Exorbitantly priced concert tickets

Once upon a time in October 2021, a band leader openly expressed his support for a presidential candidate. On his Twitter account, he admitted that though some of his fans may not share his political views, they could still find a common ground — humanity.

“This is something we all share, and something that must resonate the most in a leader,” he said in his Twitter post on 10 October 2021, with the hashtag #LetLeniLead2022.

Backtracking to another Twitter post on 5 July 2020, Buendia posted, “Justice for Fabel”.

His speaking out on the case of 15-year-old Fabel Pineda, a rape victim who was shot dead in mid-2020, was admirable. A demonstration of humanity calling for justice for a helpless victim who was reported to have been sexually assaulted by two policemen.

Pineda was reportedly killed after she filed a case at the Cabugao police station in Ilocos Sur.

Buendia was in solidarity with the continuing fight for Fabel, living by the lyrics of his song “Spolarium” rumored to be about the infamous rape of a showbiz starlet.

Just recently, though, Buendia sang a seeming mellow “tune” about fellow band member Marcus Adoro who allegedly abused his daughter and ex-partner Barbara Ruaro.

Responding to netizens’ comments on the band’s silence about the assault allegations, Buendia, through his manager Diane Ventura, expressed his firm stance on Adoro’s issues and wanted him to resolve them before the vocalist agreed to work with him in a reunion concert in December.

“We acknowledge the pain and suffering of the parties involved and we seek accountability,” Buendia’s manager was quoted as saying.

The common ground is humanity, so said the famous band leader. Humanity refers to being compassionate, sympathetic, or having generous behavior or disposition.

Ironically, recent news of exorbitant ticket prices for the band’s reunion concert at the SMDC Festival Grounds in Parañaque City on 22 December raised eyebrows.

The most expensive tickets are priced at P17,260 (for the moshpit area nearest the stage), P14,610 (VIP), and P12,180 (for platinum areas).

The less than P10,000 options are not even affordable to many die-hard fans recovering from the pandemic – P9,740 (Gold), P5,480 (Silver), or P3,050 (Bronze).

Moneyed fans, of course, received the news with delight but not a few grumbled. The disappointed “masa” apparently deem it too much and they just have to pass on buying the high-priced tickets that they find unjustifiable for an open venue.

They slam the high ticket prices in an open venue; that the tickets are even more expensive than those sold for the scheduled concerts of Avril Lavigne and Ne-Yo at the Smart Araneta Coliseum; and that only the wealthy can afford them.

For a popular band whose songs depict fighting injustice and awakening political and social consciousness, the disappointment of netizens is also grounded on humanity.

Grounded World, a marketing agency with decades of experience in brand activation, sustainability marketing, and social impact, defines social justice as a type of justice rooted in the idea that all people should have equal rights, opportunities, and treatment.

It is not because something is equal, it already means equitable. They are like cousins, rather than siblings, playing in the same pool.

In more simple terms, equality is said to be when everyone starts at square one regardless of race, age, class, or gender. It does not consider the resources needed for different people to achieve the same goal. Equitability, however, resolves societal barriers that prevent some groups from achieving the same goals as others.

A case in point is the tickets to a concert available to the public so that everyone can see their favorite artists. It is a societal barrier to achieving equity when not all fans can afford a ticket because not everyone earns a fair wage.

Yes, Eraserheads doesn’t get many chances to do a concert after disbanding in 2002 so they should do it while they can still can, but a fair and compassionate opportunity for thrilled fans to witness face-to-face their reunion will well prove the ‘humanity” and “justice” mantra that its band leader preaches.

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