Tour Dates — May 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Want to see Pixies’ Black Francis in New York? If you’re over 30, it’ll cost an extra $30

Black Francis ad

Fans of Black Francis who plan to see the Pixies frontman’s solo-acoustic show in New York City next week who are older than 30 — and let’s face it, that’s a lot of us — might want to consider something they haven’t done in a couple decades: investing in a fake ID.

That’s because the venue that the erstwhile Frank Black is playing this coming Friday is charging fans who are older than 30 an additional $30 for tickets. That’s three times the price.

According to the website for NYC’s Symphony Space — as well as the ad posted above that ran in the New York Times’ Arts & Leisure section today (and was spotted by a sharp-eyed reader) — full-price tickets to the May 17 show are $45. Buyers who are members of the performing arts center can get discounted tickets for $38, an arrangement that’s not uncommon for such venues.

But for fans 30 and under — who can prove it with a valid ID — tickets are just $15.

A quick glance through the ticket links for Black Francis’ remaining tour dates, as well as some already-completed shows this month, reveals no other such age-based pricing — suggesting he’s likely unaware of this rather unique pricing structure.

As for Symphony Space, which is obviously trying to draw younger fans to next week’s concert, a look at other performances listed at the performing arts center shows discounts for seniors, children or students, but we saw no other price breaks for the 30-and-under crowd.

Is this fair pricing — especially toward fans who date back to the days the Pixies first roamed the Earth?

Feel free to weigh in below.


Black Francis tour dates:

May 11: The Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC
May 12: The Jewish Mother, Virginia Beach, VA
May 13: The Birchmere, Washington, DC
May 14: Wonder Bar, Asbury Park, NJ
May 15: Spaceland Ballroom, New Haven, CT
May 17: Symphony Space, New York, NY

All dates with opener Reid Paley






  1. Fontalamh

    Yup, fair pricing. Interested over thirties in general have the money and will pay. Under thirties on average have less wealth and are less likely to go so are being incentivised.
    It’s how America works isn’t it?

  2. I suppose it’s cheaper than getting a sitter while Mommy and Daddy see The Breeders.

  3. It’s ageism. Period. And the message Symphony Space is sending to those same under-30’s: “Enjoy it now before you start to like Nickelback.” Nothing like the trance of scarcity to sell some tickets.

  4. Discounts based on age (children under 5 get in free, 10% off for Seniors) are quite normal, and good business. Don’t cry, get a teenager to buy you a ticket!

  5. Seems like a great way to thank the fans who listened to the Pixies back when they were actually relevant. :)

  6. Maybe he’s been hanging out with that Abercrombie & Fitch guy. He only wants young, beautiful people to buy his T-shirts from the merch table.

  7. Mike LaMarr

    I bet noone would complain if they were giving senior citizens discounts so why is this news? The writer is someone who probably calls the planned on end of a tax rebate a tax increase too

  8. fictional

    it’s funny. and smart. it’s a way to try to get younger and newer listeners who don’t know his work. younger people don’t make as much when they’re trying to find their way thru school or who are just slogging it out with sh@&$$ jobs. not as much disposable income and more competition for your dollars than ever before. movies. dvds. bluray. video games. apps.

    and being over 40, i know his work. and know his show is easily worth $45 for me.

  9. This is a pretty overblown rendering of “Black Francis is offering a discount to younger fans”. If the “members” tickets were lower, I’d be inclined to believe he’s jacking up prices for aging hipsters, but as it seems on par with the average ticket at the venue, it’s more likely he’s just cutting “the kids” a break.

    Get over it, dudes. We’re old. We don’t need to go to shows like this anymore, anyway.

  10. Darren Critz

    Hi All, I’m the producer of music events at Symphony Space and just stumbled upon this posting.

    Our ticket price for the music shows we present in our upstairs space is the same for all of our shows: $45 for the general public; $38 for members; and $15 for those under 30. The differences in the ticket prices for various shows on our website the author of this post accounts for can be based upon many factors; whether or not the show is in our large or small space, the genre being presented (we present music, theatre, dance, film, kids programs, literature events, etc.), and also whether or not an outside producer is renting our space (outside producers are free to set their own ticket prices, and those events are mixed in with our own on our website). Though the amount we’re charging may seem high, we’re a non-profit arts center, and ticket pricing comes down to the cost of producing a show with a set number of seats, and ensuring that we are able to pay our technicians, house, box office, security staff and artists fair wages.

    I’m actually surprised to see the under 30 $15 ticket creating such controversy. In the past we offered rush $15 tickets to only a handful of shows and they were available ONLY to students. We expanded the under 30 $15 ticket for EVERY show a couple of years ago in recognition of the fact that student loans, everyday life and the high cost of living in NYC deprives many post high school/college individuals the ability to attend cultural events. You do have to choose a cutoff point somewhere, and 30 seemed a reasonable place to do so.

    All that said, as an organization we really haven’t set out to alienate anyone, despite what a few folks above might be thinking :) and I’m happy to extend a code for $30 tickets for those of you over 30 for whom our price remains a barrier. The code is BLACK15 (must use all caps) and it can be used on our website (, over the phone (212.864.5400) or at the door (Broadway and 95th Street) There are additional fees if you purchase your ticket online or over the phone, but if you come on Friday and use the code at the box office, it’ll be the face value — no additional fees. It’ll be a great show and I hope you’ll join us.

  11. Craig Pearson

    I just saw Frank Black May 7th in Pensacola. Run, do not walk to see him. It was an all electric solo show here. He played for well over two hours straight, and covered a wide range of solo and Pixies material.

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