Temas de Capa

“This hysteria isn’t new” Mike Graham



Mike Graham turned his fascination with music into a fundamental area that works with and manages artists’ careers. He studied Entertainment Business Management at the Metalworks Institute of Sound and Music Production and is now Booking Agent at Paquin Artists Agency. Graham is therefore very familiar with all the behind-the-scenes work that the world of concerts requires.

In this issue of Milénio we had the opportunity to hear their opinions on everything that goes into producing shows. Basically, we asked them to help us understand the phenomenon that draws crowds and generates an economic impact of unusual dimensions.

Madalena Balça/MS

Milénio Stadium: It’s not exactly new to see concerts with tens of thousands of people attending, but I’d like to know what you think of what we’ve seen – Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Harry Styles… selling out concerts all over the world, despite prices reaching unprecedented levels?
Mike Graham: Superstars have always been exciting to people. Whether it’s an athlete, musician or actor, people have always been excited by talent, and they have always historically wanted to be part of their story. It’s nothing new to see these acts selling our arenas and major events. People want to be in attendance, they want to take part in something special.

weweew (1)MS: Can you understand why even people who are struggling financially spend as much as they do to attend a particular concert?
MG: People spent nearly 2 years in lockdowns due to the pandemic where there were no live events. I think it’s natural to find people willing to spend more money on special events than ever before. People are putting more value on personal enjoyment these days than ever before.

MS: What is at work here – the music and the overall quality of the show or a powerful marketing machine?
MG: All of these are at work. Marketing is a crucial part of running live events, but the artist and the quality of the show is what drives the ticket prices. Artists are bringing in bigger shows with bigger production than ever, and the only chance to experience it in person is to buy a ticket for the show.

MS: What precedents are being set with this almost collective hysteria around certain artists?
MG: As I mentioned above, this hysteria isn’t new. We’ve seen it with The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and many more. Today we have Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, etc and there will be more in the future. If there is a precedent, we would have to go all the way back through the history of music to find it.

MS: Does the level of the concerts – scenography, number of people involved… – justify the prices asked per ticket? Are there other factors that contribute to the high prices or is it simply greed?
MG: Like every other industry, the operating costs for touring and producing major events like these has gone up by more than 30% after the pandemic. Every piece of the economy plays into the cost of events. From the gas prices to food prices, to the cost of hiring employees and more. We’re living in a world of inflated prices everywhere, and that includes the cost of tickets.

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