To Our Dear CUSA Fans,
As you all know, the starting ticket prices have risen this year. Believe us, we understand this is not ideal for any of you. To help explain this big change, we have written this blog to detail some of the factors that have forced us to make these decisions.
The festival industry has experienced DRASTIC change over the last 20 and even 10 years. With the advent of digital music that is easily downloadable over the internet, the record industry saw major setbacks. This affected nearly every facet of the music industry, most prominently, the record businesses and the artist’s themselves. With this change in the model of the industry, the artists have turned to live music performance to make up for this drop in record sales. Festivals have been forced to help contribute a large portion of this chunk that the record business lost.
This creates an obvious burden and struggle upon festivals like Country USA. Sure, we all know that inflation is inevitable and costs will always rise, but this is something more drastic and rapid. This chart will illustrate just how rapid the cost of talent has risen for Country USA:
In 1996, we began with a budget of roughly $750,000 for talent. As the chart shows, the cost of talent has nearly quadrupled in 20 years, with the most drastic change being in the last five. Now, in 2016, our talent budget is near 2.8 million dollars.
We have always prided ourselves on the premise of having one of the cheapest festival tickets in the entire country! We have always tried to keep the costs of admission as low as possible. Once you add in the other fees that are associated such as parking, tax, etc., our total cost is still one of the lowest in the country. So, over 20 years, our costs of talent have increased by almost four times, and our ticket prices have stayed roughly the same. This simply just isn’t feasible for us anymore.
We know this isn’t ideal. The ticket price is not what you are used to from Country USA. Just as a quick comparison, here are some prices from other country festivals around the nation:
As you can see, we are still one of the lowest prices in the country by FAR!
We could cut costs way, way back in many areas including talent, but this is not what we see from CUSA, and we also think, this is not what you would want. The Starshow team and the CUSA fans have built a truly special festival, from top to bottom, and we don’t want to deliver anything less than what you have come to know. We would hate to see this awesome brand be something far less than what it has grown to become.
Here at Starshow Presents, we are going to continue to do everything we can to keep the costs low, and the experience high. We completely understand that this increase in price is not what everyone wants from CUSA, but simply put, this is what needs to happen in order to stay in business. We are always open to criticism and input on how we can become a better festival so please continue to be the voice of our wonderful fans! With your help, we know we can become something even greater over the next 20 years of COUNTRY USA. Thank you to all of your loyal fans who have stuck with us through thick and thin. Our promise to you is that we are going to continue to grow and deliver something more special each and every year.
P.S. Stay tuned to CUSA Facebook and Twitter for a HUGE surprise that we think will ease this transition. You WON’T Disappointed.
-The Starshow Team