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When you buy a concert ticket, how much are you really paying to get into the show, and where does all the rest of your money go? From service fees, to delivery fees, to convenience fees, companies such as Ticketmaster have a dramatic effect on the price of a ticket. And then there are the scalpers…

In this lesson, students use percents to examine how the revenue from ticket purchases is distributed among the various players in the concert game, from artists and venues to distributors and middlemen. Think the face value is how much the ticket costs? Think again.

Students will

  • Watch a video of someone purchasing a concert ticket online, and determine how much the website is charging for the ticket and various fees
  • Given the purchase price, calculate the percent of total cost that the face value and various fees represent
  • Use percentages to estimate a ticket’s face value based on its purchase price
  • Examine the effect of ticket resellers on purchase price
  • Discuss the current system of purchasing concert tickets and make suggestions to improve the process

Before you begin

Students should know how to calculate percent given the part and the whole, e.g. $87 is what percent of $128.10, and also calculate a value given the percent and the whole, e.g. what is 68% of $128.10?

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices

Additional Materials

  • Colored pencils (optional)


Taylor Swift, scalpers