Friday, November 25, 2011

87 Euro for a concert!

 In continuation to the previous post (see below), I am posting the letter I directed to TED KURLAND ASSOCIATES, official representatives of Pat Metheny. Up to now there has been no reply from either them or the Greek organizers. I 'll just wait a bit, but in case I am not given any serious -or at least consequential- reasoning for the ticket prices, I am seriously considering printing the Greek letter and distributing it outside the theater on the day of the concert.


Dear Sir,

On December 4th, the company "Elliniki Theamaton" organizes a concert by the famous trio of guitarist Pat Metheny (along with Larry Grenadier and Bill Stewart), for whom I believe you act as representative. The "Concert of the year!" by which the organizers have chosen to refer to the aforementioned gig, is to take place at Pallas Theater, Athens and has already broken a European record. The one concerning the price of the tickets!
Tickets, now on sale, have prices that start from 50 and go all the way to 87 Euro! Let me reassure you that this price list, in a country where the average wage is one of the lowest in the EU, having dropped to a mere 730 Euro over the course of this year, is not to be considered excessive but outrageous!
Even more so when one compares directly with the prices of other concerts Pat Metheny Trio have given or are scheduled to give throughout Europe this fall.

More specifically:
By visiting the website of the artist ( and by following the links for each show I realize that there have been concerts in:
Bologna (Teatro EuropAuditorium), with ticket prices of 32-50 euros
in Grenoble, France (theater MC2), with ticket prices of 29-42 euros
while there are scheduled gigs for:
Barcelona (in Auditori Concert Hall), with ticket prices of 22-55 euros
and Istanbul (CRR Concert Hall), with ticket prices of 56-89 Turkish Lira (22-35 euros).

Let me point out once more that ticket prices for the Athens concert are: 50, 67, 77 and 87 Euro!
It makes one wonder over the reasons for which the cheapest ticket for "the concert of the year" corresponds to 20% of the minimum wage in our country.

I need not go into details about the economic situation in Greece but, nevertheless feel obliged to bring this incredible discrepancy to your attention. What drives Greek organizers to set such high prices, at the moment that their counterparts in other European cities provide audiences with prices that are 50%, 60% or 70% lower? I fail to see how such a pricing ​​is justified in any way.
In the past- organizers have claimed overpriced tickets to be due to excessive demands on behalf of the artists. Their argument has been that many artists demand greater fees for appearing in countries of the Balkans or Eastern Europe on the basis of limited commercial interest of the audiences thereof. I have always been very reluctant to accept this sort of argumentation. This time, I am convinced it is not case. Pat Metheny Trio gave a concert in Belgrade with tickets in the range of 1200-2000 dinars (~ 11 to 19 euros) and similar prices were set for the gigs in Bucarest, Skopje and Sofia. Why should Greek fans be asked to pay at least 5 times as much to see the same the concert?

Please do not consider this as a letter of complaint. One such - a much bitter one- has already been addressed to the organizers, who have not up to now bothered to provide me with an explanation. My letter to you is only aiming at bringing this matter to your attention, as representative of the group. I understand there is some connection between the artists and their audiences and I simply felt I had to let them now why they should be expecting a less than full house in Athens, next month.

yours sincerely,

Christoforos Nikolaou
a fan


  1. only yesterday, I received this reply from Pat Metheny's manager

    Dear Christoforos,

    I'm Pat's manager. Thanks for the email. I understand what your concern is about the ticket prices. We were worried about this too but I have to say, that it's not the promoters fault. Here is why they are high. The cost of the freight that has to fly into and out of Athens is very expensive. Pat has a lot of gear (as a fan, you probably know that). Between that and air tickets and crew and the band and the expenses to put on the show, those prices are what was necessary to play there. I will tell you this in confidence too that the promoter will not make any money on this gig. He really wanted to bring Pat there. We wanted to play there so we all compromised so Pat could come to Athens. I hope you understand.

    I am not sure I can buy this. The airport taxes in Athens are indeed too expensive but the differences in prices is way out of range and the fact that he is being so apologetically sympathizing with the organizers cannot but make me more suspicious.
    One way or another, there is no case for me to argue. I will simply wait for Brad Mehldau's concert next February (the one concert I would like to go) and see if the same excuses will apply.

  2. Given the economic straits Greece is in, that is quite disgusting price gouging. Good for you for calling them on it.

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