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Collecting Tickets and Ticket Stubs
By Euphrates
Collecting Concert Tickets

Concert ticket stubs are wonderful collectibles. Like show flyers, handbills, posters, programs and other rock memorabilia, old tickets are colorful, fun and mark musical moments in our culture. Some people pasted them into scrapbooks as a memento after a favorite concert. Others discarded them as soon as the show was over. Of course these two acts help determine how hard the ticket is to find today.

How much will a 25 year old ticket stub from your favorite band set you back? There are many factors that effect the price/value of a ticket stub:

Like many collectibles, popularity and scarcity impact price. Who is the artist, how often did they tour and how large were their audiences? Hall of Famers (The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin) are highly sought after (Elvis is still the King!) but many modern and even lesser-known bands, especially notorious or influential short-lived acts (Nick Drake, Nirvana, The Sex Pistols, The Smiths, Iggy Pop, Elliott Smith) are also very attractive to collectors.

How old is the ticket? The earlier in the artist's career the more desirable the ticket is.

What kind of condition is the ticket in? Is it faded, soiled or wrinkled? Are the corners sharp or rounded? Does the back of the ticket have glue or paper residue from being removed from a scrapbook? Has the ticket been written on? It's not unusual for the original owner to have jotted down information about the concert on the back or even front of the ticket, especially if the name of the act or the date is missing.

Sometimes the venue can impact the price of the ticket. Tickets from shows at CBGBs, The Fillmore or The Whisky A Go Go may bring more than shows by the same artist in the same year at less prominent locations or larger venues like arenas, stadiums and coliseums.

"Picture Tickets" are highly sought after. These are tickets that display a likeness of the artist on the front of the ticket. These are more common in Europe.

Is the ticket authentic? Be cautious when buying unused tickets. Current technology makes reproducing vintage tickets very easy and the quality is generally amazing. Of course not all unused tickets are replicas or reproductions. A venue may have had leftover unused "comp" or complimentary tickets or perhaps tickets from a canceled show. Also, some people buy tickets to shows that for some reason they are unable to attend. There appears to be a large number of unused tickets from Pirate's World, Kentucky State University, KRNT Theatre, the Mississippi Coliseum and Armadillo World Headquarters in the market right now. Even if they are authentic there seems to be an abundance of them.

How much information is shown on the ticket? Can you see all of the artist's name, the name of the venue and the date? Is the date missing? You can get some clues about the age of the ticket by examining the price and how the ticket was printed. After 1979 the data on most tickets is printed on a computer printer. Most concerts in the '60s were $3-$6. Shows by major artists in the '70s were $5-$12. Ticket prices between $12 and $25 are most likely from the 1980s.

You can find used tickets on sales sites, auction sites and of course in your own community at auctions and estate sales.

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