Ticket sales for all the concerts in the country combined has dropped to a new low, and many big-name acts are under-performing. How could this happen? Maybe because all the bands are old and no one wants to see them.
Don't feel too bad for the concert industry: They still grossed $965.5 million in the first half of 2010, although that's down 17 percent from the same time last year. Some of the acts who didn't do as well as expected might be to blame. Who are they? The Eagles (old), the Jonas Brothers (ancient in tween years), and the American Idol finalists (old the week after they were voted off). Some bands have canceled their tours like Limp Bizkit (old), the Go-Gos (old), and Christina Aguilera (washed up), and the Lilith Fair (old back in the '90s) scaled back its scheduled dates. Do concert promoters know what decade they're living in? Guess what, guys: the Flock of Seagulls/Men Without Hats double bill probably isn't going to do big business either.
Some of the acts that made scads of money were Lady Gaga (still new and drawing record crowds), Taylor Swift (fresh out of the box), Justin Bieber (young, but approaching middle age in tween years), and James Taylor and Carole King (both youn—say what?!). OK, some nostalgia acts performed well, like the Taylor/King gang up (really, can your mother resist a good rendition of "I Feel the Earth Move"?), AC/DC, and Bon Jovi, but mostly the bands that tanked seem to be a bit stale.
Pollstar, the trade publication for the concert biz, says people "may be turned off by piggish top-tier prices, resentful of ticket add-on fees, and downright angry when they hear about discounted tickets after they have paid full price." All true, but people will suffer through all that to see a band they really love. So maybe this isn't "the economy" or horrible ticket monopolies engaged in price-gouging and just a batch of bad acts.