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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Bloodbath? The Concert Industry Had It Coming

Posted By on Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 5:18 PM

click to enlarge Was seeing Petty's grin worth the price? Tell us in the comments section
  • Was seeing Petty's grin worth the price? Tell us in the comments section

Summer 2010 is turning out to be a bloodbath for the concert industry. As Billboard reports:

Individual shows, legs of tours, or entire tours have been canceled or postponed by such artists as U2 (due to Bono's back surgery), Christina Aguilera, Lilith Fair, Limp Bizkit, the Eagles, Country Throwdown, Rihanna, John Mayer, Bamboozle, and the Go-Go's. Other tours by what were considered hot acts are experiencing slumping sales, among them Jonas Brothers and Kings Of Leon, according to sources.

U2 was of course set to play tonight in Oakland before the band's tour stop was postponed until 2011. (Maybe that's why this seems like a relatively quiet week in terms of Bay Area live music.)

The latest issue of Rolling Stone (RS 1107) paints the issue thus: "After years of increases in concert ticket prices, fans in a shaky economy have finally rebelled by staying home."

Which pretty much says it all. Ticket prices have just gotten too expensive. Tickets for Tom Petty's show in Oakland on June 5 began -- began -- at around $70. And that was for a nosebleed seat. (Admittedly, the place was packed and the show was pretty great.) But $70 -- or $92 to see Lady Gaga, or the $155 that Rolling Stone claims a Christina Aguilera ticket costs -- is just too damn much money for an experience that pretty much exists only in your memory and your camera after it's over.

So why is anyone surprised that the live music industry is finally hurting?

click to enlarge livenation.jpg

(Now when you go to the Live Nation site, the first thing you see is the above ad -- a sign that maybe Live Nation/Ticketmaster -- a/k/a the Death Star -- might be getting the message.)

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Ian S. Port

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