Tickets to Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour Manila sold out in just half an hour on September 7, 2017. According to concert promoter MMI Live and as relayed to Inquirer, almost 12,000 tickets were sold online and on SM ticket outlets.
Due to the tremendous public demand, concert promoter MMI Live has announced on social media that the Bruno Mars concert will be extended for another day. Concert dates will now be May 3 and 4, 2018 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
That was great news for fans who failed to get Bruno Mars tickets even when they woke up early or even took a leave of absence, so they can stand in line at ticket outlets or buy tickets online.
The fans of the singer were shocked and disappointed when they can’t even get one Bruno Mars ticket less than an hour after selling began at 10 A.M on September 7.
When Bruno Mars Manila tickets for the additional concert date started selling at 10:00 A.M., the scenario was just about the same. Once the selling began, tickets sold like crazy. Only a few VIP 1 and V1P tickets remained in less than an hour.
Needless to say, a lot of fans lost their cool and vented their frustrations on social media. A lot got mad because scalpers were selling Bruno Mars tickets on sites like OLX and StubHub at exorbitant prices.
Scalpers hit the jackpot with Bruno Mars tickets
While the Bruno Mars fans, dubbed as Hooligans, were busy trying to score a ticket via legitimate seller smtickets.com and its outlets at SM malls, scalpers were happily posting online. The postings for Bruno Mars tickets on StubHub appeared just a few minutes after ticket selling began. Some even said that while it was very hard to access smtickets.com, sellers were already posting on StubHub and OLX.
And as the demand for the Bruno Mars concert tickets went unabated, so did the greed of the scalpers.
The General Admission (GA) tickets, originally priced at ₱2,650 ($52.09) were selling for at least ₱5,825 ($114.50) to as much as to ₱19,976.94 ($392.67). That’s 600% or 6 times more than the original price.
Nobody’s biting that almost ₱20K General Admission ticket when we made a screen shot before 6 A.M. on September 10, but a lot has already snatched up GA tickets ranging from ₱6K to ₱12K.
Here’s the price range at StubHub, compared to original prices for the Bruno Mars Manila concert 2018:
VIP 1 Standing – ₱23,850
VIP 2 Standing – ₱18,550
Lower Box A – ₱13,250
Lower Box B – ₱ 8,480
Upper Box – ₱ 4,770
General Ad. – ₱ 2,650
VIP 1 Standing – ₱31,758.68 to ₱50,733.68
VIP 2 Standing – ₱25,433.68 to ₱48,539.40
Lower Box A – ₱21,006.18 to ₱27,963.68
Lower Box B – ₱14,048.39 to ₱22,270.89
Upper Box – ₱11,518.53 to ₱22,903.53
General Ad. – ₱ 5,825 to ₱19,976. 94
Scalpers charging more than double the price is not unusual. Such is the detestable practice in what they now call the “secondary market” for concert tickets. That’s one of the main reasons why Bruno Mars Manila concerts are getting so expensive, even if the face value of the tickets are reasonable for a top-notch performer.
But what is more surprising is the willingness of thousands of Filipino fans to shell out that much for a General Admission ticket to a Bruno Mars tour concert.
At its current prices at the “secondary market”, Bruno Mars concert tickets are fast approaching those of Madonna’s pricey “Rebel Heart Tour” Manila in February 2016, wherein prices ranged from ₱3,150 for General Admission to ₱57,750 for the SVIP tickets.
Bruno Mars’ ticket prices at reseller sites also surpass the face value of the tickets for the canceled Purpose World Tour by Justin Bieber, wherein prices ranged from ₱1,575 for Upper Box B Sides to ₱17,850 for VIP Standing. Note that during the cancellation of Bieber’s concert, many Filipinos said that Bruno Mars is the ideal replacement since he could easily fill up the Philippine Arena, which has a capacity of 55,000 seats.
If the concert was held at the Philippine Arena, would ticket prices for the Bruno Mars concert still be as expensive at the secondary market now?
Bruno Mars Philippines
Bruno Mars (age 31) is immensely popular in the Philippines. His songs are constantly played on the radio and on television programs.
Filipinos sing Bruno Mars’ top songs during karaoke sessions, parties, and even during weddings.
Bruno Mars’ songs like “Just the Way You Are”, “Versace on the Floor”, “Uptown Funk”, “It Will Rain”,”Marry You”, “Count on Me”, “When I Was Your Man”, “Grenade”, “Locked Out of Heaven”, “Nothin on You”, “Liquor Store Blues, and “Runaway Baby” are favorites among his millions of fans in the Philippines.
Most of Bruno Mars’ love songs are so romantic and emotional, that Filipinos couldn’t get enough of his compositions.
Aside from that, Bruno Mars’ ethnicity also adds to his popularity in the country.
Born October 8, 1985 in Hawaii, Bruno Mars’ real name is Peter Gene Hernandez. His mother, Bernadette San Pedro Bayot, is a Filipina who migrated to Hawaii. His father meanwhile is a Puerto Rican-Jew named Peter Hernandez.
Bruno Mars happens to be proud of his Filipino roots too, something that makes Filipinos love him all the more.
During his “The Moonshine Jungle” concert in March 2014, his first tour in the Philippines, Bruno proclaimed to a sold out crowd, “I am Filipino!” He performed in Manila and in Cebu during that time and vowed to come back.
Since that time, Bruno Mars has become even more popular than ever. He worked on his third album “24K Magic” and released it in October 2016.
The 24K Magic album contained the hits “24K”, “That’s What I Like” and “Versace on the Floor”. The concert in support of the album, dubbed as the 24K Magic World Tour, started March 28, 2017, and has grossed $59.65 million so far.
More than a million Bruno Mars tickets for 24K Magic World Tour were reportedly sold in 24 hours, according to Live Nation.
Every successful tour adds up to Bruno Mars net worth, which is currently estimated at $110 million by Celebrity Net Worth.
Bruno Mars reportedly has an estimated talent fee of $1 million to $1.5 million per concert, according to the website, Consequence of Sound. Forbes estimates that he has earned $39 million so far, as of June,2017.
He is performing for the second time in Manila – when he is probably at the peak of his career and one of the biggest names in the music industry worldwide.
Bruno Mars is so famous right now that his every move makes it to the news, like his filming of a music video on top of the marquee of the Apollo Theater recently.
With that kind of popularity, why are we even wondering why people are willing to pay top price to watch him perform?
Scalping, bots, and the need for regulation
Scalping is not only a problem in the Philippines but in other countries like US, UK, Australia, and others.
Ticket prices for concerts and other coveted shows, like Bruno Mars 24K Magic concert or Justin Bieber’s Purpose Tour, have reached astronomical levels, beyond the reach of so many fans.
One example that will shock you is a listing on StubHub for tickets of “Hamilton“, a Broadway hit in 2016. Tickets with top face value price of $849 and lower were being listed or resold for as much as $30,000, could you believe that?
The contemptible practice of scalping has gone high tech and are using “bots”, also known as “touts” in purchasing tickets online. Bots are software that automatically buys tickets online the moment the tickets go on sale.
Bots buy tickets in bulk, and no human can match their speed. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, released a study in January 2016, wherein he found that bots can buy as much as 1000 tickets per minute..
Considering that scenario, it is not surprising that the best seats in a concert of a very popular artist or show are purchased within minutes of selling online.
In the case of Bruno Mars’ Philippines concert for 2018, it took only 30 minutes to sell almost 12,000 tickets. So if you were able to buy some tickets, consider yourself lucky for probably winning over some bots.
Some artists are trying to combat scalping by selling their tickets using the Verified Fan pre-sale technology which was announced by Live Nation and Ticketmaster in March 2017.
The technology allows fans to register ahead of the dates when tickets will be sold to the public. They are required to provide personal information which is then checked by the companies. And then, fans receive a code which then allows them to purchase the tickets.
The Verified Fan technology has so far been effective, according to David Marcus, EVP of Music at Ticketmaster. In an interview with Vulture, Marcus said the implementation of the new technology has cut scalping on the secondary market by as much as 90 per cent.
Former US President Barack Obama signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016”, making it illegal to use software in purchasing tickets to concerts, shows, events in the USA.
In the UK, similar there is a similar crackdown on using bots and are cracking down on resale sites like Viagogo, StubHub, and GetMeIn.
But in the Philippines, there is no national anti-scalping law yet.
Some cities have ordinances against it. Quezon City, for one, has been arresting scalpers in the Cubao area for selling overpriced tickets for different sporting events or concerts at Smart-Araneta coliseum.
The penalties are very low though, making scalping a practice still in existence. Besides, the illegal act has now gone high-tech, with transactions conducted on social media and other online resale sites.
Other factors aside from scalping
But of course, scalping is not the only reason that tickets are sold out at once. An article on abc.net.au, a “ticket broker” named Dean, claimed that most tickets that he resells to his clients come directly from the promoter or musician.
A former CEO of Ticketmaster named Nathan Hubbard published an article on The Ringer in June 2016 said that before tickets are sold to the “general public”, a lot of pre-selling has already happened. Tickets are pre-sold to select group of individuals like special cardholders, fan clubs, e mail lists of promoters and venues, etc. In the Philippines, if ever this happens, we may call them simply as VIPs, or people who have connections to the promoters or the artists themselves.
Hubbard also cited the practice where sometimes, a big artist signs a contract with a guaranteed amount that exceeds the gross proceeds of 100% ticket sales at face value. For example, if a promoter expects a total of ₱10 million gross sales if all tickets are sold at face value, yet the artist wants a guaranteed ₱12 million for the concert, the promoter has to make up for it in other ways.
One way of making up for the difference is selling tickets directly to the secondary market.
The concert artist gets a higher paycheck and keeps his image intact, by not getting criticized for selling his tickets at a high price. And the promoter does not lose money in the process.
The Schneiderman study, found that less than half of the concert tickets go to the hands of the public. He cited examples of Katy Perry and Justin Bieber concerts, where 15 percent (or less) of the tickets were made available for sale to the public.
In the case of Bruno Mars Philippines concert 2018, we don’t know if some of these things apply.
One thing’s for sure, if you don’t have a Bruno Mars ticket in your hands, don’t blame yourself for being slow.
Take into account some of the possible reasons cited above which may have contributed to that speedy sale of Bruno Mars tickets, and why these are so expensive now on the secondary market.
And FYI, there’s an article on allkpop that the “EXO FROM. EXOPLANET #1 – THE LOST PLANET” concert in Seoul sold 42,000 tickets in 1.47 seconds.
Bruno Mars 24K Gold tickets sold more than a million in the US in 24 hours, which translates to almost 21,000 tickets sold per second.
So the 12,000 tickets for the Bruno Mars Manila concert sold in 30 minutes, is an eternity in the world of ticket selling which probably is still dominated by bots.
Bruno Mars secret concert
Bruno Mars has recently posted on his website that he will be having a secret New York city location on September 10. The Bruno Mars secret concert only requires fans to be 18 years old and above and to enter their info to get a pair of tickets.
Tickets for the Bruno Mars secret concert will be on a first-come, first-served basis and the notice says “while supply lasts”. The very lucky fans will be notified by email.
Considering that Bruno Mars is half-Filipino, do you think he will do the same in the Philippines? Will fans in the Philippines be regarded with a Bruno Mars secret concert too?
Keep your fingers crossed, Hooligans. If the Bruno Mars 24K Magic World Tour Manila concert was easily extended for a day, it’s not impossible that Bruno Mars will surprise his fans in the Philippines, too. Now that can really be 24K Magic!