Elevation Worship Tickets Cost Up To $1,000 A Seat At L.A. Event

By Dale Chamberlain
elevation worship
On October 25, Elevation Worship begins an eight-city arena tour on the U.S. West Coast. (Photo via Pinterest)

Elevation Church’s worship group, named Elevation Worship, is going on a West Coast tour, which includes stops in San Diego, Las Vegas, Oakland, Sacramento, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Called “Elevation Nights,” the tour will feature appearances from Elevation Church senior pastor Steven Furtick

“It’s gonna be me, Holly, Elevation Worship…Unbelievable, these nights,” Furtick said as he stood alongside his wife, Holly Furtick, in a promotional video. 

Many have expressed excitement that Elevation Worship, an award-winning musical collective whose songs are used in church worship services around the nation every weekend, is coming to a city near them. 

However, after attempting to purchase tickets, some have been left reeling from sticker shock.

Elevation Worship Ticket Prices

While fans can find tickets for as low as $11.43 a seat in a section toward the back of the Oakland Arena and $20 a seat for the very back row of the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, if worshippers want a front row seat to see Elevation Worship at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on November 3, they should expect to pay $1,080.25 a seat plus booking fees—which bring the total to $1,240.15 for one seat. Parking is an additional $45 to $60.  

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For the Kia Forum concert, the cheapest seat still available in the floor section is $84.75, and some other seats one section up are available for between $60 to $70. Seats on the back row of the uppermost terrace cost $44.75. 

Given the fact that the concerts will essentially take the form of a worship service, with praise songs accompanied by a sermon, some are questioning why many of the tickets are so expensive. 

While critics have been quick to cite high ticket prices as evidence of Furtick and Elevation Church taking advantage of an opportunity to line their pockets, it is notable that the cost of concert tickets has soared across the board in recent years. In fact, the average concert ticket has more than tripled in price since the middle of the 1990s. 

In a segment of Last Week Tonight aired earlier this year, John Oliver sought to explain this trend and how companies like Ticketmaster, which are facilitating ticket sales for these Elevation Worship events, may be to blame. 

“It is no secret Ticketmaster is horrible,” Oliver said. “But exactly how it is horrible is genuinely interesting.” 

In addition to accusations that Ticketmaster coerces artists into using its services through its merger with Live Nation, an events promoter with operational control over many of the nation’s top venues, Oliver pointed out that a vast majority of concert tickets are often held back from the general public. They are instead sold to ticket brokers, who resell them at an enormous markup, often on sites like Ticketmaster. 

In some cases, tickets can appear on Ticketmaster at a markup of 1,000%. In those cases, the fact that an artist set the price of tickets at or below market value has little to no bearing on the final cost to concertgoers. 

While Ticketmaster has denied accusations that it puts pressure on artists to use its services and has said that it spends considerable resources to “weed out bad behavior” by ticket brokers and others, the fact remains that the company profits greatly from fees negotiated with the venue, often owned or operated by its own Live Nation, and then profits a second time when ticket brokers resell tickets on their site at a markup. 

On the other hand, Elevation Worship, which refers to itself on its website as a ministry of Elevation Church, does generate significant revenue through views and listens on YouTube and Spotify, the sale of albums and merchandise, and, presumably, concert ticket sales. 

Furtick, who in addition to his pastorate at Elevation Church is the author of multiple books and a principal songwriter for the worship band that has sold over 2.5 million albums in the United States, has a net worth of approximately $50-60 million, according to some estimates.

Elevation Church is currently in good standing with their accreditation from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), an American financial standards association representing Evangelical Christian organizations and churches. 

ChurchLeaders has reached out to Elevation Church for comment and will update this article in the event of their response. 

This article originally appeared at ChurchLeaders.com.

Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.

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22 thoughts on “Elevation Worship Tickets Cost Up To $1,000 A Seat At L.A. Event”

  1. On top of the basic travel, it’s a mix of things that are driving up the costs: tour managers, agents/lawyers (to negotiate contracts for each vendor and venue), insurance premiums, event marketing and photography, wardrobe/stylists, assistants, local promoters, venue rental, venue setup/breakdown (stage, lighting, etc). Then looking at brokers like Ticketmaster almost isn’t fair – they are known for charging SIGNIFICANT premiums. When I went to see Elton John, I paid nearly 40% less than my neighbor who went through Ticketmaster (hint: presale tickets are WELL worth it).
    We often look at tour revenue and sales, but RARELY do we see tour COSTS. My sorority sister used to be a backup singer for a major popstar, and while this star’s tour revenue was 9 figures, the star paid for EVERYTHING for EVERYBODY (everything I listed above), making the actual profit WAY less. And we all know of stars who sell millions of albums (or get lots of streams) who – after paying EVERYONE listed above – ended up with average take home pay.

    I don’t follow Elevation, but I am taking note of how they seems to be in good standing with ECFA. Let’s let them be transparent about what this costs and where the money is going.

    And say what you want about Joyce Meyer, but when I attended her conference – it was 3 days of speakers and Christian artists at a St Louis arena – and my ticket was $50. She did what she had to do (presumably putting in her own money) to keep it affordable.

    1. No, these types of conference are not subsidized out of Meyer’s own pockets. They’re part of a massive commercial enterprise that brings in over $100 million annually tax free. None of that money comes out of Meyer’s own bank account — any shortfall in income vs expenses is made up from donations and merchandize sales at the event and elsewhere.

      Don’t kid yourself, the low ticket prices are not done out of kindness. They know exactly what they’re doing, and Meyers makes money from doing them, she’s certainly not subsidizing.

      1. If JM’s using what she brings in to make her conferences more affordable versus pocketing it and charging $1000, I think that’s worth noting. (For transparency: since my post, I learned that JM ONLY charges for the big annual national conference; her local conferences are free. Again, worth noting)

        My point of view: Ministries cost money to run. Concerts cost money to put on. Even Christian films cost money (how much did “Fireproof” make and where did the money go?). We as Christians have to think about what we want: on one end, we want Christian entertainment (ministry events, books, shows, concerts, movies, etc) we can enjoy, but get mad if it costs us money or earns the entertainers any money. Do we expect ministries and Christian artists to do all of this – which can be full-time – for free? Is that fair? Food for thought.

    2. I actually went to see Joyce Meyer in Indianapolis for a 2 day event and it was free to all! I paid nothing and took my daughter with me. It was amazing. She is using her gifts that God has given her to love on millions of people and lovingly show them the way to God and ways to live for Him. She does many of these events for free so anyone can come and is doing great things in the world for the Lord. I believe that she lives very, very well and shares much with her family, that included caring for her parents.
      As far as Furtick and Elevation, I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. I don’t see him any different than Joel Osteen, MacArthur or Copeland.

  2. This isn’t Christian musicians. This is just musicians playing songs and using Bible verses for the spiritual dead people thinking they are being uplifted. Award winning and $1200.00 seats. American evangelical Christianity is sadly circling the drain. In Africa and India and China and the ME our brothers and sisters die defending Christ. American Christians get awards for singing and buy McMansions when the bilked enough from the sheep err actually lemmings. Just the stories Julie writes shows American evangelical Christianity for the most part is about confusion and sex and adultery and bullying. Again these vipers are just doing what snakes do. It’s the sheep err lemmings that keep them fully funded. Stop supporting these things. Very sad.

  3. Kathryn E Milburn

    I checked all the arenas and the highest priced tickets I could find were $405. Are you sure of your facts ?

    1. Kathryn –

      This makes my point about broker fees. That could likely be the difference – where the person purchases from.

  4. That’s not Biblical Christianity! We’re in the perilous times of 2 Tim 3!
    James 4:4
    “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

  5. 1 John 2:15-17
    15   Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    16   For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
    17   And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

    1. Dennis, I wonder if the powerful aphorisms you quote from John, had a meaning at the time of John being authored, that is no longer much accessible to us in our current human circumstance. There seems to me, for example, to be a tension between how the eternal and temporal are spoken of here in John, and how they are spoken of in the Psalms. Again a tension, between here and Genesis, where God is earlier seen as the creator of all “things”. Indeed, in the entire Judaic foundation to Christianity, it seems that cleaving to G_d does not involve an abnegation of things of the “world”; rather we cleave to God in order to mediate the bringing about of things in the world. I wonder if, in a transition from the Judaic to Christianity, John and others are changing the Judaic understanding, in ways that can be fairly questioned and contested. I wonder if John risks loss of Judaic truth as Christian truth is crafted.

      1. Great question. I see this 1John passage as an extension of the Genesis account of the fall of man in relation to God. The object of temptation in Genesis is described as “pleasing to the eye” (lust). The implication of eating the fruit is mankind’s presumption towards God (pride), which is not a relationship that God tolerates indefinitely, necessitating death. Thus, the temporal is understood in connection to man’s insubordinate relationship to God.

        All this sets the stage for the Christian understanding of the eternal kingdom of God. The proper, ordered relationship between God and man is reestablished, with Jesus as Lord and creation submitted to him. In this sense, not being of the world (temporal) is not a sort of asceticism but an attitudinal rejection of the values of a world not subjected to Christ’s agenda. More succinctly, it’s replacing a natural man-centered world view with a Christ centered one. Of course, the major point of contention between Christian and most Jews is the divinity of Jesus, which shapes how each interprets the OT.

        1. Loren. I think that the core and crucial matter is sentience, or being biologically alive. We then sense that we arise from something infinitely greater than ourselves, and will return to that same something. While alive we do what we find ourselves able to do; where meaning-making is central to what we can and do do. Part of that meaning making leans into biology and knowledge and temporality, and that takes us into the realm of flesh and world. We also have capacity for transcedence and/or divination, and that capacity we may fulcrum in ideas of G_d/God, and operationalise across the mechanism or resource of the Word. We might there sustain a balance keeping both in play in a healthy way, or we might instead give over exclusively to one or the other. Whatever the case, when our biological living ends, so does all of that work-of-life; and our being is once more subsumed in the greater truth.
          The significance of Biblical figures such as John and Jesus, has to be ascertained across that matrix of birth and living and dying, and the greater encompassing truth. Where we never transcend the broth of temporality and the eternal, but rather become and die across its swirling mystery.

  6. The Apostate church is truly up and running and the world might charge a lot for tickets but since when does the church not that these are a Christian band or futric a Christian pastor with his heretical blasphemous false teachings welcome to end times He is coming soon

    1. “It’s gonna be me, Holly, Elevation Worship…Unbelievable, these nights,” – first and probably least important, this is bad grammar. One should list themselves last. But maybe Furtick feels that he is the draw?

  7. Maybe a better comparison would be other concert ticket prices at the same venues. Perhaps some of those venues are always very expensive.
    The point is well made about the expenses for the artists and their associated crew. There really are a lot of costs and people required for a touring group. I whole semi truck (or more than one) full of equipment is common.

    – Greg

  8. Both Steve Furtick and Joyce Meyer are clearly false teachers from the Word of Faith movement, and I wouldn’t go to their functions even for free! People that really know the Word of God and have “True Knowledge of Jesus Christ” to use the words of the apostle Paul, would never sit under the Heresy and “Doctrines of Demons” that is spouted out of the mouths of the afore-mentioned People and others like them. Biblical illiteracy is killing the Christian witness of the Church today. The Great Falling Away (Apostasy) has been going on for quite some time now, and will only get worse as People continue to be lazy, indifferent, and apathetic when it comes to the Word and the things of God!

  9. I generally appreciate the careful reporting here at the Roys Report, but I found this article highly misleading. The headline may be technically accurate (i.e., tickets through merchants such as Ticketmaster may indeed be upwards of $1000). However, the language strongly implies Elevation is voluntarily pricing them at this level. Only deep into the article – well after the clicks have been generated – do we find an exploration of the complexities of the ticket industry. This issue is not specific to Elevation. Framing the headline and introductory section of the article as if exorbitant ticket prices are an Elevation-specific phenomenon grossly misleads readers. I recently purchased tickets for a widely respected Christian artist who has a reputation for integrity and living within their modest means – anything but fleecing the flock. And I paid almost as much in ticket service fees as I did for the base price of the tickets themselves. Moreover I was lucky to get tickets the moment they first went on sale – currently, prices for those “$50” tickets are ranging from 2-10x the original price on the ticket broker sites.

    Is it possible Elevation/Furtick are fleecing the flock in an outrageous cash grab here? I suppose… but that would need to be proven through careful investigative reporting, rather than implied through click-bait headline framing.

    Wouldn’t something like “Ticket Industry Monopolies Make it Hard for Christian Artists to Keep Concerts Affordable for Audiences” be a more appropriate headline?

  10. Any ‘pastor’ who has a net worth of $50-60m is not a pastor; he is in another business. “Foxes have holes, and birds have nest, but the Son of Man hath no where to lay his head.” The totality of Furtick’s well documented fame and lifestyle are in complete misalignment with the Gospel.

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