Last year’s most in-demand Vegas concert tickets were for Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, the Eagles and Adele, says Ken Solky, owner of LasVegasTickets.com and 1-800-Las-Vegas.
Solky is an institution unto himself, having sold tickets for 30 years. Here’s how he sees the Vegas ticket horizon.
WHO ELSE CAUSED BIG DEMAND?
“We joke that the Eagles could be the MGM house band, because they come back two or three times a year, and they sell the place out,” he says.
Also: Cher. And Bruno Mars’ demand is “stellar.”
WHO WOULD BE IDEAL NEW RESIDENT HEADLINERS?
“Adele and Lady Gaga would be incredible. People would want to see that,” Solky says.
“That Adele show at the Cosmo was off the hook,” he says. “She came in and played the Cosmo with 4,000 seats or whatever, and the demand was five times that. Before you know it, she could fill any building she wants.”
Katy Perry is a “superstar.” And Vegas would kill for pie-in-the-sky tour stops from rock legends.
“Everybody would like to see the main members of Led Zeppelin go out on tour. Everybody would like to see Pink Floyd with Roger Waters,” he says.
WHAT ABOUT BRITNEY?
“Our clients are not a big fan of the whole lip-syncing thing. Our paying clients (say), ‘I’m paying you to sing and dance and entertain me. I’m not paying you to lip-sync to prerecorded music.’ ”
There’s a difference between people paying top dollar for tickets and gamblers who get Britney Spears tickets free from casinos.
“Where are all the Britney tickets? Because there aren’t a lot of them in the marketplace,” he says.
“If every (Caesars) casino uses 300 or 400 seats per show (as freebies for gamblers), there aren’t a lot of seats to sell.”
He thinks that’s a good tactic to lure gamblers, like the old loss-leader bait.
“That’s what the entertainment is supposed to be for, isn’t it? Isn’t that why they have a fight? Isn’t that why they bring Celine (Dion) in? Isn’t that why they bring Britney in? For gambling?”
HOW WILL 2014 TURN OUT?
Solky says 2013 saw a rise in high-quality shows, and in ticket demand. He assesses 2014 will stick to that trend for music and sports.
“UFC has continued to thrive in Las Vegas because of quality cards, a limited number of cards, and a slight adjustment downward in pricing, which has benefited their buying public — their fans.”
He says demand was “mammoth” for boxing too in 2013 and should be again this year with big matches all spring. He says some venues and special events have smartly lowered concert prices to be “closer to reality.”
“When NASCAR raised their prices, they sent a lot of fans packing. Then they lowered their prices, and now the demand is much greater.
“EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) is expanding the capacity this year, and the price point is, you know, manageable.”
Several headliners picked up steam.
“We’ve seen an uptick in Human Nature since they got out of Imperial Palace and got into The Venetian.”
He pushes “Rocktellz & Cocktails,” which this year will bring the return of Meat Loaf but also an eight-week run by The Jacksons.
“It’s like ‘VH1 Storytellers’ meets a greatest hits concert.”
HIS FIVE FAVORITE SHOWS IN 2013?
1. “Lady Gaga, spectacular. The show quality was perhaps the best I’ve ever seen — lighting, stage, energy, props, the whole shooting match.”
2. The Who.
3. Kiss and Motley Crue together.
Doug Elfman’s column appears on Page 3A on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.