Caity Baser has announced a UK and Ireland headline tour for this spring, and vowed to keep ticket prices down so that the shows are “affordable and accessible to all”.
The Southampton-born pop artist, who was named as one of Rolling Stone UK’s ones to watch for 2023, is set to hit the road in April for gigs in Brighton, Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds and other locations throughout that month.
Baser will wrap up the stint with her biggest concert to date, which is due to take place at the 2,300-capacity O2 Kentish Town Forum in London.
Speaking to Rolling Stone UK, the musician explained the reasoning behind her decision to tackle rising ticket prices – an issue that particularly impacts her predominantly young fan base against a backdrop of the ongoing cost of living crisis.
“It’s important to me because growing up, wanting to go to a gig or a festival was something that wasn’t that easy for me,” Baser told Rolling Stone UK.
“I’d have to work really hard or I’d have to save a while, or it would have to be like an occasion like Christmas or birthdays or something, where I’d have to ask my parents for the money to go to one. And now that I am on the actual stage, I don’t want that to be the case for people that want to come to my shows.”
She continued: “It was hard for me, I don’t want it to be hard for [my fans]. The only thing I really care about is having them there with me.
“And also the world is a mess right now, and times are hard for all of us. I don’t want going to a gig to be another problem to add to the list, do you know what I mean? Anyone can go – all your friends can go with you. You can have fun and not have to worry about it.”
Baser’s initiative comes as consumers continue to feel the pinch. Late last year, findings from a YouGov poll revealed that just over half of Britons have been priced out of live music events in recent years.
Baser told Rolling Stone UK that the tickets will be sold at a “similar” price to her previous gigs.
“The most expensive one I had was I think £16,” she said. “And I think even when I found that out I was like, ‘Hmm’. But now it’s a whole tour – it’s bigger shows, bigger venues, lots of travelling – I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the world is a mess, and there’s so many problems.
“I don’t think it will ever change for me, the importance of keeping everyone close to me and making them feel like they can all come.”
Baser added: “People find me quite relatable, and they feel close to me. So why would I throw all that away and make a silly decision? Making it difficult for people to come to my shows just doesn’t make sense. And the main thing that matters to me is just having everyone there, and seeing all their lovely faces. So I’ll be happy.”
Baser went on to say that exposure alone can more important than turning a profit for an artist at her level, and that she plans to continue with the low ticketing initiative.
“It means in the future when I do more shows, people will be like, ‘Oh yeah, she was great!’ because more people could go,” she explained. “I’ll just keep going with that – people can just come and have the best time.”
Does she think other emerging artists will follow suit?
“I hope so, because people don’t really have a say in the ticket price I guess,” Baser said. “I remember growing up and wanting to go to gigs, and just being like, ‘Why on Earth is it that much money? Why can’t I let you know that I can’t do that?'”
The 20-year-old artist told Rolling Stone UK that she currently sees herself as “a voice” for younger people who have been priced out of attending live shows.
“I hope everyone just listens and we create a little movement,” Baser continued. “Then it means people that are bigger than us can reinforce it, and then it continues to just be an easy thing that people can go to.”
Last year saw Tom Grennan and Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott announce plans to keep their tour tickets on the affordable side. But could more be done by other similarly-sized musicians?
“Yes. Yes, I think so,” Baser responded. “When I hear about my friends that have waited for hours and hours to get tickets for someone, and then they get there and tickets are like £200-plus. It’s ridiculous – especially when the majority of the artist’s fan base is a demographic of 20-year-olds.
“[The money] isn’t something that we can just throw away, no matter how much you want to. And it can make people really sad because you can’t even see the person you want to go see. I don’t want that, and everyone should just listen to the people that got you to where you are.”
She continued: “Music is something that heals everybody, and makes people forget. I remember having awful weeks and going to a gig at the end of the month, and it’s the only thing I’d look forward to. And then it would give me enough serotonin to get through to the next month.
“It’s surprising how amazing going to a gig feels – [you’re] with people you don’t know, but you all feel connected somehow. It’s just an amazing feeling, and I don’t want to take that away from people – especially [now]. Never.”
Baser is scheduled to release her new EP Thanks For Nothing, See You Never on February 17 (pre-order here), and is looking ahead to a jam-packed 2023.
“The reaction’s been amazing, it’s everything I could’ve hoped for,” she told Rolling Stone UK. “I literally don’t sleep – I’m just excited all the time. And now I can’t wait just to be onstage with everyone.”
Tickets for Caity Baser’s 2023 UK and Ireland tour dates go on general sale at 10am GMT this Friday (January 13) – you’ll be able to buy yours here. See the full itinerary below.
7 – Komedia, Brighton
8 – SWX, Bristol
10 – O2 Institute2, Birmingham
11 – Academy 2, Manchester
13 – SWG3 Studio Warehouse, Glasgow
14 – Northumbria Uni, Newcastle
16 – Green Room, Dublin
17 – Stylus, Leeds
19 – Engine Rooms, Southampton
20 – O2 Kentish Town Forum, London
The Music Venue Trust (MVT) responded to the aforementioned YouGov poll by issuing a statement in which it explained that there are still alternative ways to catch shows in smaller, local grassroots venues across the country.
“The average price of admission is £10.90 a ticket, but there’s almost certainly one near you this week for less than a tenner,” the MVT wrote. “They are performed by fantastically talented musicians, just as good as any you’ll see on a huge stage.”
Additionally, YouGov’s report cited the controversial dynamic pricing model that sees ticket prices fluctuate with demand.