Rumours and supposition about Linkin Park’s much anticipated return to China can now be put to bed after tickets to an August 15 show in Shanghai were put on sale.
You can book tickets at the Ticketmaster site HERE, but hurry – the eyebleed seats have already sold out.
Linkin Park have appeared in China once before, in November 2007. You can read our review HERE. The tickets were around the same prices as they are for this new show, anywhere between 150 and 1600 RMB. Our view on these prices remains the same – tickets are insanely expensive for your average Chinese, but hey, a precedent is being set. To sit on the floor of the stadium, you will have to pony up a minimum of US$115. In front of the stage, a staggering US$250. Even in the stands, the decent seats are US$70.
When we listened to Rob McDermott, LP’s manager, at Music Matters this year in Hong Kong, he made a point of highlighting the fact that Linkin were all about their fans, that tickets were always reasonably priced so the fans could always be close. Why the big anomoly when it comes to China? Why are Chinese kids expected to fork out so much more than in Switzerland (99 Swiss Francs flat ticket price (US$90)) or Germany (€62 flat ticket price (US$87))?
Honestly, it would seem logical to us that Linkin Park in China would be significantly cheaper than shows in developed countries. We understand that there are high costs involved in putting on this kind of show in China – production, venue, freight and of course the artists fee are all significant – but the show is in an 80,000 capacity stadium, of which we’d imagine at least 50,000 tickets will be on sale. That’s a massive potential gross and it seems to us that it would be better to get 50,000 people into the stadium at a 300RMB ticket price rather than 20,000 at the 600RMB average. It will be interesting to see whether Linkin Park can still pull a decent crowd after the incredible (20,000+) turnout of their 2007 show. We hope to God that the production is better too…
If you want more crazily prices stadium madness, you can check out the German Goth band Lacrimosa, who sold out two 1,000 capacity venues (Beijing/ Shanghai) in 2007. They will be taking a massive step up to the 15,000 odd capacity Luwan stadium on August 2 for the not inconsiderable sums of 180-800RMB.
Finally, if you want evidence of how far international artists have to go to compete with the domestic fare, the band that were due to share a bill with Linkin Park in 2008, Mayday, sold out two nights at Hongkou Stadium this weekend. Tickets were 150-1355RMB, and close to 60,000 tickets must have been sold. Ticketmaster and Livenation must be looking at those numbers with a hungry gaze…