Which Are The Best Value Bands?

As the average age of festival goers tops 30 years old due to cost, we ask who are the best value bands?

This week,  a survey reported that the average age of festival goers is now over 30 years old. The survey also found that the main reason behind the lack of younger audience members was the cost involved. Typically, an attendee would expect to spend an eye-watering £424.01 (on average), putting it out of reach of most young music lovers.

As most reports have pointed out, this is a world apart from the £1 entrance fee charged for the first Glastonbury festival…

It isn’t just festivals that have spiralled in cost, however. These days, all gigs seem to be astonishingly expensive. *Sits back and lights imaginary pipe* ‘I remember when £20 would get you into a gig, get you a few drinks and the bus home…’

So, this raises the question, who are the best value bands?

We need a formula…

It’s an interesting question, and one that you might not think possible to answer without being at every gig ever to take place, and owning every bit of recorded music ever made. Well, you might think that- but with the power of data gleaned from the Internet, and a frankly, ingenious mathematical formula (if I say so myself ;-)), we can get a rating for just how much value you get from a band or artist.

It’s simple- a high ticket price is a bad thing, so, the higher the cost, the more detrimental that should be for a band or artist’s ‘value’. We need to rate this against the closest thing we have to a universal rating of quality. Who better to get that from, then, than Metacritic? Its data is collated from a very wide range of different sources, making it ideal.

So, the Band Value Formula works like this:

Best Value Bands

As you can see, the higher the ticket cost, the more detrimental this will be to the critic score. Ticket costs were picked from the cheapest available at the next gig.

We’ve run this with a range of artists, with some surprising results…

Best Value Bands - Graph

Whilst the Rolling Stones had the highest Metacritic score (83), the cheapest ticket I could find for any of their upcoming Hyde Park gigs was an astonishing £600- and I even made an exception to my ‘next gig’ rule, by looking through all of these gigs for the cheapest ticket; the next gig’s cheapest ticket was £921.60!! Shame on you…

Presumably, Mick’s hips need replacing more regularly than the average pensioner due to overuse, plus Keith’s Telecasters aren’t cheap, heavily pumping up costs 😀

Justin Bieber was a similar proposition, though his Metacritic rating didn’t match that of The Stones, whilst Beyonce and Radiohead’s combination of not exactly cheap tickets, but good critic scores, put them in a fairly strong position.

Best Value Bands - The Fall

These were not the best value bands, however. That title goes to The Fall, whose remarkably well-priced gigs and consistently well rated work, puts them at the top of the heap. Well, they are amongst these bands and acts, at least…

In fact, according to this, they’re better value than The Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Radiohead and Justin Bieber combined- and these numbers don’t lie 😉

Any other bands or artists who’s Dawsons patented ‘value rating’ you’d like to know? Let me know, and I’ll put them to the test.

It’s all very scientific, you know…

Get the latest news and announcements via our free newsletter (see above).

Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.