As far as collectible items go, concert posters can be some of the most fun and visually striking to look at and display. There’s nothing quite like the bold and brilliant designs of a classic psychedelic rock posters of the 1960s. On top of the stunning visuals, these posters come loaded with nostalgia and atmosphere from the music and movements they represent.
Concert posters don’t just carry aesthetic and personal value. Some can be worth several hundred or thousands of dollars! Some of the most valuable concert posters ever sold include:
- $25,200 for an autographed 1959 poster for Johnny Cash performing at the Division Street Corral
- $38,821 for a 1968 poster for The Who performing at the Town Hall in Wellington, New Zealand
- $42,515 for a 1962 poster for The Beatles performing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
- $24,846 for another 1962 poster for The Beatles performing at the Shrewsbury Music Hall
- $21,438 for a 1955 poster of Elvis Presley
There is a wide array of factors that can influence a concert poster’s potential sale value. Some key things to consider are:
- The artist
This is one of the most important and most obvious factors contributing to a concert poster’s value as a collectible. Highly popular or respected musicians will be more desirable than little-known bands. For example, a poster for The Grateful Dead will probably attract a higher price than a little-knowngarage band, even if it’s of a similar design and from a similar time period.
- Historical significance
This is tied to the notoriety of the artist, in a way. Concert posters for very early work of a famous musician before they got famous, concerts that were historically important, or final performances before a musician passed can have special value.
- The design
The visual appearance of a poster design is also important. After all, they are a visual medium. Posters with beautiful or original designs will often be more valuable than drab or run-of-the mill ones.
- Rarity of the edition
It should come as no surprise that if there are thousands and thousands of copies of a poster, it would probably be worth less than one from a limited edition of 100 prints. Distinctive features such as an autograph from the musician can increase the poster’s rarity and value.
- Poster condition
In most cases, the better the physical condition, the more valuable the poster will be. But if you find a poster that’s been a little worn out, don’t dismiss it right away. Sometimes a little weathering adds to the authenticity of the poster, as if to indicate that it was really on display outside of the concert venue the day it happened.
- Printing style
Silkscreen prints are often more coveted than lithographs or other printing techniques. However, there are many impressive and valuable posters that have been made without silk screening, so it is not an absolute rule.