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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  • BT on

    Saw Brother Cane in Dayton OH last Saturday at a small club. Small, maybe 150 people, but enthusiastic crowd. Damon Johnson thanked everyone numerous times, and mentioned how much they appreciated the kind words on social media. He played like he was in front of 10,000 people. Great show! I realize BC is not too active, but they are one of the few bands I will spend my money to see, Rush being another, and of course Winery Dogs if they come close. Living in Dayton, we have to go to Columbus or Cincinnati to see a big show. BTW, I am your age Ed.

  • Dave Shamblin on

    Agree with you 100%…some of my thoughts:

    * You are correct, the powerhouses (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Stones) with the original lineups mostly intact will always be fine. They can pull off an 18 month tour and make mega-millions because fans will shell out the money and they have world wide popularity. US, Europe, South America, Asia, it doesn’t matter. They will draw no matter what.

    * I’m not sure it’s so much over-saturation as it is the actual COST of going to a show, even for the non-powerhouse but still popular bands. There is only so much discretionary income for most people, and shelling out $80-$100 bucks for a ticket, $20 bucks for parking, $12 beers, etc. is not easy.

    * Changing demographic…let’s face it. It’s called “classic” for a reason. Those of us who love hard rock and heavy metal are now in the same demographic as my parents when I was a kid. My mom and dad grew up on ’50’s rock and roll and blues. Those artists weren’t exactly filling up stadiums either during the ’70’s when I was going to Bill Graham’s Day on the Green shows in the bay area to see AC/DC, Skynard, and many others. It’s just a changing world.

    I will continue to see live events from my favorite bands whenever I can, but I’m not surprised at all that the concert business for the music we love is not doing well.

    • Kevin on

      Totally agree. The cost of going to a concert has become way to expensive for the average middle class person to afford more than say once or twice in a year. Ticket prices for most bands have risen to well over a hundred bucks in most venues for even mid level seating. Add beers a couple tshirts a pre or post concert dinner and transportation to the venue and your talking an easy 3 to 4 hundred dollar evening for my wife and I. That doesn’t even include a room which we almost always need because we live at least an hour away from a good venue up here in Maine. Sporting events are no different. My family and I are big NASCAR fans and the cost of going to our annual Sprint cup race in nh is something we save all year for. Your right Eddie the big bands will still draw and sell out the larger venues. Ive already started saving for when my beloved acdc tours again. I want my 9 year olds first concert to be acdc cause it’s his fav band too but it requires a lt of saving over a period of time to make it on this cops budget. I totally get what it cost to put on the production of say an acdc show but maybe a happy medium could be reached somewhere that might put more people in the seats. There are many good classic bands I’d love to see but just can’t afford more than one or 2 events a year. Maybe kid rock is onto something with his latest lowering of ticket prices?

  • Anthony Antinoro on

    I love and play music just as much as anyone, but the truth is that I can’t afford going to concerts. Given the price of gas, food, and everything else that keeps going up and salaries staying the same, most of us simply can’t afford concerts (parking, tickets, food, etc.). I compromise and just buy new albums that I really want (Winery Dogs for ex.) and listen to them over and over. Concerts just can’t fit into my budget.

  • Melissa A Nee on

    For mysrlf and so many,we simply can’t afford to go to all the shows.I don’t buy merch so I can save for other shows and cd’s.
    It’s a busines and I get that but I just can’t swing them all.

  • Thestormmaster on

    Yes there are a ton of bands I would love to go see all the time. The problems is all the other things that go along with going to a concert that makes it a killer. 20 bucks for parking 3 bucks for a water or 8-12 for a beer depending on location throw in the 35 dollars headliner band T-Shirt your at 150 bucks just for one person much less bringing a date or family member with you.

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