15 Vintage Concert Posters That Are Worth a Bundle

Concert posters are among the most valuable items of music memorabilia. The rarest change hands for significant sums of money and remain highly sought after among collectors.

Posters can attract high sums for different reasons: In all cases, the artists are among the most iconic in music history, and their items remain valuable. Posters for the first and last concerts are collectible, while those for concerts that never took place fetch even more money.

The following list includes examples of all three, and if you have any of these in your collection, they are highly prized.

1. The Beatles at Shea Stadium: 1965

The Beatles at Shea Stadium 1965
Image Credit: Heritage Auctions.

In April 2020, a poster for The Beatles concert at Shea Stadium in New York set a record. The item sold at auction for a staggering $137,500, making it the most expensive concert poster.

The gig was the subject of a successful film and one of the most unforgettable events of the 1960s. Shea Stadium is right up there with Woodstock as an essential concert of the decade.

2. Hank Williams Sr. in Ohio: 1963

Image Credit: Heritage Auctions.

The Beatles’ proud record stood for just over a year. However, in May 2021, a poster for Hank Williams Sr.’s two shows at the Canton Memorial Auditorium in Ohio set a new benchmark when it sold for a stunning $150,000.

The reason behind the high price is a sad one. Williams died of a heart attack on the way to the 1963 New Year’s Day shows, and the concerts were canceled.

3. The Clash at the Hollywood Palladium: 1982

The Clash at the Hollywood Palladium 1982
Image Credit: Black Market Clash.

The Clash was among the few English punk bands that made an impression in America, and many regular posters are around. Most can be claimed for a few bucks, but this 1982 example is worth several hundred dollars.

It’s unusual because its design resembles that of a cardboard box. “The Clash at the Hollywood Palladium in 1982” will stand out among your collection, but it requires deep pockets to secure.

4. The Grateful Dead, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco: 1966

The Grateful Dead, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco 1966
Image Credit: Chet Helms/Classic Posters.

Due to its elaborate design, this poster is known as the Skeletons and Roses poster. An example sold for $118,750 at auction in 2019. It had everything going for it: It was a stunning piece of artwork, and it featured one of the earliest concerts for the Grateful Dead, which was formed in 1965.

The poster for the shows at the Avalon Ballroom is a beautiful example of music memorabilia. It fits the style of the hippie era, which was just around the corner.

5. Winter Dance Party, Moorhead Armory, Minnesota: 1959

Image Credit: Heritage Auctions.

February 3, 1959, was the day the music died. Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Richie Valens all perished in a plane crash, and the world was robbed of their considerable talents.

On the same day, the three artists were due to appear at the Moorhead Armory in Minnesota as part of their Winter Dance Party Tour. Only one concert poster is believed to have survived, and this set another new record when it sold for $447,000 at auction in November 2022.

6. Original 1969 Woodstock Poster

Image Credit: Classic Posters.

No one who attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival truly understood its significance. If they had, there would have been far more posters in circulation than the handful that turned up for auction.

Woodstock 1969 features a simple design produced by the artist Arnold Skolnik. Original examples in good condition can command about $2,500 at auction.

7. Rolling Stones at the Colston Hall, Bristol: 1964

Image Credit: East Bristol Auctions and Metropress Ltd.

Many replica posters from the Rolling Stones’s early concerts are in circulation. In contrast, relatively few originals have survived.

One exception is a poster from a Stones show in Bristol in 1964 featuring Marty Wilde, The Ronettes, and the Swinging Blue Jeans. The poster was found in a loft and fetched £15,000 when sold at a UK auction in 2019.

8. Led Zeppelin, Boston College Eagle Rock Festival: 1970

Image Credit: LZvidsSR.

When this concert was canceled due to safety concerns before the event, memorabilia shot up in value. Led Zeppelin were the stars of the Boston College Eagle Rock Festival, but the bill also featured The Allman Brothers and Catfish.

One lucky eBay seller closed the deal at an impressive $13,300 for a surviving poster in 2018.

9. Pearl Jam at the Santa Barbara Bowl: 2006

Image Credit: SF Rock Posters & Collectibles.

eBay is a good source of rare concert posters, but the sums involved can often eclipse those made at specialist auction sites. A poster for a Pearl Jam gig featuring Sonic Youth proved to be among the most valuable when it sold for $2,500 in 2012.

The silkscreen poster had rarity value as it wasn’t released to the public, and the eBay example may be the only survivor.

10. Woodstock 1999

Image Credit: LiveAuctioneers.

In contrast to its 1969 predecessor, the 1999 Woodstock Festival didn’t exhibit much peace and love. The weekend descended into riots, and the show became the subject of an infamous documentary.

The 1999 posters attempt to recreate the 1960s vibe, and if you’re looking for one to complete your collection, you can expect to pay several hundred dollars.

11. Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music: 1970

Image Credit: Rock Music Memorabilia.

With the exception of Woodstock, most posters from music festivals are not tremendously valuable. However, they appear in greater numbers and are more likely to be kept as souvenirs.

A poster from the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music goes against the trend, with a recent example selling for £3500. The bill included legends such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Jefferson Airplane.

12. David Bowie at Friars Club, Aylesbury: 1972

Image Credit: Omega Auctions.

David Bowie’s 1972 concert at the Friars Club has great significance. It was the first time the artist performed as Ziggy Stardust, and this gig at a relatively small venue holds a special place in music folklore.

Considering its importance, the £2,600 raised for an original concert poster at auction in 2022 seems a modest sum.

13. Billie Holiday at the Sacramento Auditorium: 1949

Image Credit: Heritage Auctions.

Influential jazz singer Billie Holiday was at the height of her fame when she performed at this concert in Sacramento. It wasn’t an especially notable show, but the poster’s age contributed to its final value.

Very few items from 1949 survive, so it wasn’t surprising that the poster sold for $13,750 at auction in 2017.

14. Joy Division at The Factory: 1979

Image Credit: Sonic More Music.

UK indie band Joy Division became icons following the death of lead singer Ian Curtis in 1980. Any original memorabilia has value, but posters from their gig at Manchester’s Factory attract exceptionally high prices.

An Etsy seller recently listed an example for £6,000, while the highest known sale registered at £3,500.

15. The Beatles at Harrogate Royal Hall: 1963

Image Credit: Heritage Posters.

Most original Beatles concerts have value, but some are rarer than most. Harrogate’s Royal Hall is an unlikely venue for top bands, so there is a degree of rarity to any memorabilia that survives from a famous “Fab Four” gig in 1963.

It was the only time that The Beatles played here, and a surviving concert poster from the event sold for £2,800 at auction in 2022.

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