Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Will promoters get tough with artists on fees?

You can’t argue with the cash register. Those in the music business who still think the live side of the house is going to save us all may have to do a bit of a rethink on the back of …

Fri, Jul 16, 2010, 10:03

   

You can’t argue with the cash register. Those in the music business who still think the live side of the house is going to save us all may have to do a bit of a rethink on the back of new ticket sales data.

According to live industry magazine Pollstar this week, there has been a 17 per cent drop in the amount of money generated by the hundred biggest tours trucking around the United States between 2009 and 2010.

Add in the amount of US shows and tours which Christina Aguilera, The Eagles, Rihanna, Limp Bizkit and many more have cancelled due to, er, “unforeseen circumstances” and you can see there’s trouble at the mill.

Over here, we’ve also seen a slew of slow-selling and poor-performing shows all year long. Gigs which would have sold out in the blink of an eye in the good times (Green Day, Paul MacCartney, Bob Dylan, Oxegen etc) just don’t do the same business or generate the same heat as before.

It’s abundantly clear that people are not buying tickets because they think the shows are too damn expensive. Yes, they’re also fed up of heritage acts coming around again every season, but the ticket price is a big bone of contention.

Cutting ticket prices, though, will involve reducing artist fees and we can expect resistance. As revenue from recorded music has nosedived, acts and their agents have done the dog with live fees to compensate, which has meant a steady rise in ticket prices.

It will be interesting to see if promoters start to get tough with acts on fees. After all, paying big money for a band who only pull a half-full house is not exactly a great business plan.

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