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Rolling Stones Add New Show, Defend Ticket Prices

Mick Jagger
A. Messerschmidt, Getty Images

We have good news and bad news for Rolling Stones fans. First, the good news: The band has added another show to its run of 50th anniversary dates. Now, the bad news: You’d better have some extra padding in your bank account if you want to buy tickets.

Confirming earlier rumors, the Stones are headed to New York on Dec. 8, where they’ll play the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. According to gossip columnist Roger Friedman, the band could end up using its time in the Big Apple to put in some extra appearances on a variety of TV series, including ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ and ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’ — all of which will give fans a chance to see the Stones’ 50th anniversary celebration without ponying up for the painfully high cost of admission to one of their actual shows.

Of course, high prices for major concerts isn’t anything new, but with the cheapest tickets going for around $170 — and VIP passes for the shows topping out at nearly $1750 — the Stones have drawn a fair amount of criticism for their pricing, especially given that this is such a limited string of shows, and a sizable percentage of tickets will undoubtedly end up fetching even higher prices on the secondary market.

According to Mick Jagger, that’s precisely the reason the band is charging so much for tickets. “I don’t think there should be a secondary ticket market. I don’t think it should be legal,” he explained during a recent Billboard interview. “To my mind, there has to be a better way of doing it, but we’re living, really, with the way the system functions. We can’t, in four shows, change the whole ticketing system.”

And just like any band, Jagger says the Stones have to recoup their costs — which is more difficult when you’re only doing a handful of dates. “You might say, ‘The tickets are too expensive’ — well, it’s a very expensive show to put on, just to do four shows, because normally you do a hundred shows and you’d have the same expenses,” he argued. “So, yes, it’s expensive. But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we’ve sold them for, so you can see the market is there.”

Not that the band is necessarily happy about that, as Jagger hastened to add. “We don’t participate in the profit. If a ticket costs [$400], let’s imagine, and goes for [$1,600], I just want to point out that we don’t get that difference.”

Next: Top 100 Rolling Stones Songs

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