Contrary to common belief, the most expensive tickets available aren’t for the most recent Glastonbury, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, or Blur gigs. In fact, two seats for a Led Zeppelin performance at London’s O2 Arena cost £83,000, making them the most expensive concert tickets ever sold. The tickets were bought by a young Scotsman by the name of Kenneth Donnell.
On her radio show, NPR anchor Madeleine Brand asked Donnell to talk about the event and its price. She stated in the introduction:
“Twenty thousand fans listened to Led Zeppelin last night in London. It was the legendary British band’s first full concert together in 27 years. The group disbanded in 1980 after the death of drummer John Bonham. Bonham’s son Jason handled the drums last night.”
“The face value of tickets for the concert was about $250, though some tickets went for as much as 10,000 on the Internet, and even at that price, they were a bargain compared to what one young fan paid – $168,000 for a pair of tickets.”
No matter how big of a renowned group was playing the concert, the ticket price was outrageous.
When questioned if the outrageous cost of the tickets was worth it, Donnell responded:
“Of course it was worth it, yeah, definitely,” before revealing that he had purchased the seats as a donation to the UK children’s charity Children In Need as part of a fundraising event. The seats gave Donnell a first row view “just to the left of the stage”.
The tickets, however, gave Donnell access to more than just the performance. Added him:
“We actually got to meet the whole band the day before at the rehearsals as well, and Robert Plant is just such a nice guy. He went out of his way to come over and see us, and he spoke to us for a while. It was brilliant.”
Thankfully, Donnell’s favorite group is the well-known Midlands rockers.
“Well, my dad – he saw them a few times, and just because he’s always been a fan, I’ve been a fan my whole life,” he said. “So it’s kind of the soundtrack to my life.”
His expectations were met by the musicians, who also delivered.
. “Obviously, I’ve never seen them live before, but they were just absolutely phenomenal last night, so I don’t know how they could be any better than that,” the 25-year-old added. “And Robert Plant, yeah, his voice was still absolutely fantastic. He sounded great.”
So it appeared to be money well spent regardless of the cost.
In fact, a tape of the concert had been produced for a film and an lp. Celebration Day was released on home video after a limited cinema release in 2012. At the ceremony, Ahmet Ertegun, a co-founder of Atlantic Records who booked Zeppelin after listening to their demo, was to be celebrated.