Although times are so rough in Britain that a retail giant such as Woolworths is disappearing from High Street, it seems a concert ticket could be this year’s popular Christmas gift.
Figures from secondary ticketer viagogo show ticket sales for the first two weeks of December were up 50 percent on the previous two weeks.
It seems the trend is spanning the generations, as many more senior citizens can expect to find a Cliff Richard ticket under the Christmas tree. Viagogo reports that sales for his reunion tour with The Shadows next year have jumped by 80 percent.
The company also says fans of Gary Barlow, Oasis and Coldplay could have a pleasant surprise under the tree. Sales of all three jumped about 50 percent in the first two weeks of this month.
Other acts to enjoy a significant rise in the past week include Morrissey, Britney Spears, AC/DC and Tina Turner.
Viagogo has also announced an exclusive deal with leading theatre Web site Whatsonstage.com. The deal is similar to the one it signed with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company a couple of months ago.
The Whatsonstage deal means viagogo will handle ticket resale for top West End shows such as “Oliver!” “Hairspray,” “Mamma Mia!” “Waiting for Godot” starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and “Rain Man.”
Tight controls are being put in place to preserve the pricing of productions mounted at nonprofit, publicly funded institutions such as the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where David Tennant’s acclaimed “Hamlet” caused an unprecedented frenzy at the box office earlier this year.
Resale tickets for these productions will be capped at a maximum of 25 percent above face value and customers will have an opportunity to donate a portion of the sale directly back to the relevant theatre company.
Edge Performance VCT, the U.K.’s largest specialist investment fund for the live music and events industry, is another company reporting booming business.
“No sector is recession-proof, but we believe the impact of the current downturn on live music will be a flight to value,” said Edge Group founder David Glick, as the company announced that it wants to raise at least another £10 million.
“Acts who set ticket prices at the appropriate level will continue to do well. We believe our market-leading position as an investor, our unrivalled team of executive talent and our established relationships with market-leading promoters will stand us in good stead,” he explained.
Edge, which already has £3.8 million under management, has produced figures that show its investors are getting a total return per ordinary share of 87p for a net investment cost of 60p.
Edge says it’s offering both capital security and dividend flow.
During 2008 Edge invested in a series of high-profile music promoters with shows by acts including Bon Jovi, Primal Scream and Kanye West.
It also invested in Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s “Monkey – Journey to the West,” which is currently running at London’s O2.
Forthcoming investments include the New Kids On The Block tour in the U.K. in January 2009.