Gen Z’s New Concert Conduct

By: Kaydee Ambas · June 16, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Shifting Habits

When you visualize a concert, you might think of fans screaming, singing along, maybe moshing, and probably having a few more alcoholic drinks than their doctors would recommend.

But based on Gen Z’s current drinking habits, concert scenes could start to look a lot tamer over the coming years.

According to a recent Gallup Poll, only 60% of people 18 to 34 said they drink alcohol, compared to 70% of people 35 to 54. While this is a good sign for Gen Z’s general health — and somewhat to be expected, since at least a portion of those respondents are under the age of 21 — it could be a bad sign for businesses that rely on alcohol sales, such as concert venues.

Concert Economics

When concert venues host a performance, the majority of ticket sales go toward paying the performing act. After compensating the artist, the venue makes its money from selling merchandise, food, and, most importantly, alcohol. If concert goers stop paying for beers, hard seltzers, and cocktails, it could make it tough for concert venues to stay profitable.

It’s worth noting that alcohol prices tend to be shamelessly high at many live events. On the extreme end of the spectrum, beers started at $17 at this year’s Super Bowl, while cocktails cost as high as $25. With price points like those, it might be especially difficult to entice an already-hesitant generation of drinkers to indulge at concerts.

Exploring Options

To make up for the lack of beer sales, many venues are looking to swap alcohol with other types of drinks.

Venues are experimenting with new things like kombucha, CBD-infused libations, and mocktails. In particular, alcohol-less cocktails have proven to be particularly popular. US sales of mocktails had climbed nearly 21% year-over-year in August 2022.

Next time you go to a concert, don’t shy away from asking, “What’s on tap?” — even if you’re looking to stay dry. You might just be surprised at what you find.

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