Music Festivals: Prices for Festival Tickets Outpaced Inflation in the Last Decade

FinanceBuzz looked at how ticket prices have changed in the last decade for 15 major music festivals to find out how much music fests have raised prices on fans.

A summer music festival concert crowd.
Updated May 13, 2024
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Music lovers rejoice — the warmer spring and summer months mean festival season is returning. There are few things as exciting as heading to your favorite music festival of the year, or returning to your hometown show.

However, all these memories come at a cost, and it’s one that often rises from one year to the next. That means music lovers will need to budget a little more every year to cover rising ticket costs.

To help attendees prepare, our team at FinanceBuzz analyzed music festival industry data for 15 of the largest recurring music festivals. By comparing average ticket prices over the years, we found out just how much tickets have increased in price, and which festivals have seen the largest and smallest price hikes.

In this analysis

Key findings

  • In total, daily general admission prices for major music festivals have risen by 55% since 2014. The actual rate of inflation in that same time is 32%.
  • Ticket prices for Ultra Miami have not changed in the last decade, meaning ticket prices have inflated 0% since 2014. The next-lowest price increase is 43% for Coachella.
  • Ticket prices for Electric Forest have risen more than for any other festival, nearly doubling (+97% increase) from 2014 to 2024.

Initial year costs vs. current costs

Music festival veterans know just how much the events can grow and change over time. As festivals become more established, the size of the fest and the quality of acts they attract can rise, with ticket costs rising at the same time.

To see how much things have changed at popular music festivals we looked at the daily general admission cost for each festival in its inaugural year versus what that same daily admission costs for the 2024 version of each festival.

A chart showing music festival costs from the year of their inception to 2024.


Glastonbury is the only music festival our team looked at that doesn’t take place in the United States. It’s also the one that has changed ticket prices the most since its inception. A one-day ticket for the initial version of Glastonbury in 1970 cost just £1, while tickets for this year’s version of the festival will run fans £71 per day. That’s an increase of 7,000% over a 54-year period.

Another festival that started in 1970, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (also known as Jazz Fest), is the American music festival with the biggest ticket price increase. Daily tickets to the first Jazz Fest cost $3, while tickets for the 2024 edition go for $105. That’s a 3,400% increase, which is nearly five times higher than the national inflation rate during that time.

Only two music festivals have managed to keep ticket cost increases under 100% since their inception, and they’re both comparatively new. Tickets for New York’s Governors Ball have risen by 58% since the festival was launched in 2011, while Stagecoach tickets have gone up 63% since the first edition of the festival in 2007.

Music festival ticket cost inflation over the last decade

Of course, older festivals have had more time to evolve, sometimes in drastic ways. That longevity can produce eye-popping ticket price increases, but the costs make more sense considering the festival’s growth and history.

For a more apples-to-apples look at how these festivals compare to one another in modern times, we looked at how much ticket costs have risen since 2014.

A chart showing how music festival tickets have risen over the last decade.


Tickets for Michigan’s Electric Forest festival have nearly doubled in price over the last decade, with a 97% increase. That is the highest rate of any festival, followed by Suwannee Hulaween in Florida and Shaky Knees in Georgia, both of which have raised ticket prices by 84% since 2014.

Every music festival but one has raised ticket prices at a rate greater than the actual rate of inflation in the last decade, with Ultra Miami being the lone outlier. But Ultra hasn’t just kept price increases below the inflation rate — it hasn’t increased prices at all.

Admission for a single day of the festival costs $133 in 2024, which is the exact same price it cost in 2014, giving Ultra fans something beyond their favorite artists to cheer about.

Music festivals where ticket prices have risen the most and least since 2014

The five music festivals where ticket prices have increased the most in the last decade have all gone up at a rate more than double that of actual inflation. Electric Forest’s prices increased at triple the rate of inflation since 2014.

A graphic showing which music festivals have had the highest and lowest price increases.


On the other end of the spectrum, there is a massive gap between Ultra Miami and the music festival that has raised ticket prices at the second-lowest rate: Coachella (43%). Four more festivals kept their cost increases at 50% or less in the same time period:

  • Lollapalooza (49%)
  • New Orleans Heritage & Jazz Fest (50%)
  • Burning Man (50%)
  • Governors Ball (50%)

Bottom line

Music festivals can be awesome, fun-filled experiences, but they can also be very expensive. Here are some ways to help fund these experiences without breaking the bank:

  • Use points to fund your travel. You can earn travel rewards on everyday purchases by signing up for one of the best travel credit cards to redeem when it's time to buy flights to your next festival.
  • Earn cashback rewards on tickets. Some credit cards offer rewards for entertainment purchases, especially if tickets are purchased through certain online retailers (think Vivid Seats or StubHub). By using one of the best credit cards for concert tickets, you can earn cash back or rewards points with your ticket purchases.
  • Pick a card issuer that qualifies for presale tickets. To get tickets for those once-in-a-lifetime shows, presale tickets are a must. Learn how to get presale tickets with your credit card and avoid missing out.

Methodology

2024 festival ticket prices were sourced directly from the official website of each festival, while historic prices were sourced from contemporary news articles published in each year.

All calculations and ticket costs are based on the price of a general admission ticket for a single day of each festival. In cases where single-day tickets are not sold, the cost for a multi-day general admission ticket was divided by the number of days the ticket was good for. Prices do not include taxes or fees.

Inflation rates are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ CPI Inflation Calculator. Inflation rates were collected in February 2024.

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Author Details

Josh Koebert

Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.