So we know we already stressed how bad this Summer’s touring season is doing. However, with more tours like the Lilith Fair canceling more shows as of late, we cannot help but reiterate: concerts are not doing well this summer! Don’t believe us? Well in a new report from The Associated Press, a few metal artists and promoters chime in on why ticket sales are at such a slump.
Both Ozzy Osbourne and Korn’s Jonathan Davis explain how during a bad economy, people simply aren’t paying extravagant prices for shows. Ozzy calls it “crazy,” and blames the cost of tickets. When it was announced that there would only be six Ozzfest dates this year, we thought it was a little silly, but now it’s looking like they hedged their bets and will come out winners. Davis says that the cancellations are a “sign of the times” with the recession forcing people to cut back on their spending, specifically what concerts they attend.
However, the article does feature a rebuttal from Pollstar editor in chief Gary Bongiovanni, who claims that certain tour cancellations shouldn’t get people too worried. “I mean the Limp Bizkit tour was never one that really should’ve been booked in the first place. It’s hard to say that business is bad because Limp Bizkit couldn’t sell tickets. I’m sorry, I don’t buy that,” Bongiovanni says. Sure, it’s no shocker that Bizkit didn’t sell tickets through the roof, and some tours are able to attract audiences who would attend other tours if they had not been canceled (Lady Gaga might want to thank Christina Aguilera in that regards). But as Warped Tour/Mayhem Fest creator Kevin Lyman explains, everyone is a bit worried. Usually a guaranteed seller, even the Warped Tour has seen a significant decrease in attendance.
To hear Kevin Lyman’s concerns is probably the most interesting and eye opening part of the article. While he mentions how the cluster of tours aren’t helping resolve the issue, Lyman also touches upon another issue that is affecting concert attendance: extreme prices on food and beer inside the venues. As promoters attempt to try luring in fans with discount tickets and no service fee specials, they become reliant on vendor sales. But as Lyman points out, fans are willing to find ways around purchasing a $7 beer. “I’ve been saying it for a year now: We are going to train the public to wait for the discount. Go out for a fair price at the beginning and people will grow into it. But now we’ve got a lot of damage to fix in this business.”
So in short, the message remains the same: ticket sales are at a high low this summer. But as Lyman highlights, it’s not just the ticket prices that are driving fans away. With more fans being more selective of which shows to go out and see, the industry needs to do a lot more than provide special discounts on tickets to get themselves out of this slump.