Country music superstar Garth Brooks recently announced a series of stadium tour dates across North America, his first such tour in over 20 years. Brooks is one of the most popular touring acts in music history, having sold over 150 million records worldwide. His return to major stadium performances has sparked huge demand among country music fans to see the singer live.
One of the most anticipated stops on the tour is at Thunder Ridge Amphitheater in Oklahoma. Thunder Ridge is one of the premier outdoor concert venues in the region, with a capacity of over 50,000 people. Garth Brooks has a special history with the venue, having played some of his earliest shows there when he was first breaking out as a headlining act in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His upcoming show at Thunder Ridge is expected to be the hottest ticket in town.
Garth Brooks’ Popularity Fuels High Ticket Demand
According to various reports, over 300,000 people attempted to purchase tickets for the Thunder Ridge show in the first day of sales alone. The huge number is driven by the massive popularity that Garth Brooks still enjoys throughout the country music world. He has a devoted fanbase that has stayed loyal for decades. Many fans see this as their first chance in a long time to see Brooks perform in person.
His shows are also known for being lively, high-energy affairs with Brooks interacting with and hyping up the crowds. Fans are eager to participate and sing along with his hits like “Friends in Low Places” and “The Dance.” The pent-up demand from a generation of country music lovers who have grown up with his music but not yet seen him live is fueling frenzied interest.
Website Traffic and Sales Queue Highlights Intense Demand
According to Ticketmaster sources, the waiting list online to purchase Garth Brooks Thunder Ridge tickets at one point topped 2 million people. Fans encountered over an hour long waits just to access the website to join the ticket queue. Many fans reported glitches and website crashes due to the massive online traffic.
The virtual queue to process orders exceeded 450,000 at one point. Fans needed to obtain an online “seat” just for a chance to buy a ticket once they got through the queue. This system was implemented to avoid the ticketing website crashing completely from too many users trying to purchase at once.
Previous Tour Success Raised Anticipation
Garth Brooks’ last major North American tour in 2014-2017 also stimulated huge ticket sales. That tour sold around 6.3 million tickets in total, a huge number for any music act. It whetted the appetite of fans to see Brooks in concert again after a long absence when he initially retired in the late 1990s.
The previous tour grossed over $364 million according to Billboard Boxscore. It proved that Brooks still had tremendous drawing power at the box office. His show at Thunder Ridge was expected to quickly sell out based on that demonstrated touring success. Fans did not want to miss their chance again given the long span until his next tour after this one.
Over 70,000 Tickets Sold on 1st Day for Thunder Ridge
According to Thunder Ridge Amphitheater officials, the Garth Brooks concert sold a staggering 73,000 tickets in the first day of sales. Ticket prices ranged from $95 for upper bowl seats to over $200 for premium floor seats near the stage. With those ticket prices factored in, the one day take just for Thunder Ridge approached $20 million.
Garth Brooks holds the record for the highest single show attendance at Thunder Ridge of 68,000 from a 1992 concert. Event organizers expect that record to easily fall when he headlines there again this year. Attendance could exceed 70,000 based on the huge initial demand.
Additional Dates Added to Meet Demand
Due to the rapid sellout for the first Thunder Ridge show, Garth Brooks and the venue added 2 more consecutive night performances. This will allow a greater number of fans to see Brooks live at Thunder Ridge. Pre-sales for these additional shows also sold strongly, with over 100,000 additional tickets snatched up across the 2 new dates.
Total Thunder Ridge Tickets Sold Top 200,000
Combining the initial day 1 sales with additional pre-sales for the 2 extra shows, Garth Brooks may end up selling over 200,000 tickets just for his Thunder Ridge concerts. These will likely be the top grossing and best attended shows in the venue’s history when they occur later this year.
The following table summarizes the Thunder Ridge ticket sales:
Secondary Market Prices Also Seeing Huge Demand
Tickets for the Thunder Ridge shows are in such high demand that secondary resellers like Stubhub are seeing brisk business. Resellers frequently charge well above face value when tickets are scarce.
According to data aggregators, the average resale price across all three shows is currently around $750. That represents a nearly 4x markup over the base $200 face value for lower level seating obtained directly from the venue.
Of course with 203,000 tickets sold, many fans are still paying normal prices. But the extreme demand is allowing resellers to charge exaggerated premiums. The most coveted floor seats near the main stage are going for as much as $1,500 on secondary sites.
Easy Profits to Be Made Exploiting Excess Demand
These inflated secondary prices demonstrate that supply is still well short of demand. If all consumers were satisfied solely buying directly from the venue, secondary prices would remain closer to face values.
Instead, the secondary market provides evidence that many fans are still willing to pay extreme premiums. Resellers are able to exploit this demand and make easy profits, knowing that consumers will pay multiples above face value.
Similar Dynamics Seen for Other Iconic Acts
The demand dynamics seen for these Garth Brooks shows mirrors similar situations for other top tier legacy acts. Concerts featuring groups like the Eagles and the Rolling Stones also demonstrate extreme ticket demand and inflated resale prices. Nostalgia and limited touring availability drives fans to pay virtually any price to see their favorite acts perform live.
Garth Brooks’ return to the concert stage has sparked unprecedented ticket sales demand across North America. His shows at Thunder Ridge Amphitheater sold over 200,000 tickets combined in the initial sales windows. This makes them the highest grossing concerts in the Oklahoma venue’s history.
It also makes Garth Brooks one of the only artists with sufficient drawing power still to sell out massive venues in a single day. Nostalgia for his music and limited chance to see him live is motivating fans to buy tickets in huge numbers and at premium prices. The Thunder Ridge shows will likely set new records for attendance and revenue when they occur later this year.