Concerts out there are hurting. Sure no artist is ever going to tell you this, but it is the truth. I get the calls everyday from promoters and agents looking for help selling shows big, medium and small. It’s a real issue out there right now. You may even go to a show and think it’s full, but in reality it’s not. That’s called “papering the house”, meaning giving tickets away in mass amounts just to have people in the room to make it look good, sell a T shirt or a beer. Now many have said sales are rough because “rock is dead”. However I do not believe that to be the case. In my view two words sums up the live music industry right now; OVER SATURATION. Simply put, bands are over touring to make up for the fact that almost nobody is making money on album sales. Used to be you toured to sell the album, which is where the money was made. Now it’s reverse. The album is almost the giveaway to promote a tour. But WAY too many bands are out there WAY too long, some hitting major markets three times in a year. I get they need to make money and don’t fault them, but it makes it less special when you can see a favorite band twice a year VS once every two. People simply can’t afford to pay to see all these shows and see a band so many times. As a result everyone is being more selective, and you are seeing more and more bands downsize venues, but still staying on the road. I also think peoples attention is in way too many places to make all these shows a priority. You can see in a second set lists online, audio, video, the mystique is gone. Of course the mega bands will always do okay, but don’t be fooled, the business is not what you think it is or what they project even for them. The days of a 50 city non stop US tour are rare. Bands find special events or festivals or co-headline because they can’t draw enough as a headline in arenas on their own, and those that can are charging way too much. Not sure where the solution lies but it’s something I see and hear about often. I truly do not think rock is dead, but I do think the touring world and peoples attention are so overwhelmed right now with too many options its hard to know what’s going on? Hope it works itself out because the live stage is where this music is best served, but it is an issue I hear about all the time behind the scenes. Look forward to reading your thoughts.

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  • chris ryan on

    Too many shows combined with festivals and fre shows add up to too much competition for the music fan. The fans will sort out what will survive or evolve in the concert industry .

  • Chris on

    It puzzles me too when I see bands announcing additional dates and going back to the same cities they played 6-8 months prior with the same show, same inflated VIP packages. Bon Jovi comes to mind. You think with Sambora not in the line up that that might dissuade people from buying tickets to these show. I have checked some cities and the dates are not selling. Overall ticket prices are a problem too with most tickets to larger acts averaging 90-175 bucks. One good thing is that maybe bands will stretch their itinerary to include secondary markets they usually skip over.

  • Mark Wheeler on

    To me it is simply cost, saw Van Halen last year, cost me about 170 a ticket and though it was a good show, that is just crazy money for a two hour concert. Of course they can get that for a ticket so they charge it. Most can’t and some try and as you said play to half empty halls. Another thing is bands like Rush who I saw a couple months ago, charge about 100 buck a ticket and play their new album which a lot of fans hadn’t even heard, which leaves me having to think about weather or not to see them next time they come to town. Bands have to remember to give the fans what they want!

  • Scott Gelder on

    Eddie, I have 2 college age children and they go to a couple shows a month, but they will only go to smaller venues so they can be close to the bands. I think they are the exception though. Most of the people their age don’t go to live music shows. They go to dance clubs and listen to hip hop and those artists don’t tour much. That being said I think the primary reason younger people don’t go to shows is that they don’t buy whole albums and they only like 1 or 2 songs by a band. When you only do playlists and not albums a live show would have to have 13 bands to satisfy them. For us we knew everything about our favorite bands and couldn’t wait to go see them in concert. Also with almost no live local radio anymore it is difficult for new bands to get on people’s radar. Just think, in today’s world there wouldn’t be a Rush because you wouldn’t have a DJ playing a cut by an unknown band that everyone in the area heard and wanted to hear more. It is really hard for the musician to make the kind of living they did between 1965-2000.

  • Erik on

    I am an old school metal head, I try to make most Long Island shows but the crowds are getting smaller & smaller. Some clubs are booking good shows but by the time headline acts got on stage it’s late (after midnight). We’re not kid, we have kid, jobs & can’t stay out like we use to. So bands are skipping the area, or just not touring because there just is not much money to be made from club shows. The do festivals and the fans from far away who can’t get there miss out. The hole thing is mess! and it stinks. I had NO shows this summer. This is a first in a long, long time. Bring back the metal … PLEASE!!!

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