Desert Trip is on its way to becoming the most expensive music festival of the summer -- by a long shot. Last week, Coachella festival organizers announced a mega-festival featuring performances from the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters to be held over two weekends on October 9-11 and October 16-18 in Indio, California.
"Oldchella" fans (and brokers) went rabid for tickets, forcing primary tickets to sell out in just three hours, with hundreds of passes hitting the secondary market shortly after. Estimates predict that Desert Trip will gross over $150 million over the two weekends, with the headlining acts taking home an estimate of $6 to $9 million for their appearance on stage.
Desert Trip's expected gross is so high because tickets are pricier than any festival this summer. At the time tickets went on sale, general admission prices for Desert Trip were set at $199 for a single day pass, while a three-day pass began $399. A three-day pass with admission to the standing pit in front of the stage (floor seats) was priced at $1,599. To compare, the next-priciest festival, Coachella, broke the record for highest gross of any festival in 2015 when it raked in a whopping $84 million from a total of 198,000 tickets sold, and resale 3-day passes averaged just $871. If the gross estimates for Desert Trip prove to be accurate, the festival is already on track to rake in more than $60 million than the next-priciest festival. It's unlikely -- if not impossible -- that any festival this summer will come close to that number.
Despite the huge expense for classic rock fans, the festival still offers fans more of a bargain than the average music fan might suspect. In terms of floor seat ticket prices, each act on the bill is known to post pricey floor tickets on their respective solo headlining shows.
Neil Young & Promise of Real's 2015 string of shows on the Rebel Content Tour saw resale floor seat prices that averaged $220 for all dates. Bob Dylan's current summer tour with Mavis Staples is seeing floor seat ticket prices just above that average, as his summer dates are clocking in at $290. Sir Paul McCartney's tour dates aren't exactly cheap for fans either, as his 2016 tour dates are posting floor seat ticket averages of $590. Roger Waters from Pink Floyd last took to the road for a major tour in 2012, and his floor seats averaged $379 per ticket across all of his performances.
The Rolling Stones are, by far, the most expensive solo show of any of the headliners. The band's epic 2015 Zip Code Tour had floor seats averaging $1,177 for all of their performances, and although they brought along awesome opening acts (Ed Sheeran, Walk The Moon, etc.), not a single performance featured support as epic or rare as the collective lineup for Desert Trip.
In total, a floor seat to every headlining act's solo show would be well over the average price of resale floor seat ticket. Currently, a resale three-day pass for floor seats to Desert Trip are averaging $2,661 for Weekend One, while Weekend Two passes are averaging just $2,068, according to data provided by TiqIQ. Although the prices may seem outrageous, they're considerably cheaper than the cost of seeing each artist independently.
Other lodging options, like airbnb as listed on travel site Hipmunk.com, offers travelers affordable ways to keep the overall festival cost down. Desert Trip boasts a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and so ticket costs adequately and fairly reflect its epicness.