My Kids Were Lucky to Score Taylor Swift Tickets, But So Many Others Were Priced Out

Are concert tickets becoming a luxury most families cannot afford? These days, yes. Even reality stars like Bethenny Frankel agree the middle class is getting priced out.

Taylor Swift on stage for The Eras Tour in Glendale, AZ

Kevin Winter / Getty Images Entertainment

"Oh my gosh, really?!" my 13-year-old daughter exclaimed with tears in her eyes and a huge smile on her face. "I'm going to cry, I'm so excited." She could hardly contain herself when one of her closest friends FaceTimed her to invite her to go see Taylor Swift's Eras Tour. She then ran to the other room and screamed into a pillow before the tears truly started flowing.

For the record, my younger daughter was also invited by her friend (they are siblings). She wasn't nearly as emotional, answering her FaceTime call with a simple, "Sure." But since that day she's been listening to T-Swift non-stop and downloaded a countdown widget for her phone. But I digress.

It had been months since we had tried so desperately to get tickets when they went on sale. Dad, grandma, and friends were all online trying to get them. No need to go into the debacle that was the initial sale. But the bottom line is—we came up empty.

My Swiftie teen saw friend after friend get tickets in the original sale. Then other friends started telling her their parents got them on third-party platforms, paying thousands of dollars. Sorry, kid, that was a step we were not willing (and couldn't afford) to take. As any teen would do, she repeatedly asked us for tickets, and she was jealous of her friends who were getting to go. As much as I'd love to share this momentous event in my daughters' lives, it just wasn't going to happen. Enter their friends.

Concert tickets—and theater tickets—for that matter, are starting to become a luxury most families cannot comfortably afford. Even reality stars with plenty of money and connections like Bethenny Frankel agree.

The TV personality-turned-entrepreneur took to Instagram after attending a Taylor Swift concert in Philadelphia with her daughter on Mother's Day weekend. In the reel, she said while it was an incredible experience, "it definitely felt privileged."

"I felt a little bit of guilt. We were there, and it was amazing, but I heard stories of people who couldn't get tickets," says Frankel. "I had no idea that 20,000 people would be in the parking lot ... and I thought to myself people in the parking lot were probably the workhorses of Taylor Swift. It's not me. I'm not the ride-or-die that got her to where she is and they are."

She went on to say they could have seen Taylor twice but opted to give away their tickets in Boston to a mother and a daughter who "really needed it and it could really make a difference in their lives." In fact, Frankel has a suggestion for concerts going forward—a buy one, give one model.

"You buy a ticket and they give away a ticket because it really is unfortunate and I felt guilty when people were messaging me saying 'I wish I could have gone, I couldn't afford it, I'll never get to go in my life,'" she says.

Frankel called concert-going an "elitist sport" saying when she was younger tickets were expensive and sometimes hard to get but still "attainable." Remember having to actually GO to the box office or a Ticketmaster location and waiting in line for hours to get tickets to see your favorite concert? Or calling that toll-free number and getting put on hold for hours just to find out the show is sold out?

"It shouldn't be that someone who's just a middle-class person would think that they could never in their wildest dreams afford to go to this concert because it's really becoming a major disparity and that I don't like," Frankel says.

My girls are lucky. They know they are. They are fortunate enough to have friends with two spare tickets. And we are grateful they are able to bring our girls and have them experience it together. These are friends we've had since the older ones were barely 3 years old, their younger sisters just infants. Another memory is being made.

And what about those 20,000 Taylor Swift fans Frankel mentioned outside the venue during the show? They're part of something that's become known as "Taylor-gating." Fans who perhaps may not have been able to get tickets to see the show are hoping to hear the show. They are paying for parking and making it a party in the parking lot—hoping the acoustics are good enough to be heard outside the stadium. (Although at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, the State Police and the stadium are cracking down. No ticket=No "Taylor-gating!")

Fans listen to Taylor Swift concert in parking lot of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia
Fans listen to Taylor Swift concert from the parking lot of Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

The Washington Post / Contributor / Getty

As everything these days, activities and products alike are becoming more and more expensive. From everyday items like groceries and household staples to family trips to museums, amusement parks, and yes, concerts. Parents are now finding themselves scrambling and saving for events that were once more easily attainable.

A night or a day out to an event is a big deal, whether it's something geared towards kids like a Kidz Bop concert, a Blippi Live show, or Taylor Swift. If you hear that your child's favorite artist, band, or live children's show is coming to town, plan for it. Save up. Make it a birthday gift or a holiday gift, and make those memories. But it's getting more and more difficult to make these memories and share these experiences with our children.

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