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26% of Concertgoers Plan to Take on Debt to Attend Shows This Summer—Here's How to Avoid It

Mick Hutson | Redferns | Getty Images

UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 2000: Photo of GIG and AUDIENCE and FANS and CROWDS (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

As the world progresses back to normalcy, the concert scene is following suit. 

Concert crowds are expected to be back to average pre-pandemic sizes this summer, according to a recent survey from LendingTree, which surveyed 2,072 people in the U.S. about their summer concert plans.  

About 26% of Americans plan to attend a concert or music festival this summer. With ongoing inflation — and extra spending as a result — around 32% of attendees plan to spend $500 or more. Not only that, but 26% of concertgoers are planning to be in debt after the summer from concert-related expenses.

However, after years of a lackluster concert scene, the majority of those planning to take on debt say it's worth it. And the younger age groups — Gen Z and millennials — are more likely to welcome it, with 25% of Gen Zers and 27% of millennials saying it's worth going into debt for a concert or music festival.

Beyond tickets, many aspects of a concert can be costly. The most common expenses are food and drink (60%), a new outfit (32%), merchandise (27%) and a hotel or rental (27%), LendingTree found.

People are even willing to spend extra money on the seat itself. In particular, 48% of millennials and 41% of Gen Zers will splurge on their favorite artists.

How to avoid going into debt

It's important to note that debt, in this scenario, is avoidable — and unecessary.

"You don't need to consider going into debt to go to a show," Douglas Boneparth, president and founder of Bone Fide Wealth and a certified financial planner, tells CNBC Make It.

Instead, "build up your discipline in spending," Boneparth says. "Focus your time on earning more money so you can afford these things or save up for these things and make that your priority."

You can also consider ways to cut costs. If you're planning to attend a music festival, purchasing an early bird ticket usually offers a lower price, for example. The only catch is that the full lineup is sometimes not released — although 20% of consumers don't mind the lack of knowledge if they can get a deal, LendingTree reports.

Other strategies include looking into group discounts, or credit card and airline benefits, such as sign-up bonuses for new cards. However, if you choose to use a credit card for concert tickets, be mindful of your spending so you don't take on debt there.

At the end of the day, the only true way to avoid debt is to plan your spending for the months leading up to the event around the event itself. When it comes to concerts and music festivals, "you should never be in a position where you're planning on debt," Boneparth says.

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