It costs how much? (What goes into pricing a ticket)
Out of all the comments I read and emails I receive regarding ticket prices for our events it's actually pretty evenly split between some variation of "Thanks for keeping these events so affordable!" and "Why are tickets so expensive!". Obviously, affordability has a completely different meaning for everyone so I completely understand the seemingly night-and-day reactions when we post ticket prices for a new event. The purpose of this post is not to "justify" the cost of our tickets or respond to any of the comments we receive, but just to let you know about some of our procedures and policies regarding ticket prices and sales. Honestly my goal is get the "Wow! What a deal!" reaction every time we post a new event, but it doesn't always work out that way due to many factors.
When a secular or non-Christian event is determining their ticket prices their goal is to get as much as they can get per ticket and make sure everyone profits (the artist, promoter, venue, etc.). That is why many secular concerts cost $50, $75, up to $100 or more per ticket for the "cheap seats"! They can also rely on thousands to tens-of-thousands in addition revenue from beer and wine sales that Christian events can't. These events sell out stadiums constantly even at the prices they are charging.
As a volunteer-run non-profit ministry, when we at Fuse are deciding what price we need to set for tickets, we use a very different approach. After carefully budgeting out the expected costs of the event we ask ourselves "what do we need to ask in order to recoup our costs". We frequently end up "in the red" following an event and we're actually ok with that. Sure it would be great to have a surplus of funds to use toward the next ministry event, but the money isn't the motivation here. We want to see our corner of the country come to Jesus...and have some fun at the same time. That's it.
I won't get too far into the expenses associated with these events, but many people are surprised at the total minimum budget needed to produce an event. There are artist honorariums, flights, ground travel, lodging, production, staging, insurance, catering, licensing, printing, postage, advertising, and so much more. Even with all these expenses and the frequent financial loses we suffer as a ministry we are still able to press on because of God's amazing grace and the generosity of donors. We lean on our Monthly Supports and their donations to keep our heads above water financially and allow us to continue to do God's work in the Northeast.
Also thanks to those donors we have been able to have a policy from day one stating that no one is left out due to the inability to pay for a ticket. We have been blessed to be able to give away a number of tickets to each event to those who would not have been able to come otherwise. These events are designed to be outreach tools and we want to eliminate any obstacle keeping people away. If there is someone in your life that you feel would respond to hearing the Gospel in a new and exciting way we encourage you to invite them to an event coming up. I love hearing stories of people who added an extra ticket or two to their order knowing they'd be presented with an opportunity to invite someone without knowing who it would be at the time. That is how we can maximize these events to their highest potential and we thank you for being a part of that!
As always I'd like to thank each of you for supporting this ministry and encourage you to reach out to me if you have any questions, stories, or thoughts. I look forward to Connect Festival this fall and hope you'll be able to join us. Please take a moment to add the festival to your calendar on October 3rd and plan on being a part of what God is going in southern New England. See you this fall!
Founder, Fuse Christian Concerts