Pay After You Go?

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We’ve blogged extensively about pay-as-you wish pricing schemes. Springwise reports that a Spanish concert promoter is now experimenting with post-concert pay-as-you-wish pricing:

Spanish promoters Caravana de Emerxencia have recognized this problem and addressed it through their upcoming gig, where attendees can decide the price of the ticket when they leave.

The concert is taking place on April 4 at Sala Capitol in Santiago, northern Spain. Four bands will be playing on the night – SkarallaosChotokoeuSkarnivals 
and Swingdigentes. At the end of the evening attendees can pay whatever price they think the event deserves.

How do you like this plan? How do you think you would respond?

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  1. rationalrevolution says:

    Sounds like a horrible idea for concerts. It might be okay for symphonies or something, but not rock concerts. The reason is that #1 many of the people attending will be youth who will be poor in the first place and thus not inclined to pay, nor will they care either, and #2 people will be drunk/high by the end of the concert and thus also not care.

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    • RicardoB says:

      Have you been to a bar? Or the merch tent at a concert? That’s all drunk young people spending care-free. Having most of their clientele be drunk, poor youth has worked out pretty well.

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    • Enter your name... says:

      I don’t understand the “drunk” objection. Drunks have lower inhibition, which means lower resistance to paying.

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    • Michael says:

      I don’t think it will be as bad as you think. Also I can see one very simple change they can make that turns this from an interesting idea to a fantastic idea – choose whether or not to do an encore based on the amount paid.

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  2. Ryan says:

    I think the success of things like this depends largely on peer pressure. If I see that everyone around me is dropping in $20 for the concert, I’ll probably do the same. If I’m with a group of cheapskate friends, we’ll probably not pay anything.

    It could also raise the issue of who gets to come in. I’ve never heard of these bands, but if a more popular band were to try the same thing, I imagine they would have to turn a lot of people away.

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  3. Josh says:

    They need an incentive to pay more… maybe even a big digit sign that lights up with how much you paid–plays to both social signalling and intimidation tactics.

    Or… as a reverse theory… allow the concerts goers to pay what they expect the show to be. The performer can tailor the show based on revenue… maybe more $$$, more songs or intensity of stage effects.

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  4. John says:

    Not a bad idea. I think there’s a lot of Freakonomics fun to be had with concert pricing. It’s a way messed up market. Between Tickmaster et. al. and scalping sites like Stub Hub, it’s harder than ever to get tickets. Consumers complain about ticket prices for concerts (sporting events), yet I complain more about not being able to get tickets. Even signing up for ‘exclusive presale access’ never even works anymore. You have to get lucky. Or pay the scalper on Stub Hub. I don’t mind paying the higher price….you know..that whole supply/demand thing. I’d prefer to pay the artist, venue, promoter that premium. I have a new idea for a Ticketmaster competitor if any VC is out there. It’s more like an auction, or the reverse of SuperBus pricing. All tickets start at $1000. Each day, the price of the ticket drops $100. The price also drops.. say $10 for every 100 tickets sold.

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  5. Frank Abbott says:

    This actually may work! I have experienced this before in the form of a gong session with relaxSonic (Formerly GONG the planet) I was so moved by the experience that I emptied my entire wallet into their offering jar. I think not paying upfront may remove some barriers to really connecting with a musician. Check relaxSonic out on or at

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  6. goldcd says:

    I always like the idea of these “pay what you want” – but if you keep it that simple, it never weeds out the free-loaders (who exist).
    They could adopt a similar approach to the “Humble Bundle” – where you get additional items for paying over the current average.
    For concerts, maybe guarantee a ticket to whoever pays over the current average for the pre-pay component – and then whatever you want on post-pay. Or if it’s the promoter, rather than the artist taking the risk – allow the post-pay (or a proportion of it) to be used as a pre-pay credit against the next gig they put on.

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    • Enter your name... says:

      I don’t believe that “pay twice” is likely to work. A bonus for paying is a great idea, though.

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  7. Jadrian says:

    This is essentially what US churches are currently doing. There’s no reason you HAVE to tithe when you go to church, but it’s not uncommon to have moving sermons generate more in tithes. There’s a reason you don’t ask for the donation when people walk through the door, they won’t give as much.

    Imagine if we treated education, parks & rec, or healthcare in the same fashion!

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  8. Clark says:

    Actually, I don’t see a significant difference between this and how churches have been collecting money for years. Members pay/give the church what they choose.

    There are some differences in the reasons or motivation for contributing, but it still comes down to the perceived value (whether internal or external) for the contributor.

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