Desert Trip Tickets Sell Out in Three Hours, Festival Could Break Box Office Records
Tickets for Desert Trip -- the mega-festival featuring performances from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters -- reportedly sold out just three hours after being made available to the public on May 9, and the resulting box office windfall is expected to set an all-time record.
Billboard reports that all tickets for both weekends of the event, scheduled to take place Oct. 9-11 and Oct. 16-18 in Indio, Calif., were cleared out several hours after going on sale, even after organizers, responding to higher-than-anticipated demand, increased capacity. Estimates now predict a gross of $150 million for the festival.
Desert Trip staff are said to be "ecstatic" about the response. Noting that the cheapest tickets — $199 one-day passes — were said to be the last to sell out, the report points to the festival's quick sell out as proof that the combined star power of the bill was more than enough to overcome any sticker shock over the higher-priced VIP packages. "Figuring out how to fairly and accurately price an open field with the riskiest budget ever put together was a monumental challenge," writes Billboard's Ray Waddell. "Given the rapid sellouts, it’s safe to say that the producers nailed it."
Faced with such high demand, it's hard not to wonder whether Desert Trip will become an annual event along the lines of Coachella — which is organized by the same promoter and held on the same site. Ancillary revenue, including grosses from potential livestream or theatrical broadcasts, will likely go a long way toward determining long-term potential; as the Guardian notes, insiders estimate that each headliner is making between $6 million to $9 million for their appearance.
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