Sauti Sol have disrupted the concert and events business

Image: Sauti Sol

Sauti Sol have revealed the cost of their long-awaited concert tickets which go for the eye-watering price of Ksh 2,500 for early bird tickets. This fact alone had them trending as a lot of their fans took to the interwebs to complain about the fact.

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Unfazed, they later went online to announce the resounding success of the sale of the early bird tickets, claiming that their servers collapsed due to the demand for the tickets which, though slated to be on sale for only 2 days, had already sold out hours after the sale went live.

This is unprecedented territory as Kenyan artists… Hell, not even international acts charge such steep ticket prices in Kenya. This has got me wondering what the repercussion will be to the event promotion business.

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You see, one of the biggest complaints artists have had for the longest time it would be that they get shafted by fans and promoters alike when it comes to payment and ticket prices. They often argue that when international acts come, they get to charge top dollar but when Kenyan artists are performing, they get undercut. And Sauti Sol has introduced an entirely new dynamic that shouldn’t be difficult to understand if you believe in letting market forces determine how a market should be run.

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Sauti Sol

What the boy band has done is that they have introduced the dynamic of “willing seller, willing buyer”. And unfortunately, it is the fans that will suffer. It is we who are being shafted in this ego flex Sauti Sol are engaged in and the subsequent greed it will elicit in event organizers. And it will create a bubble that will eventually become unsustainable.

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Abroad, one of the ways artists have tried to bridge the gap between their needs and fan service. What guys like Travis Scott have done is to create their own festivals (too soon?) and they are a resounding success. Instead of engaging in an arm-wrestling match with event organizers, artists can come together and organize their own concerts. Who else has floated this idea? Eric Omondi.

If the early bird tickets for the Sauti Sol concert are Ksh 2,500 then one has to wonder how much tickets will retail for at the venue. Ksh 4,000? Or maybe up to 5K? Nah. That really punishes the vast majority of their fans… Or perhaps their thing is focusing on the “right” type of fans? The type that have disposable income at every turn of the month -enough to take advantage of such sales? And if that is the case, then we should really dispense with all pretences.

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My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains. Round the decay