Recession Catches Up With Concert Revenues
MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:
Now, some big-ticket music acts are discovering that demand for their services is not what they had hoped.
As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, this summer's concert season is littered with cancelled shows.
(Soundbite of song, "Please Don't Stop the Music")
RIHANNA (Singer-songwriter): (Singing) Please don't stop the music. Music. Music. Music.
KEITH: That's what Rihanna's fans in Phoenix and Dallas are probably saying. The singer cancelled five dates on her tour.
She's in good company, though. Lilith Fair, the Eagles and American Idol Live have all trimmed back their tours this summer.
(Soundbite of song, "Beautiful Day")
Mr. LEE DEWYZE (Singer): (Singing) You're out of luck...
KEITH: Idol's concert promoter Live Nation didn't give a reason, but slow ticket sales are a likely culprit. That's what forced the Country Throwdown Tour to cancel four of its dates.
Kevin Lyman is the tour's founder.
Mr. KEVIN LYMAN (Founder, Country Throwdown Tour): I think it's an indication of a rough summer. I think it's a bit of the economy. I think it's a glut of everyone on the road all at once trying to make up for the revenues that they're not making on their records.
KEITH: Lyman is also the man behind the punk rock Van's Warped Tour. This year, he says business is down eight to 10 percent in most markets.
Mr. LYMAN: We're seeing a dynamic shift in the touring industry, and I think we'll probably come out stronger in the long run, but right now, some real hard times.
KEITH: The industry trade publication Pollstar says compared to this time last year, gross income from the nation's top 100 concerts is down 17 percent.
Tamara Keith, NPR News, Washington.
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