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Jun 5, 2024
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The ‘funflation’ economy is dying as a consumer attitude of ‘hard pass’ takes over and major artists cancel concert tours

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For the past few years, live music has enjoyed an explosive post-pandemic revival, as ‘revenge spending’ fans itching to get back into concert venues paid top dollar for massive stadium tours such as Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.” But a recent spate of tour cancellations and changes by well-known artists indicate that consumers’

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Business * For the past few years, live music has enjoyed an explosive post-pandemic revival, as ‘revenge spending’ fans itching to get back into concert venues paid top dollar for massive stadium tours such as Taylor Swift’s “Eras” tour and Beyoncé’s “Renaissance.”

But a recent spate of tour cancellations and changes by well-known artists indicate that consumers’ appetite for live music may be slowing. 

On Friday, Live Nation announced that Jennifer Lopez was canceling her “This Is Me . . . Live” tour to spend more time with her family, a week after the Black Keys said they were scrapping an arena tour scheduled for this fall in favor of smaller venues, even after the single from their new album topped Billboard’s Alternative Airplay chart in March. 

The announcements are the most recent signs that at least one facet of the “funflation” or economy that emerged in the wake of pandemic — where consumers eager to make up for lost experiences boosted demand for things like flights and concert tickets — isn’t as strong as it was last year. 

Jarred Arfa, head of global music at the touring agency Independent Artist Group, said he believes the current concert environment is less of a slowdown than a return to a pre-pandemic atmosph

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