Economy Too Crappy For Lots Of Lilith Fair Shows

EW.com says that Lilith Fair has had to cancel 10 dates: Salt Lake City, Montreal, Raleigh, Charlotte, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Birmingham, Austin, Houston, and Dallas due to bad ticket sales, low attendance, and occasional lack of Kelly Clarkson and Norah Jones.

In the just-released cancellation announcement, Lilith co-founder Terry McBride says, “We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright. Everyone involved with the tour would like to apologize to the fans and artists scheduled to play in these markets, and express appreciation for all the support for the festival’s return. Lilith remains the only tour of its kind, and we are confident that fans will be amazed by what each date has to offer.”

The reader who sent this tip in blames bad organization, rather than the economy.

I’d heard this might happening, and can’t say I’m all that surprised, although I wonder why they killed every date in Texas, since that’s a pretty big market. A friend wanted to go to the Dallas show, but couldn’t since it was on Monday afternoon. Me and some friends were thinking of trying for the Austin date, but they never announced a venue and ticket prices turned out to be kind of high. My 15-year-old self loved Sarah McLachlan and feels sorry for her, but my 20-something self is just too poor to deal with LiveNation’s crap.

Lilith Fair cancels 10 dates [EW]
2010 Lilith Tour Announcement [Lilith]

Comments

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  1. Laura Northrup says:

    Am I the only one who said, “wait, Lilith Fair is still around?”

  2. eccsame says:

    Don’t blame the economy – blame the waning appeal of Lilith Fair. There are plenty of bands touring this summer without canceling shows. The economy is a convenient excuse.

    • bananaboat says:

      Agree! Dallas has plenty of sold out shows. Blame the economy if you want but in good times, even Lilith has run it’s course.

  3. golddog says:

    I agree with the tipster. And thank God she’s a 20-something year old b/c I was getting worried I was turning in to a grumpy old person. There’s lot’s of shows I’d be inclined to go see this summer but the energy it takes to overcome the inertia of the insanity that is Ticketmaster/LiveNation, much of which is the cost, is just too much.

    Lillith Fair doesn’t happen to be one of those shows, but the principle is the same whether it’s Michael Franti, non-heroin Stone Temple Pilots, ABBA (wow), or whomever. Promoters you’ve officially hit the point of diminishing returns.

  4. biggeek says:

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of lesbians suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

    • rahntwo says:

      +1 I bow to you sir

    • tbax929 says:

      -1 I give you a big middle finger.

      FTR, this lesbian isn’t going to Lilith this time around because I don’t want to buy from Ticketmaster/Live Nation. I’m officially boycotting their events. I’m sure they don’t care, but I feel pretty good about it.

      • biggeek says:

        tbax929
        July 6, 2010 8:12 PM

        -1 I give you a big middle finger.
        ——————

        Q: How many lesbians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        A: “That’s not funny!”

    • cerbie_the_orphan says:

      ROFL

      It’s a good thing I don’t believe in Hell…

  5. riguitargod says:

    I’m sure it’s just a lack of interest in the festival. LiveNation was running $10 ticket deals (granted lawn seats) for a different show each day for the last 10 days of June, and each day there were multiple cities who had a deal on Lilith. So there was plenty of opportunity for people to get there cheaply.

    I, myself, got $10 seats for Kiss & Ozzfest!

    • Chaosium says:

      “LiveNation was running $10 ticket deals (granted lawn seats) for a different show each day for the last 10 days of June, and each day there were multiple cities who had a deal on Lilith”

      The vast majority doesn’t buy their tickets from the websites, how are we supposed to know about these?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        The vast majority of concertgoers don’t buy their tickets from the promoter’s website? What?

    • golddog says:

      I heard about that. What were the fees for the $10 seats? $75? :-)

      • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

        If you got them during June, no fees at all. Ticketmaster waived the fees for June. I bought tickets to some of the $10 concerts and paid just those $10 fees.

    • Bakergirl says:

      WooT to you sir!

  6. MsCongeniality says:

    I considered going – until I realized the local show is on a Tuesday and starts at 2PM. Am I interested? Yes, but not enough to take a day off of work for them.

  7. thewriteguy says:

    The more accurate headline: “Lots of Lilith Fair Shows Too Crappy for Economy.”

    • xnihilx says:

      We’re going to the Indy show but I agree.
      1. Tickets are/were horribly expensive.
      2 I was SOOOOOOOOOO exicted to hear Lilith was back and then I read the line ups. Most of the major artists affiliated with the show aren’t going to be at MOST of them. That means no: Sheryl Crow, Indigo Girls at most of the shows. Needless to say I’m disappointed.
      3. I won’t even go into the “We’ll give $1 for each ticket” to charity. ONE dollar. Really? Yes, I’m aware that if it’s a sold out venue it’s a good chunk of change but when the ticket company charges about $25 in fees on top of the cost of the ticket. It’s just a joke.

      I’m taking it in stride, as I obviously bought tickets when they were on pre-sale and am using it as an “Oh well, so it’s a show and I get two days off work” mini-vacay.

  8. LastError says:

    What’s Lillith Fair? The name sounds like Lillian Vernon, in which case it’s probably better off defunct.

    • tbax929 says:

      Google is your friend.

      I went to a bunch of Lilith shows in the 90s and always had a blast.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      How’s the shade under that rock? Good?

      • LastError says:

        How am I supposed to care about something I’ve never heard of?

        How many things have you never heard of? More than you can possibly know. And you don’t care any more about them than I care about whatever this concert series is.

        The BEST thing is, I don’t have to care. It’s a wonderful world full of plenty of stuff to care about and lots of stuff that doesn’t need to be cared about. Afterall, you care, apparently. That’s enough isn’t it? That you care validates its entire existence. So why should anyone else care?

  9. Bakergirl says:

    What a shame. That’s where Sarah Mclaughlin got her start. Now she’s doing PSA’s for the SPCA. Oh well, I guess it’s time to put away the Birkenstocks.

    • PunditGuy says:

      This former Canuck takes great offense. She was releasing albums almost a decade before the first Lilith Fair.

    • levelone says:

      You spelled her name wrong and her first album came out in 1988, so she definitely didn’t get her start with Lilith Fair in 1997. And there’s nothing wrong with doing ASPCA PSAs, it’s a good cause. Even Clint Eastwood has done PSAs for animal welfare groups, and I defy you to tell me he’s not a badass even when he’s talking about his adopted pet bunny.

  10. sleze69 says:

    HA!

  11. JulesNoctambule says:

    I’m glad the Raleigh show was cancelled; with all the road construction going on, the last thing we need is extra traffic right now. Assuming that anyone would actually be going, of course.

  12. Riroon13 says:

    Rolling Stone mag (speaking about things that are still around) had a great article detailing the # of concerts being cancelled this Summer, between the high prices, charges, and lack of good seats (read: ebay and stubhub, etc).

    Making money hand-over-fist on the backs of music fans has reached it’s saturation point.

    Then again, we can all get some level 400, behind-the-stage, seats for Justin Bieber.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I think for a lot of reasons, that’s affecting the larger bands and larger venues as well. I know that Lady Gaga tickets sold out in mere minutes, and then a second date was added and tickets sold out then too. A lot of bands aren’t touring this year because they’re working on albums, so it’s a double whammy – you have less market saturation so it makes it seem even worse when a festival like Lilith Fair can’t book venues and sell out. At least if another band was in town the same month, you can stammer and claim, “our audiences may overlap, and this economy means people are choosing…” but if another big name band isn’t in town, you have no excuses but to admit that either people don’t give a crap about you at all, or are saving their money…to go see another band.

  13. Vroom_Socko says:

    I’m proud to say that Rush hasn’t canceled any concerts…and probably won’t either!

    • Baelzar says:

      I can see why; after 30+ years they’re still killing it. The Albuquerque show was the best Rush show I’ve seen.

      They added an extra date in Denver – economy shmeconomy.

  14. Mercurywaxing says:

    Well, It’s been said here before but I someone has to say it again. It’s the fees (which are a way to gyp artists out of cash, btw)

    Tickets (Cleveland, lawn): 27.50 – lowest price tickets
    “convenience” Charge: 10.00
    Parking fee: 15.00

    I absolutely love festival concerts, but half the price is “fees” and I don’t go for that. You see artists get a portion of the ticket revenue, but they don’t get the fees. This is simply a way for the promoter to skim 10 – 25 bucks off the top.

    • Charlotte Rae's Web says:

      all June ticketmaster waived fees. didn’t help.

    • cromartie says:

      So you were going to walk to Blossom then? Not that I disagree with you, but you were including the parking charge, which goes to the facility, not the promoter.

  15. Charlotte Rae's Web says:

    One minute before this, they canceled a bunch of Jonas Brothers shows, many in the same cities. They had been selling tickets the Friday before for $10 for Jonas, and did the same for Lillth as well.

    The issue is too many venues were built and too many stops are planned on these tours. Look at NC – Jonas and Lilith Fair both had Charlotte and Raleigh shows… and both got canceled. It’s greed. I’m fairly sure based on the numbers I heard thrown around that both acts could have sustained ONE show in NC but the greed factor by ticketmaster, the venues and the tours is so high, they’d rather try to schedule too many stops and then just bail.

    But by all means, let’s open a downtown open air amphitheatre in Raleigh… right down from a large performing arts complex and 10 minutes from Walnut Creek amphitheatre (the outdoor stop for most concerts) and 10 mins from the RBC Center (the indoor stop for concerts and where the NHL team here plays). Yeah, that makes sense, MORE venues will help.

    • cerbie_the_orphan says:

      I think more SMALLER venues probably can/do help. Once a venue is made to a certain size, though, you end up in a situation where everything is at and part of the venue. When the same building as the stage is in is also hosting a dozen store-fronts, needs many blocks worth of parking within easy walking distance, needs to easy interstate access so as not to clog the roads up as people enter, and so on, it really begins to rely on many people buying tickets to be worth doing a show.

      • LastError says:

        Promoters don’t want smaller venues. Bigger venues means more cash. The bands don’t want smaller either because promoters come along with their tales of riches and talk about how much more cash the bands will get. They also sell this to the other sponsors and tie-ins.

        Everybody has dollar signs in their eyes.

        But taking Atlanta for example, Jonas Bros. could not sell out the venue here because it’s A) a crappy venue in a bad part of town where suburbanites are loath to go, B) in the summer when it’s damned hot to be outdoors, and C) the ticket prices plus hassle plus BS factor was just too high for the suburbanites who don’t want to go downtown anyway.

        They could have done a perfectly reasonable show in a smaller local venue but they had these ideas about filling up their bigger venue and taking home bank. NOBODY involved said “hey wait a moment…” until the ticket sales failed to reach minimums. By a lot.

        When that happened, the Jonas Bros bailed. Not like they are leaving a LOT of unhappy customers. Just some. But not enough to worry about. Meanwhile the promoter says “hey! We can make bank elsewhere! Drop that city and another and the others and tell ‘em yer going overseas (where it doesn’t matter if nobody knows who you are, they’ll come see the American act anyway, and if not, nobody from home will notice anyway, but meanwhile we get fat minimums just for showing up and you get a vacation!).

  16. Pizza Club says:

    I knew this was going to happen eventually. I was interested in going, but not at $37.50 lawn tickets for the Chicago show. Last year was rough too, I saw No Doubt for like $12 at the same Chicago venue. It was really a poor decision on their part to try do an expensive tour like this right now.

  17. areaman says:

    I would have never guessed the next bubble would be the concert bubble. But then again it makes sense for things that depend on disposable income to take a hit.

    Also it doesn’t help the concert industry has an absolute contempt for its users.

  18. UbiquitousA says:

    Wow…..that’s really disappointing. They were going to be playing my town on my birthday, and I was geeked about going with a bunch of my friends. Very bummed about this.

    I do agree though that the ticket prices with all of the miscellaneous charges are more than a bit much. When a $27 ticket ends up virtually doubling in price due to the “inconvenience” charges and parking, it’s pretty awful.

  19. arsenicookie says:

    I went to the San Francisco show on Monday it was great but I just read a review that said attendance was very low… Shoreline has a 22,000 person capacity and there were about 7,000 people there. Not that I was complaining, I hate going to shows with capacity crowds.

  20. pot_roast says:

    Aw man. I was supposed to take the wife to this. She really wanted to see the Court Yard Hounds, Colbie Caillat, Heart, Sugarland, and Miranda Lambert. I wanted to see Ingrid Michaelson because she’s fookin’ gorgeous.

    I’m still blaming Ticketmaster’s “fees.” Almost 50% of the ticket price in fees, even for a lawn seat. Ridiculous.

  21. Winston says:

    What? Women don’t like to fingerbang in these cities?

  22. JadeEJF says:

    Whoever said “Lots of Lilith Fair Shows Too Crappy for Economy” was right. I went to the show at the Gorge on July 3rd. Between the poor communication of the concert organizers (who *still* haven’t posted the schedule/lineup for the show I went to, leading to issues with planning transportation to and from), and the poor communication from Ticketmaster (who led us to believe camping passes were included with our tickets), and the poor communication from the concert venue (who kicked out people who’d waited in line for hours for having camping chairs and/or coolers that their website said *were* allowed into the venue)… I wouldn’t recommend anyone spend money on Lilith Fair.

    I went to the show 11 years ago, and had a completely different experience. I want to support women in music, and I will say that the artists themselves played great shows. But the whole experience left a sour taste in my mouth, with the exception of the hotel that we wound up finding (for cheaper than camping at the venue in a glorified parking lot!). It was a small silver lining, but at least I know I’ll be going back to Quality Inn in Ellensburg someday, even if I don’t go to Lilith Fair or the Gorge ever again.

  23. missmicrophone says:

    Lilith Fair is too crappy period. If they put together a strong ticket and it was consistant for the entire run, things would be different. I have free tickets and I am still not going.

  24. regann says:

    My friends and I had planned to go to this, but the problem was it was only letting us buy lawn seats in groups of 4 and there were 5 of us. So it took us a few extra weeks to find 3 other people willing to go in with us. Luckily, I hadn’t purchased the tickets yet when they announced the Charlotte cancellation.

  25. Baelzar says:

    Rush added a 2nd show in both Denver and Chicago. DAMN the economy and Ticketmaster!

  26. cerbie_the_orphan says:

    Looking at the roster on the website, I can just say, “no wonder.” I doubt it has anything to do with the idea being obsolete, but half the people listed are average pop singers, and most of the folky singer/songwriter types I need pictures of to tell their voices and songs apart.

    Wasn’t the whole thing started in large part because many of the performers could get listeners/fans, but *couldn’t* get a lot of mainstream attention?

  27. skapig says:

    Speaking as a promoter who as collaborated with Live Nation, I can safely guess that the tour has been poorly promoted all around. The company has gotten remarkably lazy with its size and age and seems to be clueless as to how to do much real promotion anymore.

    A huge factor, as many have mentioned: ridiculous service charges which are in some cases compounded by further charges from the venue such as for parking. The crazy service charges turn a hell of a lot of people off to buying tickets and therefore from even bothering to go. You have to consider that they make decisions about cancelling based on advanced sale numbers.

    It could also very well be that the lineup doesn’t have enough appeal, but it certainly has some big names. Most likely is about the money. Some of these may simply be bad dates.