Take Your Whiskey Home

From today’s Atlanta Urinal-Constipation (get an anonymous login from Bugmenot):

Much of the rest of the summer tour business is as depressing as a Metallica therapy session.

“It’s bad — probably the worst I’ve seen in 15 years,” said veteran Atlanta producer Peter Conlon, who produces Music Midtown and promotes many of the Chastain Park shows.

According to Pollstar, the trade journal that tracks concerts, concert attendance was down about 2 percent through June 2004 compared with 2003.

It’s particularly bad at amphitheaters — down a whopping 35 percent. That’s sometimes attributed to ticket prices increasing so much that only well-off boomers can afford them, and that’s a crowd that doesn’t want to sit outdoors battling heat and bugs.


”People aren’t buying tickets,” said Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of Pollstar. ”For whatever reason, ticket sales dried up around the middle of April — it was widespread across the industry.”

Remember the $90 Van Halen tickets I mentioned last week? That show’s been on sale since Saturday, and they haven’t even sold out the lowest level of Atlanta’s Philips Arena as of today. This is in a town where the same band–now coming off a six-year no-concert drought–has sold out almost every show they’ve ever played (an exception was the Gary Cherone tour in ’98).

Bad business to price yourselves out of the market, guys. Ain’t nobody down here going to pay $90 each plus TicketBastard fees for the rest of those seats.


24 Responses to “Take Your Whiskey Home”

  1. Mike M Says:

    Oddly enough, Metallica was the last band I saw in concert…about 6 years ago. The sad part is that even though the amphitheater venue near me recently ran a promotion for any July ticket for $20, there still wasn’t anything I wanted to see.

    But I’m sure this is all because of online music sharing.

  2. William Young Says:

    Sadly, the only places worth seeing shows any more are bars and nightclubs featuring small or up-and-coming acts. Or, not sadly, since I don’t mind not sitting with X-thousand other people to be deafened.

    And WTF with Van Halen? If you didn’t see them in the 80s, you didn’t see them and shouldn’t bother. Same with any other decade-relevant band (unless, of course, said band is playing a bar or nightclub for a $10 cover at the door).

  3. syn Says:

    Good, about time people stopped giving away all their hard-earned dollars to producers and entertainers who end up living the life of luxury for no apparent reason other than industry perpetuated marketing schemes. Especially those producers and entertainers who are hired to market anti-American hatred.

    I mean paying $300 for a two hour Madonna show in which she is freely allowed to bash America for all its ‘decadence and materialism’? The entertainment industry is sick to the core.

    I hope this means ‘the age of the celebrity” has ended because, quite frankly, totalitarian Fascism sucks.

  4. rick Says:

    fuck ’em. I really feel sorry for all those bands having to cancel concerts because they won’t be grossing over a million bucks per show. give me a bar with a good band any day. we’ve got a little amphitheater just down the road from my house(mablehouseamphitheater.com) in Austell, GA where you can bring your own food and libations and for a reasonable cash outlay hear some pretty good jazz and country music. and if you buy the tickets there you don’t have to bend over to pay ticketmaster.

  5. Will Collier Says:

    I live about five miles from the Mableton Ampetheatre, Rick. Looks like they’ve been improving their lineups year to year, I’m looking forward to seeing who they book in the future (that’d be one hell of a better drive than going down to Lakewood).

  6. Strider Says:

    Clearly the drop in concert ticket sales is attributable to the prevalence of illegal downloading on the Internet, and no other reason. They should sue Napster again.

  7. LCB Says:

    Rush is one of my favorite bands, but I choked at the idea of paying $60 to see their tour this summer. Besides, seeing the Rush In Rio DVD is better in some ways…don’t have to worry about being barfed on by the crowd.

  8. RPD Says:

    This reminds me of something else I was thinking. This past weekend I caught some of the imbecile marathon on MTV (Nick & Jessica, Ashlee Simpson, Osbournes). I can’t help but note that these people spend the bulk of their time in liesure. Sure there’s the odd concert or video shoot, but they spend the bulk of their time amusing themselves, expensively. So, when I see $90 concert tickets, I’m just not feeling much sympathy.

  9. Robert Says:

    Bush lied! Bands deprived!

  10. pete Says:

    Maybe the money wouldn’t be soooo hard to shell out if the entertainment didn’t suck. What happened to the superband,the all day concert with all your favorites. Now we have nick and jessica? god what has music come to. No one even plays an instrument anymore.

  11. Garrett Says:

    I remember when I was a kid, tickets for just about any tour that came to town could be had for around $16-$17 plus the service fees, which would bring it to $19 or $20. That’s for anybody; Rush, VH, Metallica, Triumph etc. Anyone who was big in the 80’s. Back in the day (can’t believe I just typed that) they fleeced you in more subtle ways, like charging you $27.50 for a concert shirt. 🙂

    So am I supposed to believe that VH is now 450% better than they used to be, or that the cost of producing the tour is now 450% more expensive?

    I can’t remember the last ‘big’ show I went to see, precisely because ticket prices are so retarded. It was probably to see Garth Brooks and I didn’t buy the ticket to that one, it was a gift. And if I remember correctly, those tickets were only around $35, for floor seats. Not too unreasonable.

    I do what it seems many here do as well; go to local bars and small clubs and see bands no one has heard of that out-play and out-perform most of what passes for talent at the ‘big’ shows.

  12. Glendon Says:

    The problem with low ticket sales is that the acts blow. Not to mention this shit, which is destroying the music buisiness numerous acts at a time. Nobody wants to see Clay Aiken. Please. Ahh but acts like The Shins will walk the plank. I just don’t get it.

  13. rick Says:

    whereabouts you live Will? my, my we could be neighbors. might have to get together for a drink sometime. maybe we could get the Corvids to play there.

  14. Vince Says:

    I love the outdoor venues like Chastain Park; I don

  15. eh Says:

    Saw VH in their heyday…they sucked.Only way you could tell what they hell they were playing was when you could recognize a solo amidst the wall of noise.Why pay 90 bucks to see those losers when you can catch a blues festival for about the same price and see 15 0r 20 great bands.Especially when most of those blues guitarists could blow little Eddie off the stage.

  16. Will Collier Says:

    Rick, I’m in Smyrna, drop me a line sometime. I’m up for the Corvids any time they make it into town (if ever).

    Chastain is still a great, unique venue, for the right acts. Harry Connick, Lyle Lovett, Keb’ Mo’ are all naturals there.

  17. Stephen Says:

    Maybe it’s the kids downloading concerts onto their pc’s.

  18. William Young Says:

    Now, I wasn’t really dissing Will Collier and his desire to see Van Halen (dissing?). That said, I decided to check out the tour info for one of my favorite 80s bands, The Cure (new album!), and found that for a ticket to sit ON THE LAWN for their current tour, it would cost $80.

    Now, I saw these guys in ’85 or ’87 for about $17, and as much as I love them for what they were then, I’m not paying $80 to sit on the grass.

    Ain’t gonna happen.

    I’m guessing they’ll sell about ZERO tickets in the $295 GOLD section. It’s The Cure. What, they think they’re fans became rich? Why do they think we listened to their music for in the first place? Because they thought we’d be Rulers of the Universe?


  19. G.GIlbertson Says:

    Seen one breast… Seen em all?

  20. Sparky Says:

    Sure, the shows are expensive. But, that’s not why it’s been several years since I’ve been to a big show. Nope, you can chalk that up to the fact that most popular bands these days just suck.

  21. coastygirl Says:

    Last summer my brother & his GF went to some big to-do at the Gorge Amphitheatre. 110 degrees, you can’t bring containers in, and FIVE dollars for a 20 oz. bottled water. That, and one of the entertainers made the crowd wait an hour in the heat because they had to have a helicopter tour of the area. Crap like this is why people aren’t buying. Can you say MOO?

  22. Bill Peschel Says:

    Jimmy Buffett’s about the only major artist I’d spend money to see these days, because he still puts on a great show (and the audience is about as fun).

    And don’t forget that on top of the ticket prices is TicketMonster’s surcharge and the parking surcharge on top of that. For the $80 bucks I would have to pay to see any of these acts, I could buy at least six DVDs of great movies to watch at home (or 2 seasons worth of Futurama). Far better value.

  23. LCB Says:

    OK, I’m dating myself here, but the first concert I went to was Rush, Starcastle, and Boston. Paid someting like $6.50 for a ticket. Can anybody beat that?

  24. michael dennis Says:

    I paid $4 to see REM. That included admission to the Del Mar Fair.

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