The on-sale for Adele tickets came and went, and only a lucky few were able to get through a crowded virtual line to attain access to an upcoming show. The high demand was anticipated — evidenced by the amount of shows scheduled at each venue — but thousands were still left disappointed and empty-handed by Thursday afternoon.
For those still looking for tickets the secondary market was the next logical step, but those fans were met with astounding prices well above face value. According to ticket aggregator TicketIQ, the current average price for Adele tickets on the secondary market is $922.33. At those current prices, Adele’s tour would easily be the most expensive since TicketIQ started keeping track on secondary market data in 2010.
Some fans were outraged upon seeing those prices and blamed the process of the secondary ticket market for listings at such a premium over face value — for many shows, the most expensive tickets at face value were around $150. But there’s another factor at play here. Ticket prices for Adele are so high on the secondary market because, up to this point, she’s done her best to keep inventory away from it.
Adele’s tour will be hitting some of the biggest arenas in North America, with each venue getting at least two shows. Some venues like Staples Center and Madison Square Garden will host six shows each. When taking capacity of these arenas into account, there’s just over 1 million tickets available across the North American dates on the tour. Through TicketIQ there are currently under 60,973 tickets listed in total, just 5.96 percent of the total possible inventory. There’s never going to be an artist that completely shuts out the secondary market for a tour of this size — at least not soon — but keeping the amount of tickets available to just under six percent is an incredible feat.
Over the summer, U2 set out on its iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour with a similar trek to Adele, making multiple stops in each city they stopped in. Using the same listings to capacity ratio, just under 12 percent of possible tickets were available on the secondary market. For Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming The River 2016 Tour, a little over 11 percent of tickets are listed on the secondary market. Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour has 22 percent of available tickets listed on the secondary market.
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Of course with the simple rules of supply and demand, a limited inventory of tickets is obviously going to raise prices. It’s unfortunate for the many fans who were unable to grab tickets, though it does appear that fans who were able to purchase tickets when they went on sale are the people who will actually be going to the shows.
For more on Adele’s tour dates, check out our complete guide here.