Are Your Concert Experiences Really Priceless?

Jennifer Daltons The Reappraisal
Jennifer Dalton's The Reappraisal

When I read this review in New York Magazine about photographer/visual artist Jennifer Dalton’s The Reappraisal I started to wonder: what is the emotional value of our live concert experiences? 

Here’s a snippet from the Jerry Saltz critic’s pick review:

Jennifer Dalton photographed everything in her home, then lined a gallery with shelves full of small plastic frames that tell you each item’s market value and what it is worth to her. The dress she bought for $35 is worth $100,000 to her because she wore it at her wedding; her sex toys and porn, bought for $20, are valued at 50 grand for personal reasons. Dalton’s encyclopedic index of her own life is a confession, a denial, folly, fantasy, and a wonderful, visual-cerebral experience. Plus everything’s really for sale…

The article doesn’t say if she has any concert experiences for resale. But what if we were to do the same reappraisal with our own concert experiences?

We often complain about the high cost of tickets for bigger arena shows. But lets look at the cost of tickets from Dalton’s point of view for a moment.

We’ve all had life changing moments at concerts. And the price we’ve paid for those concert tickets can range from ten to two hundred bucks or more.

Dalton’s pricing is based on the emotional value connected to those items. But the difference between live concerts and her items is that with concerts you’re paying for the hope and expectation of a great show that might, or might not, live up to the value you’ve  paid,  while, with Dalton’s pricing and items, you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy them.

In both pricing situations, it’s determining the emotional value that puts a tricky spin on putting a price tag on the resale of Dalton’s  items and our live concert experiences. And I’d also like to know how Dalton came up with her prices because I’d like to see if we could apply it to live concerts.

Yes, thinking about this does open up a huge can of worms that could make ticketsellers and promoters salivate over a new kind of ticket pricing structure, which could exploit us.

But I’ll ask you this. Would a new pricing structure really be exploiting us if it were based on the emotional value of the live concert experience?

And, if you were to go back and reappraise your live concert experiences, what would you sell them for? And how would you represent your emotional experience and explain your price so that you could resell them?

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