Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender
So...from what I gather from the responses is either it's market demand (charge high and see if they'll buy) or it's fuel, insurances and the cost of doing business.
I assumed we were talking about bands at the highest level here, by the way:
The things you mention are not unrelated. There are minimum prices you'd need to set to cover your costs, OR if the market wouldn't support those prices, figure out how to cut your costs (and/or increase your revenue sources--so for example, the amount of swag you have available and how much you're charging for it). Once you get past the stage of at least covering your expenses, you can see what the market will bear in terms of profits.
For huge rock bands, the band's business hierarchy (which isn't always structured the same) is ultimately deciding the ticket prices. Bands definitely do not make the same amount at every venue, even adjusted to a per capita profit. There are many different factors that make the difference, including different fees for renting the venue versus what they can feasibly charge in that market, different union fees and rules in an area (you have many different local unions you have to deal with in each market), the different travel and housing costs (if applicable) for that area, etc.--it would be laborious to make a complete list of that stuff for any possible scenario. Of course, most of the people involved are salaried, even including some band members in some situations (for example, the guys in Kiss who aren't Gene and Paul have been salaried for a long time, including Ace and Peter when they came back), but the folks on the high end of the totem pole ((other) band members, management, etc.) will see the difference.