There’s no doubt that vintage concert posters are where the money is at. Old boxing style and psychedelic concert posters certainly bring in the highest dollar amount at auction. However, this doesn’t mean that collectors should overlook more modern concert posters. So what constitutes a modern concert poster? How much are they worth? Will they be worth more in the future? Let’s take a look.
What’s a Modern Concert Poster?
For sake of argument, let’s say that modern concert posters are everything that came after the silkscreen movement, which was put into motion by Frank Kozik in the 1980s. During the modern era of concert posters, the purpose for which concert posters are printed has shifted. In the past, concert posters were advertisements. Today, concert posters are more often designed as merchandise and music memorabilia. Though in many cities posters and flyers still line telephone poles to advertise concerts, these are usually mass-produced digitally created flyers rather than art prints. People don’t usually collect these.
Instead, collectors often purchase a poster at a show. Many wait in long lines to procure a limited edition print. Poster artists often create a limited number of posters to be sold as merchandise. The limited quantity, the artist who designs the poster, and the band featured are often what drive the poster’s value. If you look at the bottom corner of most modern concert posters, you’ll generally see one number listed over another number. The first number represents which copy it is, and the bottom is the total amount that was printed. For example, looking at a poster on my wall right now, I can see that it is number 136/140. The opposite corner often features the artist’s signature.
How Valuable Are Modern Posters?
Well, it depends. If it’s a print by someone like Frank Kozik, Emek, or Chuck Sperry, to name a few of the most prominent modern poster artists, it could be worth hundreds of dollars. Occasionally, even a couple thousand, depending on the band and quantity printed. Modern concert posters designed by lesser-known artists may not be as immediately valuable but are still worth collecting. My advice? Collect any posters you can from your favorite bands, store them safely, and wait to see how their value increases over time! You might be surprised, and you’ll have your own piece of music history in the meantime.
There is also the question of condition. Often, it’s much easier to find modern posters in pristine condition. This is due to the fact that they aren’t posted outside in conditions that would damage them. Vintage concert posters were subject to wear and tear based on the fact that they were used as advertisements. This issue doesn’t arise with modern merch posters. Thus, there is less of a need for third-party certification and grading at the moment. However, CGC does accept submissions of modern posters from a few series: Bill Graham Presents, New Fillmore, and Moonalice. If you’re sitting on posters from any of these series, it’s definitely worth it to get them graded!
Overall, the market for collecting modern concert posters is still developing. However, I have no doubt that these beautiful pieces of music history will be of immense monetary value in the near future. Keep collecting!