So Splendour In The Grass hasn’t sold out yet and it’s gotta be the first time in seven or eight years that it’s taken this long. Various sources have been theorising why this is the case, including an enlightening and most amusing hypothesis by Mess + Noise scribe Darren Levin suggesting Megan Washington’s absence from the bill is the likely culprit behind the poor ticket sales. We also posed the rhetorical question in a post earlier this week and commenter Jayponosaurus proffered the following answer that, let’s face it, a lot of us have been thinking:

Despite this year’s festival boasting the most expensive price tag in the history of Splendour In The Grass (minimum ticket cost $401.50), Jayponosaurus is actually incorrect: Splendour is not the most expensive festival in the world. Festival regular, professional engineer and man with presumably too much time on his hands, Pat Duty, set to task to see how this year’s Splendour ticket price compares with others around the world with enlightening results.

Here are his findings after an economic analysis…

After seeing the insanely high price for this years Splendour in the Grass Festival (510AUD), I decided to compare ticket prices of a few festivals around the world to see how it compared.

Splendour comes out on top in the price compartment by quite a margin – over 60USD more expensive than its closest rival (Fuji Rock). But it is not really fair to compare the base prices so I made a comparison against the average wage of each country (actually the PPP value, see notes).

So with Australia’s relatively high average wage (fourth of the OECD member countries) Splendour works out as expensive, but surprisingly, not the most expensive.

Some interesting results below:

Average wage Belgium: 41,923USD
Pukkelpop festival: 210USD (145€(*) (**))
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 5.01

Average wage France 37,269USD
Rock en Seine 223USD (109€ + 45€(***) = 154€)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 5.98

Average wage United States 51,493USD
Coachella 324USD(*) (269USD + 55USD)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 6.29

Average wage United Kingdom 43,607USD
Glastonbury 326USD (200£)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 7.47

Average wage Australia 45,385USD
Splendour in the grass 573USD (510AUD)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 12.62

Average wage Hungary 18,220USD
Sziget 246USD (170€)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 13.50

Average wage Japan 32,816USD
Fuji Rock 512USD (¥39,800 + ¥3,000 = ¥42800)
Ratio festival cost / PPP (x1000) 15.60

*2010 festival
**Includes free transport to festival
***Camping for up to two people

All average wage figures are PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) numbers taken from the OECD member countries report 2010.

All festival ticket prices are 3 day festival with camping unless otherwise noted.

2011 festival unless otherwise noted.

All prices are in USD using the following conversion rates:
1.00 EUR = 1.44905 USD
1.00 AUD = 1.05332 USD
1.00 GBP = 1.63507 USD
1.00 JPY = 0.0119840 USD

Ratio of ticket price to PPP is multiplied by 1000 to make it easy to compare the figures.

Prices include booking fee where available.

I did this quickly when I should have been finishing up my project at work, I take no responsibility for the accuracy of the numbers.

So based on Pat’s analysis it turns out our Japanese neighbours are the hardest hit by festival ticket prices with Fuji Rock coming out as most expensive, all things considered.

But where does this all end? – Assuming the cost of festivals continue to increase each year, at what price do they officially become a luxury item for rich people only? It’s hard to put a value on a good time, but at what point will it hit the ceiling: How much is too much for three days out?