rights beyond go-go and its minor place in punk. But if you want cheap tickets, you need to find an act with more of a niche following.

    • Nathan

      Haven’t done anything? Grohl owns the Black Cat. I’d say that’s done a lot for DC

      • Tsar of Truxton

        They also played a surprise show at 930 club after Dave hosted Trouble Funk’s Bday Party, DG played a a few acoustic songs at some bar in Gtown, and they hosted the 4th of July music festival a few years ago. As far as them being an oldies act, I would disagree also. They have a song that is currently on the radio constantly (Run), and had the successful sonic highways album a few years ago.

      • saf

        Huh. I thought Dante owned the Black Cat

        • textdoc

          I think Dave Grohl is a part owner.

          • Nathan

            He was a member of the investor group, not sure if he still is, but was at the founding.

    • shmoo

      “Minor place in punk”? You are misinformed good sir.

    • JohnH

      Seriously…concerts are a rip off these days, especially considering a lot of the “pop” shows are only 90 minutes. This is simply a guess, but with record sales not being as much of a revenue generator, maybe they’ve increased prices for shows to make up for it. I was looking at Coldplay tickets….at freaking FedEx….and couldn’t believe the prices. They’re probably raking in $8-10 million in ticket sales alone just for that one show.

      • Kingman Park It

        If you’re basing your opinion on the value for money of concerts, Coldplay is likely not the best place to start.

      • John G.

        I was more than happy to pay only $55 to see Roger Waters in August. That’s only $30.00 more than I paid to see Pink Floyd in 1988, and the general price of a low-tier (price, not physical location) ticket for an arena/stadium spectacle is usually much higher.

  • Anon

    The Foo Fighters’ real jerk move is that they’re HIV/AIDS deniers

    • someguy


    • Bobert

      Wow, that’s nuts. I didn’t know that – thanks for sharing. Here’s an article from the early 2000s about this: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2000/02/foo-fighters-hiv-deniers/

      • Anon

        Yup. They’ve never recanted!

    • NHAve

      Holy shit. Thanks for the link. Is this as bad as being an anti-vaxxer? I’m not sure, will need to read more. I’m a fan- I was at the 9:30 club show and 4th of July – no plans to go to Anthem because how could it top 9:30.

      • NHAve

        Now I’m down a rabbit hole… drummer Taylor has played in a benefit for Generation Rescue (Jennie McCarthy). So, good news – they’re both! What is it about Hollywood that turns people into science-deniers? http://www.hollywood.com/general/taylor-hawkins-raises-funds-for-autism-research-59090078/

        • Bobert

          “What is it about Hollywood that turns people into science-deniers?”
          You don’t have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, exactly, to make it in Hollywood.

          • MadMax

            Or be in Hollywood at all, given how much of this country believes that a man in the sky made a talking snake trick humans into a shitty life where children now get cancer and floods that wipe out the earth.

        • Kingman Park

          Hubris and the constant need to stay relevant and gain publicity.

      • MadMax

        To answer your question, no, it’s definitely not as bad as being an anti-vaxxer, as the ramifications of that reach well beyond your own children once you expose them to others.

  • HB

    As someone who has seen the Foo Fighters several times, I was taken aback by the ticket price.

  • eggs

    On the one hand, no I don’t think this is a “jerk move” – they can absolutely command that price. Especially for the opening of a venue like this, especially in DC.
    On the other hand, I refuse to pay over $50 for concert tickets almost always, with rare exceptions. I’ve been wanting to see them for years but this is way over what I’m willing to pay for a concert.

  • neighbor

    20 years later I still find it strange the Foo Fighters have “funs”, much less fans willing to pay over 100$ a ticket.
    That being the case, however, I have zero problem charging them that price–a position unrelated to my feelings about their musical tastes.
    First, if there’s sufficient demand to support those prices, a large majority of any cheaper tickets would undoubtedly be bought by scalpers and resold at the highest price demand supports. It would be scalpers benefiting, not fans.
    Second, even supposing the they could sell below market tickets only to fans (for example, by making them stand in line), would that be more fair? Are the fans that have hours of extra time to stand in line somehow better than those with money to pay for tickets?
    Finally, even supposing the tickets can be distributed “fairly” to fans, and making fans stand in line somehow optimally selects the “best fans”. What obligation do FF have to offer the tickets below market? Nobody says Apple should sell computers for cheaper to their biggest fans. Or Pineapple and Pearls should offer free meals to their biggest fans. Foo Fighters are just people trying to make a living, and this is their job. Don’t criticize them for it.

    • Belinskaya

      And how do you prove your fandom enough when you are in line vs. having gotten paid on taskrabbit? In person lines won’t even reward the “real fans” over the fans with money. Do we start asking trivia questions with a minimum number of right answers before you can buy a ticket?
      (brought to you by the girl who stood in line with a bunch of paid line sitters for Book of Mormon tix the first time around at the Kennedy Center)

  • Tsar of Truxton

    I bought tickets yesterday as part of the presale. The GA are $100 + $15 in fees per ticket. The $175 tickets are boxes. The opener is the Struts, who sold out 930 a month or so ago. $115 is a lot for a show, but there are plenty of bands that charge more for nosebleed seats in giant stadiums. I would rather pay that money and be in an intimate venue, where you can actually see the band. I saw U2 a few years ago and the band was like a speck on the horizon for $150 or whatever. I have a feeling the Foo will be playing a 2+ hour setlist (as they did at 930, Black Cat and RFK in the last few years). They are a huge band (surefire R&R Hall of Famers), so this seems about right.

    • Truxton Emma

      Question – where did you see that The Struts are opening?

      • Tsar of Truxton

        It says it on my ticket confirmation email :-)

    • Jake Jenson

      I bought $175 tickets. Am I really going to be in a punk ass box? do you have a seating map?

  • ExWalbridgeGuy

    Not just a Foo Fighters concert but the grand opening of a new venue. It’s no surprise the price is sorta high. Also it’s 217 and the Foo Fighters aren’t exactly a band for teenagers anymore. How old is the median Foo Fighters fan now? 30s or 40s? This cohort has money. They probably could have gone quite a bit higher than this even.

  • TriniSoFlo

    The beauty of the free market is that the supplier can charge what they want and the consumer can then choose to purchase or not purchase at that price. I don’t think the Foo Fighters owe DC fans anything special.

    • Bobert

      “Capitalism – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” isn’t the most interesting response to “a jerk move to their fans?” Though admittedly, it’s hard for me to get overly riled about what the FF charge for their show.

      • Joshua

        Sometimes the truth is boring.

  • Definitely not a jerk move…The prices for Verizon Center were more for Foo and this is much smaller…

  • nathan

    I wonder if prices for most shows are going to be at this level. I think given their size and setup they’ll be a competitor to MGM National Harbor, which has quite high prices.

    • timmyp2353

      I respectfully disagree. I think the price is this high because it’s A) a band that can sell out stadiums playing in a club and B) the opening of what is being hailed as potentially the best music venue in America. I think it will be a 930 club type venue where prices are reflective of the acts playing. I don’t think it’s going to regularly have bands of this magnitude. As for being a competitor of MGM I don’t think that’s right either. Apples and oranges if you ask me. MGM is a Casino which are known for charging top tier prices, often for acts that don’t do a lot of touring, but not always of course.

      As for the tickets I bought the regular tix on the pre-sale yesterday. I was happy that the GA Tix were the $100 ones instead of the $175. That might have been a bit too rich for my blood but I don’t think super unreasonable given the circumstances of the club opening and who is playing. I don’t think people are insane for scoffing a bit though. That’s their opinion.

  • shmoo

    I think we also all need to remember that this is a locally owned and operated venue/promoter who has the city interest in mind. This is not live nation coming in an taking over. IMP needs to grow in order to protect the independent music venue/scene that DC has been able to create. This is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  • Anon X

    I guess it’s a jerk move if you were under the false impression that musicians were in it to make you happy vs it being a business that charges what the market willl bear.

    So much hate for capitalism. What exactly do you expect?

  • Gumball

    $100 to $175 is about the median price for concert tickets these days. Other than artists on the come up performing at places like the Fillmore or Echostage, or retired artists with a small faithful fan base performing at MD Live or other small venues, please tell us about the concerts you’ve been to that cost less than this.

    • timmyp2353


      The 930 Club disagrees. Find me one ticket priced at $100 or more.

      • textdoc

        Yeah — it’s rare that tickets to 9:30 shows are even above $45.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not a big fan of the Foo Fighters. But I would consider paying $100-175 to see them play the 930 Club.

      • MadMax

        930 Club has been around for a very long time. It’s an old, grimey venue (to many that’s part of its charm, so I don’t necessarily mean that negatively). This is a brand new venue with completely different operating costs and likely significantly higher rents.

        • timmyp2353

          That wasn’t my point. I was responding to this “please tell us about the concerts you’ve been to that cost less than this.” I’d say anyone who is a fan of not stadium rock music sees shows at the 930 club. So that was my answer.

          • MadMax

            Right, but your answer is largely covered by their disclaimer “Other than artists on the come up performing at places like the Fillmore or Echostage”. That’s most of the acts at 930.

          • textdoc

            Maybe Gumball has different opinions as to what constitutes “upcoming artists.” As Timmy points out, the 9:30 Club covers everything other than artists with stadium-size audiences (and sometimes those too).
            It’s pretty rare that there’s an artist playing at, say, the Verizon Center whom I actually want to see… and even when there is, I’m not all that tempted because I just don’t enjoy shows where I’d need binoculars to see the performers properly.
            There’s a difference between “concert tickets these days” and “concert tickets at venues with capacity of more than x thousand.”

          • Tsar of Truxton

            “Right, but your answer is largely covered by their disclaimer ‘Other than artists on the come up performing at places like the Fillmore or Echostage.’ That’s most of the acts at 930.” So what he is saying is $100 to $175 is the median ticket price for the top 5% of music shows in the world? Ok, I think we all agree with that but don’t make median ticket price arguments and then exclude 95% percent of the shows.

          • MadMax

            @Tsar, I think it’s a poorly worded argument at face value, absolutely, but I still get the gist of it (and I’m sure most others do too).

          • Gumball

            @MadMax very poorly worded! haha I agree with that!

            It’s almost 3pm and my brain still isn’t functioning at full capacity!

    • Tsar of Truxton

      I don’t know if this is sarcasm, but I don’t know about $100 to $175 being the median. The only venues that charge that much in this area are VZ Center, which is 20-30 shows a year, and occasionally a show at one of the outdoor venues. I mean, 98% of shows at 930 Club or other smaller venues are less than this. I doubt the normal prices at Anthem will be this high (it is only slightly larger than Echostage, I think). That said, I still think this is reasonable for such a large bad at such a small venue.

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s more accurate to say that you are not going to find many if any examples of artists at the Foo Fighters level (whether you like them or not, they regularly sell out arenas) playing 6000 seat venues at all, let alone for less than a couple of hundred bucks a ticket.

      • Gumball

        Yep Anonymous–you got what i meant.

    • Jay

      I go to (or consider going to) dozens of shows a year and it’s rare that any of these charge more than $30 for tickets… These shows may not be major label acts that get lots of radio play and are well-known to millions of casual fans, so perhaps it’s not the apples-to-apples comparison you’re looking for (and THOSE tickets usually are really expensive), but they’re often critically acclaimed acts with a substantial following and maybe a decade or two of continued excellence…

  • K

    I was hoping this was a special price for the opening of the venue, but looks like Lorde in April is the same thing. Bummer

  • MadMax

    LOL, just no. Move along. Not even worth a lengthy retort.

  • Feelingold

    I just see it as this is what concerts cost nowadays. I can’t even remember the last time I was at a concert because I just don’t want to spend that amount to sit in seats or on a lawn where I’m essentially watching them perform on a big screen anyway, and I’m far too old to be in the mosh pit anymore.

  • teardownthewall

    Unfortunately this is how much tickets to major acts cost.

    Blame ticketmaster.

    It is only really cheaper when Musicians really fight for a good deal for fans.

  • anon

    not unreasonable. An arena ticket would probably cost ~$60-75 and this is a setting fans to which fans are rarely afforded to access for a band of this popularity. I wouldn’t pay $10 for a ticket but that’s fine. I don’t think I paid $10 to see Nirvana in a club over 25 years ago.

  • textdoc

    Yes, those ticket prices are pretty high. No, it’s not a “jerk move” to their fans, given that (apparently?) Foo Fighters tickets usually cost this much or more.
    “I don’t know how much the band controls ticket prices” — Ticket prices for shows are usually based on the fee that the venue is paying the artist. So the band doesn’t “control” ticket prices per se, but the ticket price usually reflects what the band is charging.

    • MadMax

      “I have no idea how a Ferrari is made, but I think it should be priced the same as a Civic. What a jerk move by the manufacturer!”

  • The Other Jason

    People are already selling them on StubHub for $280-500 each. So…$115 seems really reasonable now.

    • The Other Jason

      And F*** it, I just bought a pair. Guess I’m going to the show…unless anyone wants them for $500 each. haha

      • B’Dale Res

        Lucky you. I tried right at 10 and there were only ADA seats available. I guess lots of ADA covered fans got those too, because once I hit refresh, they were gone. I guess my morals got the best of me.

      • FooFan

        So how are you getting around the buyer ID requirement?

    • StraightOuttaShaw

      Stubhub is now up to $1,200/ticket. Note – tickets are non-transferable and only the ticket purchaser will be able to use the ticket. Ticket scam alert!

      • welshie

        I’ve never in my life seen that rule enforced, even when it is listed prominently.

        • Tsar of Truxton

          A lot of shows are tied to credit cards now, so it is enforced. When I went to the Green Day show at 930, it was enforced. You can, however, scalp one of your two ticket and just bring the person in with you.

    • Erica

      From a friend at 930

      Tickets for the Foo Fighters show are NOT transferrable. However some parasite is trying to sell them on StubHub for $30,000 a piece. That’s not a typo, $30K. Anyone buying from a scalper will be disappointed when they’re not let in. Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy From Scalpers. (And yes, StubHub is a scalper.)

  • Not Nirvana

    Sold out by 10:12am. I was in line a few minutes before 10. No go.

    • Gumball

      Guess it was the right price for a lot of people!

  • Tanya

    Supply & demand.
    Was “in line” when sales started at 10…directed to tickets at 10:08
    sold out
    FML ;)

    • Tanya

      Oh and for those who are thinking resale/purchase on stubhub
      “Name on photo identification must match name of the ticket buyer listed on the ticket face in order to gain entry to this show. Tickets are NON-TRANSFERABLE! The ticket purchaser must be the person to enter the building. If multiple tickets were purchased, guest must enter at the same time as the purchaser.”
      (The naive me hopes this holds true!)

      • timmyp2353

        It never does though. Thankfully for the most part because that would take hours to get in if they were ID’ing each person and matching it to the tickets. I think it’s a scare tactic, which I do like.

  • L

    Zero Real People got tickets to this concert. A total bust by The Anthem.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure how it’s a bust of all the tickets got sold. There will be 6000 people at the show. Whether they got there through direct purchases or scalping is immaterial to the venue.

    • MadMax

      What’s the alternative, make everyone queue up for hours and buy them the day of the concert?

    • The Other Jason

      I’m real and I got a pair of tix at 10am.

    • KenyonDweller

      I’m a real person, and I got tickets. I know other real people who also got tickets.

      • timmyp2353

        Me too and so did a friend.

    • Jay

      If I knew that this was going to be a party with 6,000 of my closest robot friends, I would have bought a ticket!

    • C

      I was able to get 2 during yesterday’s FWB presale, no problem.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        Ditto. It was cake yesterday.

        • keydet

          Same here…but I turned the house upside down looking for my FWB card to get the number.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            Just FYI, you can look it up online. It is also in the original welcome email if you archived it.

    • AWinDC

      If you are friends with the Foo Fighters on Facebook, they sent out a pre sale code on Tuesday and I got tickets then. Sometimes social media is a good thing!

  • Truxton Thomas

    No. The market determines the price. If they’ve already sold out, perhaps they should have charged more.

  • Blithe

    I would be very surprised to see ticket prices under $100 for something like this. I’m also not sure that the prices set by the venue even matter much if large numbers of tickets end up getting snapped up for re-sale. I could be wrong about this either in general or in this particular case, but I think that many musicians make most of their money by touring now, including profits generated by selling merchandise — vs the olden days when selling albums/cds/whatever was a greater part of their income. So I trust that everyone concerned about high ticket prices is also purchasing music in ways that will generate profit for the artists. What I think sucks is that if there’s a market for extremely high priced tickets, and in this case I’m sure there will be, the major profit from the ticket sales is likely not going to the artists or promoters or anyone directly connected with them, but rather to the scalpers.

  • John Smith

    i was online in the ticket section right at 10, selected 2 tickets and hit next and it told me sold out, 10:00:30. Unreal.

    • anono

      ME TOO. it literally was like 10:00 and 20 seconds. We missed presale as we were across the country 6 hrs behind when it started! I’m floored in how quickly it sold out.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a big enough fan of the Foo Fighters to pay to see them live, but generally speaking I would pay more to see a band I like playing in a smaller venue. The Foo Fighters regularly play in stadiums. I could see how a fan would pay those prices to see them in a small theater.
    Dave Chappelle tix to his run at Radio City are $200-2000 per seat. So the answer to your question is “no.”

    • HaileUnlikely

      Same here. No interest in paying this much to see this band, but as a general matter, I’d be willing to pay quite a bit more to see somebody I liked at 9:30 Club than at a huge stadium.

  • lmfb

    If I go watch foo fighters, do I have to put on daisy dukes or board shorts, dressed up as a gwennaby, with my airwalks and maybe a disk man?

    • Joshua

      You’re also gonna have to cut off that dumb man bun and shave off that beard.

    • houseintherear

      I’m sorry you’ve missed their new stuff since the 90s- you are missing out!

  • John H.

    The jerk move, as you call it, is that TicketFly did nothing to prevent the inhalation of tix by the robot resellers. What tix there were (not sure how much the Anthem will hold) were gone in seconds and StubHub already has listing for tix in the $1,200 range EACH! Those resellers are making a triple-jerk move. Unbelievable. I’m so sick of the resellers and hope they choke on those tickets.

    • Jake M.

      You took the words out of my mouth.

    • anon

      How are those services getting around the nontransfer rules? It’s written all over the ticket sales page and confirmation emails that the name on the tickets must match the name of a person entering with the ticket holders.

  • Anonymous

    Since your photo ID has to match the name used to buy the ticket, it will be interesting to see how many irate fans who bought a ticket on the secondary market there will be at the door the night of the show.

  • Shawz

    I think the jerk move is that they priced tickets too low, which is why they were sold out at 10:15 and people like me, who actually had to work at the exact second tickets went online, now have to buy them from scalpers. AND we’re going to have to worry that we’re going to be turned away at the venue because we did so. I’d much rather they do fair (market) pricing so that, like everything else I buy, I can actually buy it legally from the manufacturer/distributor like a civilized person. A system like a Dutch auction for tickets would also be a nice way to do it.

    • MadMax

      Well, you don’t HAVE to. Nobody is making you go to the show.

    • anon

      The tickets are strictly nontransferable. If you want tickets second-hand, you’re going to have to show up with the person who originally bought them.

  • erin

    Not that any of this matters, as they were sold out in less than a minute…

  • Jay

    I’ll be interested to see what impact this venue has on Echostage, which is similarly sized but super inconveniently located…

    • textdoc

      I suspect it means that I.M.P. will no longer (or only infrequently) book shows at Echostage, now that they have their own similarly sized venue.

  • Julie

    They sold out in 1 minute so its a mute point. My question is will they add a second show?

    • Bobert

      Apologies in advance, but this point is moot rather than mute. :-)

  • Julie

    Well another thing is i wonder if the stub hub customers will be able to get in since the tickets are supposed to be “non-transferable”.

  • Jeff

    I paid $60 for decent seats when they played Verizon Center on the last tour. Very reasonable. And this venue is 2/3 smaller. So it’s fine. By comparison, U2 is charging its fans $300 to see them in a football stadium.

  • mkdgoodman

    I spent 800 bucks + fees for a ticket to see Barbra Striesand, and 135/ticket for James Taylor @ nationals park… both at face value. that price for to see Foo Fighters seems reasonable for me

  • anon

    Fully support the pricing. I bought some on preorder. They are said to be strictly non-transferable, hence the price. Low-priced tickets get scalped and most people end up paying this much anyway, only to a middleman.

  • No Bikes

    Ticketing fees piss me off more than ticket prices. $100 seems just about right for this show.


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