More About the Return of the Stadium Show

"AC DC Concert Crowd," © 2009  Anirudh Koul, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

“AC DC Concert Crowd,” © 2009 Anirudh Koul, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

Recently, Jim posted, What Can We Learn From the Return of the Stadium Show? In it, he commented on an article by Ray Waddell in Billboard about the resurgence in concert tours taking place in stadiums this year. Jim’s bottom line: Even though this is an interesting countertrend, be careful not to extrapolate too much from it. Stadiums are much too big for just about any act, and the days of selling out night after night after night are probably gone forever.

We received lots of interesting responses to this post, and we’d like to share this one (below) from Ray Waddell, the author of the Billboard article. And if you’re looking for more lively conversation about the latest opportunities and current challenges for touring, check out the 2014 Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, coming November 19-20 to the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

“You took it a step further and raise some interesting points. I didn’t have the real estate to dig into it, but I’d say, though, that concerts were undervalued in ’94. Remember that’s when Irving Azoff shook everybody up by putting the Eagles out at $100 — and selling out every date. There was a market correction in there, and concerts moved closer to their counterparts in the sports and performing arts world. Not to say that today’s prices aren’t sometimes out of whack, they clearly are, and those are the ones that aren’t selling tons of tickets. But concerts were once priced too low according to their value, in my opinion. One could also make the argument, however, that one reason those acts from the ’70s are still out there selling tickets is because they played SO much for SO little back when they were at their peak, and $10 tickets were the norm. They had a chance to build their bases and bring in on-the-fence fans. And another reason they still sell tickets is because they’re, uh, GOOD. They can play! At some point, the acts and the music they put out have to be accountable for how many tickets they can sell. Sometimes great art can be commerce-challenged. As for multiples in stadiums, I agree it’s fragmentation of the marketplace in play, as well as the price points. But sometimes the fragmentation can help, as many of these stadium shows aren’t competing with each other. Lots of places to go with this market condition, and you delved into some thoughtful ones, thanks for paying attention.” –Ray Waddell, Billboard‘s Executive Director of Content and Programming for Touring and Live Entertainment

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