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How Far Would You Travel to See Your Favorite Artist? [2023 Survey]

Alex Miller's image
Alex Miller
Alex Miller's image

Alex Miller

Founder & CEO

288 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 34U.S. States Visited: 29

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

29 Published Articles 3093 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 45U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The deafening applause, the electric atmosphere, and hearing their favorite songs played live are just a few of the reasons why people are drawn to seeing their music idol on tour. Whether it’s a sold-out stadium or an intimate bar setting, loyal fans go to great lengths for the chance to witness iconic artists up close. From Beyoncé to Elton John to Taylor Swift, the burning question remains: Just how far are some fans willing to travel to catch a glimpse of their beloved artists in person? 

To find out, we surveyed over 3,000 Americans and asked them how many miles they’d travel to see their favorite artist, whether they’d go into debt to see them, and much more. Read on to discover which artists have the most die-hard fan base of all time.

Hopelessly Devoted: The Most Loyal Artist and Genre Fanbases of All Time

Infographic displaying the most loyal artist and genre fanbases
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

While lots of artists record their concerts or stream them live, nothing quite compares to the experience of being in person, surrounded by hundreds or thousands of screaming fans.  

One thing Americans can’t get enough of is boy bands. From The Beatles to One Direction, and now BTS — the boy band craze doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon.

To put each fanbase to the test, we calculated a loyalty index. This score was determined from a set of survey questions (including how far they’d travel, how much they’d spend, and others). It’s out of a possible 100, with a 100 indicating the most loyal fanbase. 

We found that BTS fans are willing to travel an average of 2,040 miles to see them in concert — the most of any fan group, garnering a loyalty score of 88.4 out of a possible 100 (the highest of any artist). BTS is a K-pop boy band that rose to fame in 2015 and has loyal fans all over the globe. 

BTS fans are also the most likely to follow them from city to city (62.5%), compared to just 32.2% of fans who would go to multiple cities to see their favorite artist. 

The King of Pop places second with a loyalty score of 76.8. If Michael Jackson were still alive today, fans would be willing to pay an average concert ticket price of $660. Fans would also pay in excess to see BTS ($500), Lady Gaga ($405), Harry Styles ($356), and Taylor Swift ($354)

Hot Tip:

If you don’t want to miss out on the chance of seeing your favorite artist take the stage, you can always put your concert ticket on a credit card and rack up points and other benefits. 

Elton John and Lady Gaga both have a cherished fanbase, earning them loyalty scores of 66.4 and 63.3, respectively. 

When it comes to genres with the most loyal fanbases, R&B, rap, pop, and hip-hop dominate the charts. Fans of genres like R&B say they’d spend up to 18% of their savings to see their favorite artist live. Who wouldn’t want to see Usher or Aretha Franklin up close?

Timing plays a crucial role in ticket purchases. Live Nation’s Ticketmaster famously crashed in 2022 as fans tried to snatch tickets to Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour — with some waiting hours on end in the queue. This occurrence is not surprising, considering that 22% of pop fans express their willingness to wait indefinitely to purchase tickets for their favorite artist.

Concert Fandom: Travel, Paying for Tickets, and More

Chart showcasing the lengths Americans would go to for a concert ticket
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

As you browse for tickets online in hopes of scoring front-row seats to your favorite show, you might be flooded with a few questions like, “How far am I willing to travel to see my favorite band?” or “Where will I stay after the show?” We asked our participants for insight into those questions and more!

We found that the average American is willing to embark on a 608.7-mile journey to attend a concert featuring their beloved artist. However, it is Gen Z, who surpasses all others by embarking on the longest road trip of all — 861 miles — to see their favorite performer live. 

If only fans could rewind the clock and witness the performances of iconic artists no longer with us, such as Whitney Houston or Tupac. Those whose favorite artist has passed away say they’d travel 41% further compared to those whose favorite artist is still alive.

It’s no secret that concert ticket prices can be expensive. On average, Americans are willing to allocate 12.9% of their savings to witness their favorite artists perform. However, Gen Z proves to be the least risk-averse generation, as they are willing to part with nearly 19.3% of their savings for concert tickets.

Back in 1996, the average concert ticket price to see artists like Kiss or Garth Brooks cost around $28.50. Nowadays, concertgoers can expect to spend over $100 to experience their favorite artists on stage.

As a last resort, 10.9% of fans are willing to go into debt to attend concerts, with millennials (13.1%) being the most likely to share this sentiment. An enticing “buy now pay later” option would sway 43.5% of concertgoers to purchase tickets more readily if available to them.

When it comes to seeing your favorite artist live, there are a lot of logistics at play, including travel to and from the hotel and venue, transportation, taking time off work, and more. Our findings indicate that 66.8% of respondents would use their time off from work to attend a concert featuring their beloved artist.

After all, who wants to be stuck crunching numbers when they could be belting out the chorus during a Harry Styles song?

Interestingly, 1 in 3 respondents (38.6%) express their willingness to drive or fly to witness their favorite artist, while 61.4% prefer to stick within driving distance.

Moreover, a majority of concertgoers (35.9%) indicate their intention to stay in the concert city for 1 day before or after the event. Given the time it often takes to exit a venue after a show, staying nearby proves to be the most sensible option.

Methodology

To uncover how far Americans would travel to see their favorite artists and other insights, we surveyed 3,192 Americans. Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming were omitted due to insufficient sample size

Fandom and genre indexes are based on responses to various survey questions (how far they’d travel to see that artist, how much they’d pay for concert tickets, how long they’d wait to purchase tickets if they’d go to multiple cities if they’d go into debt, how much of their savings they’d dip into, and if they’d be willing to fly to see their favorite artist). The score is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 indicating the most loyal groups. Only fandoms and genres with significant sample sizes were included.

Final Thoughts

Seeing your favorite artist live can be a dream come true! Our survey revealed that most fans would travel to see BTS, Michael Jackson, or Elton John live. Concertgoers would be willing to trek over 600 miles to see their favorite artists take the stage. Some loyal fans are even willing to take on some debt if it meant one of the best concerts of their life. We hope this survey sheds light on the major fandoms out there and the lengths some Americans are willing to go to in the name of music.

Alex Miller's image

About Alex Miller

Founder and CEO of Upgraded Points, Alex is a leader in the industry and has earned and redeemed millions of points and miles. He frequently discusses the award travel industry with CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, and more.

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