Indie Venues Face a Surging Concert No-Show Rate — 50% of Ticketholders Are Staying Home

Photo Credit: John Matychuk

Last month, a troubling report revealed that live concerts were grappling with a serious no-show problem, with 20 percent of ticketholders opting not to attend certain big-name gigs. Now, ahead of a jam-packed event schedule for the remainder of 2022, the figure has spiked to 50 percent for indie music venues, according to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).

NIVA representative (and co-owner of Branson, Missouri’s Presleys’ Country Jubilee) Raeanne Presley disclosed the discouraging statistic while speaking before the House Small Business Committee, as part of a recent hearing entitled “The Power, Peril, and Promise of The Creative Economy.”

“Today, the rollercoaster ride of the pandemic continues,” said Presley, whose venue features 1,500 seats, hosts over 200 events per year, and employs 70 individuals. “Traditionally, about five percent of ticket buyers don’t attend performances. But now, sagging consumer confidence is causing national no-show rates as high as 50 percent.

“This is devastating, because most of our venues rely on in-house sales to pay core bills. We are also now confronted with increased costs due to inflation. Just in the past month, I’ve received notices of impending price increases from our trash hauler to our concession suppliers to our janitorial service.

“And like many other businesses, we face the difficult challenge of finding workers in a competitive environment. Remote work is not an option for our business,” continued Presley’s five-minute-long opening statement.

Later during the more than two-hour-long remote hearing, Presley – whose venue’s 56th season is set to begin in March – was asked about her plans and how government policy can be tailored to assist independent music venues and other live-entertainment establishments.

“It’s a difficult choice; there’s no way around that. I think consumer confidence is really where we’re focused as an association, with NIVA. As we talked about, my business is here, we are looking out for our guests and our customers and our employees. We’re encouraging masks and we’re encouraging vaccination. But that is where we are here in Missouri.

“For other venues across the nation, there are multiple, multiple rather different views of this. And of course going forward with COVID it’s very hard to know,” she said.

Lastly, Presley reiterated that indie music venues – which have suffered unprecedented financial damage due to large-gathering bans and lockdown measures – are dealing with issues beyond a surging no-show rate.

“I certainly see increases coming – and shortages as well – of the type of merchandise that we sell. I see that in terms of our concession supplies. We saw that last fall – not only just price increases, but we saw [an] inability to secure cups and different things that we need for our business. We know that’s real. It’s unknown yet in terms of insurance cost, but we anticipate that that may happen as well.

“It’s not any one thing, I would say. It’s just cumulative. And when you run a small business like our independent venues do, it’s the cumulative things that actually are most difficult to manage,” she concluded.

18 Responses

  1. james

    As soon as the vaccine mandates are dropped, we’ll see a large influx of concert patrons.

    • Ignacio Ramos

      Doubtful. Getting a vaccine isn’t what is keeping people away from large crowds and gatherings. It’s the risk of becoming sick.

      • MJ

        Let’s think about this logically:
        – The vaccine is supposed to protect you from getting the virus. Therefore, if you’re vaccinated, you shouldn’t have a fear of attending a concert.
        – The unvaccinated cannot attend concerts due to mandates.

        By this simple logic alone, you eliminate a whole population of your customer base.

        Your argument is that every vaccinated person is so fearful of contracting COVID from other vaccinated people that they aren’t attending concerts and THAT’S why people aren’t going?

        • Ignacio Ramos

          In order to think about anything logically, you need to talk about facts.

          The vaccine is not supposed to prevent a person from getting the virus. It is in place to decrease the chances, and prevent a person who has gotten the virus from becoming so sick they need hospitalization. It is something to decrease the effects and prevent death.

          You first statement is incorrect, and the rest of your “logic” is built on false information, so you’ve completely failed in your argument.

          • L. Buckingham

            That is actually true, Ignacio.

            The initial desire to have a herd immunity just wasn’t possible because too many people didn’t follow guidelines (masks, distancing, avoiding crowds, getting vaccinated) to prevent further mutations (or, variants). This virus will continue and we will see other strains as long as there are a large number of people who refuse to play along. It’s that simple, really.

          • Rogaine

            Ignacio, most who get Covid aren’t going to the hospital. If you don’t have 4 or more comorbidities or aren’t 95 years old and from that group you don’t live in a Democrat-run hole like New York then you should be OK.

            You must watch a lot of TV. You seem to repeat every stupid thing those pedophiles on CNN and MSLSD are paid to say.

          • Angelito

            Looking forward to whoever it is that posts using various names and spouting idiocy getting Covid and dying. That would be nice, really.

          • MJ

            “ Your first statement is incorrect, and the rest of your “logic” is built on false information” –

            Wow – how did I know you were going to go with the canned talking point that the “vaccine” isn’t suppose to prevent a person from getting a virus? Why don’t we stop calling it a vaccine then.

            FACT: the CDC literally had to change the definition of the word “vaccine” to fit the narrative (https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2021/09/08/the-cdc-just-made-an-orwellian-change-to-the-definition-of-vaccine-and-vaccination-n1476799).

            There are so many issues with false information being spread and real fact & data being suppressed. When have the good guys in history ever been those who have ruled like authoritarians?

            If you can’t see the forest for the tree at this point, I don’t know what else to tell you. But I pray for you that at some point you see what truly is happening in this world.

  2. Pepe

    I just hope they are wearing useless masks while staying home. That way, they maintain their membership in Branch Covidiots.

    • Angelito

      How do you exist with that kind of limited mental capacity? You need help.

      • Dr. Fraudci

        Follow the science? 75% of Covid deaths were people who were about to die anyway. CDC data, not my opinion.

        Also, it is now coming out the incredible fraud by hospitals in reporting covid deaths. Criminal behavior to get additional government reimbursement.

        • Angelito

          Your science is not real science. People are getting sick and dying. Ignore the facts and you’re doing great. Moron.

          • Anonymous

            He gave you real CDC data as a fact to support his statement. Your rebuttal offered nothing but opinion. Give facts and evidence to refute the claim.

          • Angelito

            That was not a CDC stat – it was made up. Don’t try to validate your own comments with a different screen name. Anonymous, ha, whatever!

            Damaged economies, as well as millions of sick and dead people should be enough proof for rational people. This is happening. Pay attention.

  3. Dr. Fraudci

    Branch Covidiots must be imprisoned. Covid is a friggn joke.

    • Angelito

      You are still a fool, no matter what screen name you use.

    • Embarrassed for the Non-Vaccinated

      Oh my! Another All Talk – No Thought or Education Human who states ‘Friggin-Joke’. This pandemic has shown us who is anti-government – anti-human (meaning, not caring of others) – highly uneducated in the science field but LOVES to give their non-educated advice. These types are just so entertaining to watch. They want to be a ‘someone’ that ‘thinks’ they have advice. Arm-Chair-Scientists!! You really used the word ‘Friggin?’ That answers a lot. Over 80% of hospital beds are taken by NON-VACCINATED greedy humans. Yep, these 80% ‘thought’ they knew MUCH about the pandemic. Well, they do now! How pathetic the non-vaccinated humans are!!!! They are an embarrassment to America and to the world.

    • Mage Torm

      tell that to the millions who are dead because of it. You’ll die one day and the world will be a better place