Whether it's Justin Bieber or the Rolling Stones that fans want to see in concert, they'll likely be paying dearly.

"At first, we only spent $350. Then, the next time, we spent $450," 16-year-old Bieber fan Cara Corbett and her best friend Tyra Bright told CBC News.

"This year, it was like $650 and I was like 'I'm done ... I'm not spending any more.'"

Back in the 1970s, a ticket to a Rolling Stones concert in Toronto cost around $8. Tickets for the band's upcoming Toronto stops on its 50th annversary tour start at $166.50, with the priciest spots listed for upwards of $600 a seat.

One explanation is that established acts like the Stones or Fleetwood Mac simply weren't as popular or considered iconic in decades past — and couldn't command as high a premium. There are acts that now rely on touring as their main source of revenue. 

Another problem is that many groups — from sponsors to resellers and brokers — get access to tickets before the general public.

However, according to ticket sales giant Ticketmaster, a major factor is the massive and elaborate shows that make up today's typical concert experience.

"[In the past, there were no] massive video screens and production elements," said Ticketmaster Canada executive Patti-Anne Tarlton. "Whereas you look at today: [they're] massive, massive live entertainment spectacles, really."

Aaron Saltzman reports.

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Concerts of the past, which had much lower ticket prices, were not as elaborate as today's spectacles, according to Ticketmaster Canada executive Patti-Anne Tarlton. (CBC)