Live Nation Cancels Shows
Unilaterally. Supposedly 200 at CAA alone.
This has been the buzz of L.A. for days, but has gotten no mainstream media attention.
We know it’s been a bad summer… But this bad?
Music industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz can be a difficult read–HE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE SHOUTING ON HIS LEFSETZ LETTER BLOG (to say nothing of being endlessly redundant)–but everyone in the music business reads him because, well, he’s often the first to root out the kernel of what becomes a much bigger story.
During half a dozen chats that I had with concert industry insiders last week at the Event and Arena Marketing Conference, and in numerous other conversations with people in the business of late, the recurring prediction about the recently merged concert-industry behemoth Ticketmaster/Live Nation has been that recent layoffs, rivers of red ink on the profit statements, and the general unwiedlyness of the massive corporation that many of its own employees call the Death Star will inevitably cause it to crash and burn, much as many in the oil industry are predicting that the disaster in the Gulf will lead to the demise of BP.
The only debate centers on whether regional independent promoters will then emerge from their bunkers to pick up the scattered pieces of the business, as in the days of old, or a new, unwieldly corporate behemoth like AEG will take over where Ticketmaster/Live Nation leaves off…
While it seems more and more clear that the live music business is taking a beating this summer, blogger Bob Lefsetz’ surprising claim that Live Nation has “supposedly” canceled as many as 200 shows by Creative Artists Agency acts alone cannot be confirmed at this point.
Individual shows, legs of tours, or entire tours have been canceled or postponed by such artists as U2 (due to Bono’s back surgery), Christina Aguilera, Lilith Fair, Limp Bizkit, the Eagles, Country Throwdown, Rihanna, John Mayer, Bamboozle, and the Go-Go’s. Other tours by what were considered hot acts are experiencing slumping sales, among them Jonas Brothers and Kings Of Leon, according to sources. But a source familiar with the situation says the 200 figure is “untrue,” and hundreds of shows canceled is a hard number to reach, especially considering Live Nation promotes about 900 amphitheater shows a year.
Rumblings of a tough year for touring began a couple of months ago, with predictions ranging from “mediocre” to “bloodbath”…