See Kurt Cobain + Nirvana Members React to Other Act’s Ticket Prices in 1993
Can you imagine what a Nirvana ticket would go for in 2022? If the band stayed in their 1993 mindset, it's possible that it would still be reasonable by comparison to some of the artists of the day. In a video interview that's recently been recirculating online, the members of Nirvana are asked their thoughts on the current state of ticket prices circa 1993 when the interview was reportedly filmed.
The thing of interest here is the facial expressions and responses when the band members learn via the interviewer that there were acts reportedly asking for between $50 and $75 for tickets. "There are people who charge that much?," asks an incredulous Kurt Cobain, with the faces he makes driving home his anguish over hearing such a thing.
It's later pointed out by someone off camera that Madonna had been charging $50 a ticket, but Dave Grohl responded that that was a "burlesque show," while Krist Novoselic noted the higher production value. Madonna at the time would've been promoting 1992's Erotica album, a period in her history where she was particularly pushing the boundaries of her stage presentation.
"Madonna charges $50?," Cobain questions, with Grohl offering an exasperating exhale offscreen. The band members then ask their manager offscreen how much they charge, learning that it was between $17 and $18, which was very reasonable for the hottest band on the planet at the time.
"We were talking about, 'Boy we should charge $25 and really milk it, and really take 'em for all they got," adds Novoselic sarcastically. Grohl then suggests, "Fugazi's playing tonight and they're charging $5. How does that make you feel?," to which Novoselic responds, "Weak."
Speaking then to where the money goes, Cobain offers that production costs can be "astronomical," revealing that the group members themselves don't actually make that much as compared to the whole of a concert ticket. He estimates that they each make $1.75 individually per ticket each night, but then do the math of those coming to the shows and realize it's a pretty nice chunk of change they're bringing in even at an affordable concert ticket price.
While ticket prices always seem to be an issue for fans, especially with how things have escalated in the modern market, it's kind of great to see a band at the top of their game seemingly fine not charging top dollar despite their popularity. Though they had graduated to selling out arenas, the band kept the mindset of the group that came up through the clubs and maintained their focus on the music rather than the potential financial windfall. Check out the video interview, purported to be from 1993, that was posted by Happy Mag below.