DFW Music News

Dallas Is the Best City in Texas to See a Concert (Or So Says This New Study)

Being from Dallas, we're always looking for any bit of cultural credibility we can get. We're not Austin; we can't claim to be the chopped and screwed OGs. Or so the logic goes. So whenever we get an opportunity to fly the Dallas flag — or even rub our pride in the face of the rest of Texas — you better bet we'll take it. Enter a new study that says we're a "top 10 concert city" in the United States.

Yesterday, resale ticket vendor Vivid Seats published a study that placed Dallas among the most affordable (and busiest) concert cities in the country, tied with big, bad New York City and, uh, Columbus, Ohio. (Go figure.) As ever, you have to take the results with a certain grain of salt — the data is pulled exclusively from Vivid Seats' own ticket prices and on-sale concerts — and even the ranking itself is a bit misleading: Dallas places 7th on the list, but that position doesn't take into account two separate ties further up the rankings, which mean we're effectively No. 10.

But whatever. We'll take it. Besides, we beat Houston, who only come in 13th (19th including ties). And Austin isn't even on the list, which ranks the top 20 cities from the study.

The study reaches its findings by averaging out the number of shows held in each city and the mean ticket prices of those shows. Again, there's a bit of a twist: The shows used in the study run from November 1, 2015 to June 21, 2016 — which is to say, mostly shows that are yet to happen. So really, Dallas is supposed to be a top 10 city over the course of the next eight or so months.
"This data is more for looking forward, which is why looking at the previous six months, for example, was less relevant," says Kerry Tuttle, of Walker Sands Communications, a PR agency who helped Vivid Seats develop the study. "That way, readers can plan for upcoming shows and what entertainment will be happening in any locations they plan to travel to, for example."

At first glance, the ticket prices seem extreme as well; Dallas' median ticket price across 200 shows in the database comes in at a whopping $141 per ticket. But these are resale prices, remember, which means there's a huge potential range, plus the data draws on far more than the average $15 show in Deep Ellum.

"The prices fluctuate. Sometimes there are tickets listed at $1, but they usually don't sell at $1. The same goes for the higher end of the prices: Sellers may list it high but that doesn't mean a fan is willing to buy it at that price," explains Tuttle. "We share the median price rather than the maximum or minimum because it is a more accurate reflection of the current ticket options."

This is also what explains the absence of Austin — you know, the Live Music Capital of the World — on the list. "It doesn't help me as a fan if there are hundreds of shows if they don't fit in my budget," argues Tuttle. "Dallas has 200 shows in Vivid Seats' database, whereas Austin has 123. The reason Dallas would make this list over Austin is because it has more shows at an affordable price."

So take that for what you will. There's sure to be someone who will jump in to question the logic or credibility of the findings. But the point is this: Dallas is a great city to go to concerts, both from an affordability standpoint and from the number of show-going options. Oh, and one irrefutable truth: We're No. 1 — with or without the tiebreakers.
Top 20 Cities for Live Music
Top 20 Cities for Live Music - An Infographic by the Team at Vivid Seats, your premier online source for concert tickets.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Gage
Contact: Jeff Gage