Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bumbershoot Gets A Boost

(via Seattle PI ) One Reel, producer of Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, will receive a much needed boost of financial support for the festival from concert promoters AEG Live. The hope is that this support will allow the festival to attract bigger draws.

"Obviously, they are titans on the sponsorship and talent buying level, so they can bring a lot to the table in those areas," Bumbershoot artistic director Michele Scoleri said of AEG Live.

While the terms of the deal were not disclosed the companies have divulged that the agreement is for a five year term and will involve AEG financially underwriting the festival while One Reel maintains creative control. Bumbershoot will also benefit from being associated with AEG's other large festivals, New Orleans Jazz Fest and Coachella.

This announcement comes just days after House of Blues/ Live Nation announced the lineup for their forthcoming Sasquatch Festival, and event that has emerged and overtaken Bumbershoot in the region. With this extra push, perhaps Bumbershoot will be able to--once again--be a contender.

BRIEF: Brakes on Van Halen Reunion

Second life expectancy: Health (Eddie) and aging (Roth) issues, plus possible personality clashes, make a longtime return a long shot.
- USA Today, February 14, 2007

So lo and behold they were right (and won't that learn ya to just toss that complimentary copy of USA Today after the flight)! According to Pollstar, the drama-ridden hair rockers couldn't stop the infighting long enough to get the show on the road and collect their big paycheck.

According to Pollstar accounts, the whole thing was mired from the start due to miscommunication between the parties involved and improper planning. Rumors fueled the press announcement (made by whom? when? we dunno), and some still don't believe the gig is off.

The full skinny can be found here. If you sort it out, let me know.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BRIEF: Band Reunion Vital Signs

In light of all the upcoming band reunions, USA Today decided to try and gauge how long these "comebacks" will stay back. Here's a snippet:

Rage Against the Machine

Original life span: The agitprop rap-metal band was founded in 1991 in Los Angeles and crashed in 2000 with vocalist Zach de la Rocha's abrupt departure. Guitarist Tom Morello, drummer Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford forged rock band Audioslave with ex-Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell.

The resurrection: Rage is reigniting at the Coachella festival with Wilk, de la Rocha, Commerford and Morello.

Vital statistics: The band sold 10.2 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Rock hits included Bulls on Parade,Sleep Now in the Fire and Guerilla Radio.

Potential tour success: "They were a legendary live act," Waddell says. "If they go over well at Coachella, I think more dates are likely."

Second life expectancy: If they keep their rage focused against the machine, instead of on each other, nothing stands in the way of a successful return.

The rest of the predictions here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Police Report: Reunion Tour Is A Go

(Via Entertainment Tonight) As rumored by many, 80's super pop group The Police will indeed be touring this summer. Fresh from a reunion performance at last night's Grammy Awards ceremony, the threesome announced a worldwide which will run from late May to early August.

"We started 30 years ago, so it would be nice to do something to celebrate," Sting said recently at a press conference in Pasadena, CA...."It seems an organic time to discuss the past and say, 'Hey, what did we achieve?'"

The tour is co-produced by Live Nation and sponsored by Best Buy and while all the dates have yet to be booked the tickets will--of course--be in the high range of $50-225 for all you scalpers and MUCH MUCH more for us normal folk.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Word's In - Concert Industry Is Up!

(Via CNN Money) The rumors (or possibly just positive thinking) proved true. According to a recent report, revenues on the touring side are up!

A recent Pollstar report states that North American tour revenue topped up at $3.1 billion last year, and increase of 16 percent from 2005. The top 100 tours of last year garnered a whopping $2.3 billion.

"There is no reason not to expect 2007 to be bigger than last year. We have had record revenues nearly every year thanks in part to rising ticket prices. Having superstar acts like The Police certainly helps," said Gary Bongiovanni, publisher and editor of Pollstar, in an e-mail from the Concert Industry Consortium, held this week in Los Angeles.

Of course, since much of this is due to monstrously high ticket prices for withering up old dinosaurs (no disrespect to Sting and co.) and the occasional country couple, what still remains to be seen is whether the industry can offer a reasonably priced ticket, bring more people out to more shows, AND develop smaller artists into big arena draws to create a true trend instead of just riding on a nostalgia and dumb luck .

(Yet Another) Free Prize Inside: ITunes Partners With Ticketmaster

(Via Filter)

In yet another announcement from the Concert Industry Consortium, Ticketmaster has announced that they have sorted out a deal with ITunes wherein ticket buyers will get free downloads with ticket purchase. Though this is not the first Ticketmaster "freebie" deal (I linked to news about other giveaway deals here, oh and and they did offer free downloads during the Bob Dylan ticket promotion), linking together with another strong brand like Apple's I-Tunes appears to be a step by company bigwigs to give TM a more favorable sheen. While all the terms of the deal have yet to be grinded out, it has been reported that in addition to the free downloads, the couple will also be selling joint $50 gift cards.

Without even seeing the final terms, I can wager to say that Ticketmaster can "hang with the cool kids" all it wants, but until it proves otherwise it will continue to be just a necessary evil rather than a choice brand. Anyone savvy enough to know how to download music will NOT be anymore compelled to spend upwards of $50 plus service fee for one measly free (DRM encoded!) I-Tunes track. While Ticketmaster has the monopoly on most shows in most markets, they are wise to the fact of the impending (potentially costly) split with Live Nation. Unless they sort out a merger (which may not even be legal), Ticketmaster will have to branch out, connect with the best of the other large promoters, lower service fees, and make the ticket purchasing process faster and more pleasant in order to stay afloat. Get your thinking caps on, guys.

BRIEF: Pollstar Award Results

(Via Pollstar)

Major Tour Of the Year:
Tim McGraw/Faith Hill

Most Creative Tour Package:
Def Leppard/Journey

Most Creative Stage Production:

Best New Touring Artist:
Panic! At the Disco

Music Festival Of the Year:
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Int'l Music Festival Of the Year:
Reading/Leeds Festival

Nightclub Of the Year:
House Of Blues Chicago

Theatre Of the Year:
Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City Walk

Best New Major Concert Venue:
John Paul Jones Arena

Red Rocks Award Best Small Outdoor Venue:
Greek Theatre, Los Angeles

Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue:
Hollywood Bowl

Arena Of the Year:
Madison Square Garden

International Theatre Of the Year:
Royal Albert Hall

International Arena Of the Year:
Wembley Arena

Nightclub Talent Buyer Of the Year:
Greg Siegel / The Wiltern, Avalon

Independent Promoter Of the Year:
Arny Granat & Jerry Mickelson
Jam Productions

Talent Buyer Of the Year:
Susan Rosenbluth / AEG Live/Concerts West

Facility Exective Of the Year:
Marilyn Hauser / Palace Of Auburn Hills

Bill Graham Award Promoter Of the Year:
Brian O'Connell / Live Nation

International Promoter Of the Year:
Phil Bowdery / Live Nation UK

Booking Agency Of the Year:
Creative Artists Agency

Boutique Booking Agency Of the Year:
Little Big Man Booking/Paradigm

UK Booking Agent Of the Year:
Neil Warnock / The Agency Group

Third Coast Agent Of the Year:
Brian Hill
Monterey Peninsula Artists/Paradigm

Bobby Brooks Award Agent Of the Year:
Marc Geiger / William Morris Agency

Personal Manager Of the Year:
Bob McLynn

Artist Development Executive Of the Year:
Harlan Frey / Roadrunner Records

Road Warrior Of the Year:
Dale "Opie" Skjerseth

Lighting Company Of the Year:

Sound Company Of the Year:
Clair Brothers/Showco

Staging/Equipment Company Of the Year:
All Access Staging & Productions

Transportation Company Of the Year:
Rock-It Cargo

Video Company Of the Year:

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ozzfest Costs Less! - Osbourne Affair To Be A FREE One This Year

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According to Roadrunner Records' heavy metal newsite Blabbermout, Sharon Osbourne and Live Nation are now feverishly working on plans to make 2007 Ozzfest shows absolutely cost-free. You heard me right, it won't cost a dime The announcement was made today at the Concert Industry Consortium conference in Los Angeles

"For the last few years," says Sharon, "ticket prices have steadily climbed as artists demand more and more money for summer tours. We certainly want everybody to make money, however we also want the kids to be able to afford to come out and have an incredible experience. If we continued with the traditional touring festival model, we would have no choice but to raise ticket prices again this year."

In the 12th year of this large and influential rock extravaganza, The Osbournes and Live Nation still intend for the festival to hit 25 major cities with the festival's namesake dark prince himself finally reclaiming the headlining slot (after a recent hiatus). In order to foot the cost of this hefty production, the concert promoters will be pushing even harder for sponsorship. However it appears that Sharon is looking at the event in a newer, more groundbreaking way:

"we have bands committed, but we're hoping that after today's announcement we'll have a whole influx of artists who want to be a part of something this ground breaking. We know there aren't any major headlining acts that would tour all summer for nothing, but we're confident we can turn some of the genre's biggest bands on to what we're doing and have them come out to play a date or two. If they're in town and want the rush of performing in front of 20,000 frenzied kids, they're more than welcome to join us. They can sell their t-shirts, CDs and whatever else they've got. They're also welcome to book their own shows in local venues on the day of Ozzfest. I'm not stopping them. People have to be creative and think of alternatives."

So while hell hasn't exactly frozen over, the fact that ANYONE is giving ANYTHING away for free in this industry is incredible. I am excited to hear this news and with prices like this, I guess I'll see you in the pit.