Reality and Sanity

June 14, 2006

Good Seats Still Available: North of the Border Edition

Filed under: General Nonsense — Paul @ 5:17 pm

The Dixie Chicks try to put their best face forward on sagging concert ticket sales by announcing new dates in Canada (hat tip: Drudge):

They may not be running for elected office, but the Dixie Chicks appear to be struggling to work out a kind of political map of their own, heading for concert arenas where ticket sales are brisker and the fans may be more forgiving.

The pop-country trio — whose lead singer Natalie Maines set off a firestorm when she criticized President Bush during a 2003 concert in London — announced eight new concert dates in Canada and the Northeast for the first leg of their summer concert tour on Tuesday.

At the same time, at least 12 U.S. sites, concentrated mostly in the South and Midwest, have put ticket sales for shows on hold after they initially went on sale June 3.

Concert dates in cities such as Houston, Jacksonville, Memphis and St. Louis will likely have to be rescheduled or canceled. No cities have been dropped from the tour outright yet, organizers insist.

Key word here: Yet.

Ray Waddell, senior editor of touring for Billboard magazine, said while some places were selling only about 5,000 to 6,000 tickets in the first week of sales, tickets in other cities such as Chicago, New York and Philadelphia were selling briskly.

And the group added a second date at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for late October after its first show there sold out in about eight minutes, Waddell said.

In Nashville, the group has sold more than half of the roughly 14,000 available tickets to its planned Oct. 3 concert at the Gaylord Entertainment Center, said GEC general manager Hugh Lombardi. When the Dixie Chicks played Nashville in 2003, Lombardi said, all the tickets were gobbled up the first weekend of sales.

The opinion of two observers quoted in ther story:

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of the concert-industry publication Pollstar, said shifting concert dates as the Dixie Chicks are doing isn’t that unusual.

“I think the Dixie Chicks are being put under a microscope by the press because of the whole President Bush remark,” Bongiovanni said. He points to a Mariah Carey tour in recent years that was scaled back from large arenas to more “intimate” locales after ticket demand fell short of expectations.

Tony Conway, president of Buddy Lee Attractions, a Nashville-based events company that once did work for the Dixie Chicks, said deciding which cities to visit on tour amounts to making a big educated guess.

“People can read into” the Dixie Chicks’ tour changes “all they want,” he said. “But this happens all the time.”

Oh really? The Chicks’ lack of sales isn’t indicative of a larger problem?

Here’s a tidbit I posted May 29th. You make the call:

Because of slow sales, they’ve now taken to begging their fans to call up local stations across the country to request airplay. This on the heels of the Time Magazine shilling where Martie Maguire made this statement:

“I’d rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith,” Maguire said. “We don’t want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do.”

Apparently the’ve abandoned that position.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Previous coverage:

How Do You Spell Desperation?
Dixie Chicks Top the Charts
Leftyblogs Support Chicks
Plenty of Good Seats Still Available

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