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Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood defend Rolling Stones' ticket prices

Story by Jack Foley

MICK Jagger and Ronnie Wood have both defended the ticket prices for their forthcoming Rolling Stones gigs in two separate interviews.

The veteran rockers faced widespread criticism from fans and industry colleagues alike over the price of their four shows in New York and London, with prices for the O2 Arena gigs on November 25 and 29 ranging from £90 to a deluxe VIP package priced at £950.

Many fans say they cannot afford to buy them.

But speaking to Billboard, frontman Jagger said he’d be making no apologies and blamed the market for the high costs of actually putting on the shows.

“I don’t think there should be a secondary ticket market. I don’t think it should be legal,” he said. “To my mind, there has to be a better way of doing it, but we’re living, really, with the way the system functions.

“We can’t, in four shows, change the whole ticketing system. You might say, ‘The tickets are too expensive’ – well, it’s a very expensive show to put on, just to do four shows, because normally you do a hundred shows and you’d have the same expenses.

“So, yes, it’s expensive,” he added. “But most of the tickets go for a higher price than we’ve sold them for, so you can see the market is there. We don’t participate in the profit. If a ticket costs 250 quid. let’s imagine, and goes for 1,000 quid, I just want to point out that we don’t get that difference.”

Guitarist Wood had earlier told The Daily Telegraph: “We’ve already spent a million on rehearsing in Paris. And the stage is going to be another few million. And the lights. We feel no bad thing about ticket prices. We’ve got to make something.”

The Rolling Stones themselves are expected to pocket around £16 million from the gigs. And there could be more to follow.

Keith Richards also stated this week: “This juggernaut, once it gets rolling, is almost unstoppable. ‘Oh, an extra gig,’ or, ‘Let’s play somewhere you’ve never played before.’ So things go on.

“Right now, I’m just happy to have the thing rolling and moving. It’ll be great, playing London and New York. The rest of it, it’ll happen. Don’t worry about it.”