How much is my time worth? And how much do concert tickets cost? Those were my first two questions after being on the dreaded "standby page" for 72 minutes trying to buy Lollapalooza tickets. I wanted to give up after the first 10 minutes, but I endured.
Until I found myself asking, "Are these tickets really worth it?" To me? God, no. But to my daughter? Yes. She can't afford to pay ticket resellers, so if she really wants to go to this Chicago music festival, this is her only shot at it.
And all of this questioning (and not a lot of answers) made me realize I am probably way too quick to pay too much for concert tickets.
Here are the warning signs:
1. When someone tells you they have tickets to a show you're dying to see, you don't even ask how much they cost.
2. You pay cash when possible so your significant other never knows how much you really paid.
3. Ticket brokers know you by name and have your credit card on file.
4. You only admit the true cost of the tickets to loyal, hardcore, like-minded fans. Because they're the only ones who understand.
5. You sort ticket options online by cost -- highest to lowest -- so you see the best seats first.
6. Your membership to the fan clubs with presale codes is the first thing you renew every year.
7. Front row seats, to you, are more of an investment than a cost. You think of the memories as returns on your investment.
8. If you win nosebleed or lawn tickets from a radio station, you see those for what they're worth in trade.
9. You rationalize your need to be up close because you are petite, hard of hearing or afraid of heights.
10. If someone asks how you can pay so much for one night, you get downright self-righteous and tell him you're just trying to live like you were dying.
11. Once you do the math -- the price of the ticket divided by three hours of music -- it sounds much more reasonable.