Price of a gig / festival pint over the years

Does anyone have a good memory of what they used to pay at gigs for a pint and when it started to go from £3 to £5 to now £7 (often for a bottle?!)

Realise “London prices” are a little different so regional prices beyond really lovely independent venues who don’t charge silly money for a plastic cup of forth

Basically trying to compare how Spotify hasn’t gotten more expensive but pints have risen with inflation and also thought it might make for an interesting thread

One thing to remember though is that craft beer and microbrewery beer was rarely seen in gig venues pre-2010ish, so you’d be getting mass produced stuff prior to that point.

2007 Newcastle: £3.90 a pint in somewhere like the Carling academy; £3 a pint in somewhere like the Head of Steam/Cluny.
2007 London: As above but +£1


Very true. Signature Brew really pushed for that change. I remember when we made an Ed Harcourt beer with them that they were on such a mission to get anything other than lager into venues.

From my first beer drinking gigs in Manchester I think it was something like £2.20 for a Carling in the pub, £1.70 in a student bar, £2.80-£3 in a gig, £3-3.50 at Leeds fest.

That’s all very rough guess though.

Circa 2000

Can’t really remember what they used to cost but somehow feel the relative difference between pub and venue prices is smaller these days.

Think the explosion of craft, etc beer has made it easy enough to find pints that are upwards of £6 in bars probably helps with that perception mind.

NUS bars in Manchester Uni were as low as £1 a pint when I first started in 1994.


I think this is also true of the relative difference between London / Manchester prices as well.

Not sure if that holds up in the rest of the country though…

(Edited for clarity)

I think that there’s been a general evening up of prices across the country.

The difference between London and Newcastle might still be £1 a pint, but the price of a pint has nearly doubled in 15 years.


Mid 2000s I remember Blue Moon being £5 a pint in the Volunteer in Bristol, and every time someone ordered it, before they poured they would say “it’s £5, is that ok?”. Normally it was around £5.60ish for 2 pints of Doombar style ale…

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Cans of red stripe used to be in 2008 in Aberdeen £3 at the Tunnels.

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Paid £6.25 for a pint at the Belgrave t’other day. Part 12 in a series of “Why DiS user SarahIsPi believes The Belgrave to be the 3rd or 4th circle of hell”.


Warm cans of Red Stripe at The Astorias in the late 90s were probably £2.50p. Similar to pub prices for a nearby pint back then. Whenever I see a can of Red Stripe it reminds me of dustbins with blocks of ice and cans of Red Stripe which were always room temp at best…nice memories.

Prices nowadays are inevitably high. I paid £7 for a pint of Goose earlier in the week at that new Outernet venue near Tottenham Court Road (near the Astorias). I think a pint of Red Stripe at Islington Assembly Hall is around £7.50p. In fairness to the Assembly Hall they do show their prices very prominently and so there’s no shock when paying for a round.

The trade off for some people might be how much you spend on the gig ticket vs pints on an evening. An Astoria 2 ticket might be £10-£15 in the mid/late 90s. You’d be drinking six cans maybe to match that price.

A ticket at Paper Dress Vintage/Shacklewell might be only £8 nowadays whereas a pint there might be in the region of £6-ish.

Too many variables I know. A small band’s gig might be a big one for a person that loves the band and so they might accept the financial hit for a fun night out.

Four pints and a gig on a night out for me comes to around £30+.

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The economics of this doesn’t add up for the artist. They’ll probably be lucky not to lose £100-200 by the time they’ve paid for rehearsals and parking and session musicians… and that’s before you consider what they’ve “invested” in buying gear, marketing themselves to get to level of headlining a 200-300 cap London show, etc.

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I did a “like” in the sense I agree that it’s terrible that a band can’t break even for gigs.

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No worries. I didn’t think otherwise.