Fans of music festivals will have to dig deeper into their pockets this summer. Due to rising costs, many organizers have raised ticket prices, some of them sharply. Some people may therefore attend fewer open-air spectacles this summer or perhaps do without them altogether, according to industry insiders. Nevertheless, the big festivals are expecting tens of thousands of revelers again this year.

Ticket prices could have risen by about 30 percent on average, estimates Stephan Benn of the cultural association Liveinitiative NRW. However, there is no precise overview. "Organizers are currently facing a number of additional costs," he says. According to him, higher wages, for example for technicians, security services and catering staff, are having a particularly strong impact.

In addition, according to Bernd Schweinar of the Association for Pop Culture in Bavaria, there are rising costs for energy and technology as well as higher fees. Nevertheless, the organizers should not pass on all the increased costs to the customers, he demands. Because that harms the industry. "The effect will be that more and more expensive large-scale concerts will reduce the budget that concertgoers will no longer have for smaller festivals and concerts."

Price increases of 45 percent at Rock am Ring

A ticket for three days of Rock im Park in Nuremberg, which will take place next weekend at the same time as its twin festival Rock am Ring in the Eifel, costs up to 300 euros. That is about 70 euros more than last year. "We have price increases of 45 percent in many areas," says spokeswoman Carolin Hilzinger. It is only possible to absorb them to a limited extent in any other way.

Compared to five years ago, the cost of living has risen by 30 percent – this also applies to ticket prices, adds Matt Schwarz of the Rock am Ring organizer Dreamhaus. The day tickets, on the other hand, are cheaper than last year.

Around 70 bands will play at the two rock festivals, including greats such as Die Toten Hosen, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters. Nevertheless, fewer visitors could come than last year.

The organizers expect about 60,000 revelers at Rock im Park, more than 70,000 at Rock am Ring. Last year, the figures were 75,000 and 90,000 respectively. Hilzinger cites a later start of advance sales and the increased ticket prices in combination with the high cost of living as reasons. "That's when people think about what they can afford in their private lives."

Hurricane: Passing on only a fraction of the additional costs

The heavy metal festival Wacken Open Air has also increased its prices: from 239 euros last year to 299 euros. However, the fans get four instead of three days of festival program. Until now, the fourth day had to be bought separately, as organizer Thomas Jensen says. Within five hours, more than 83,000 tickets were sold - the festival was sold out.

Hurricane and its sister festival Southside, which will take place simultaneously in Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg in mid-June, are also almost sold out, according to the organizer. Compared to the previous year, ticket prices rose by 30 euros and 10 euros respectively to 249 and 259 euros. This means that only a fraction of the additional costs will be passed on to the guests, says spokesman Jonas Rohde.

According to its own information, the Lollapalooza in Berlin has increased ticket prices by 10 euros and has sold more tickets so far than at the same time last year. However, since the festival will not be held until September, it is still too early to make a forecast, says spokeswoman Marlene Ryba. In any case, it is noticeable that visitors buy tickets more spontaneously than before the pandemic.