High Income Rock Enthusiast Diplomats

The organizer of the recent Bob Dylan concerts in China has received criticism from fans and media for the shows’ high ticket prices, which ranged from 280 yuan ($43) to 1,961 yuan ($300).

Asked to explain the pricing, organizer Beijing Gehua said the concerts were aimed at “high-income fans, rock enthusiasts and foreign diplomats,” according to Beijing Business Today.

BBT investigated the matter and found that concerts by foreign artists in China are typically expensive for the average person for various reasons, the most obvious being the high fees foreign artists usually charge to bring a professional show overseas.

In Dylan’s case, though, the fee was decidedly cheaper since Beijing Gehua has a joint venture with Live Nation, which manages Dylan’s tours.

Another reason for the high prices is lack of sponsors in China.

Western stars still don’t attract corporate sponsors the way local artists do.

In addition, many interested groups, including the media, demand free tickets, which can account for 10 to 20 percent of the total seats available for a show, especially in Beijing.