Home » A+E » Commentary: Canceled concerts frustrate, confuse ticket holders

Commentary: Canceled concerts frustrate, confuse ticket holders

Courtesy of MCT

You have the clothes picked out. You have the time and date. You are ready to go. 

They are not. 

Regardless of whether you have a ticket, or how much your heart really wants it, when a musician cancels a tour date, you will not be let into that venue, bar or arena, and unfortunately, it can feel remarkably like getting stood up for a date. 

Lately, it seems like there has been an outbreak of artists who have been hacking out precious tour dates. 

Animal Collective rescheduled March tour dates due to its lead singer coming down with a serious case of strep throat. Morrissey, whose real name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, has (once again) canceled all remaining North American dates due to various illnesses. This comes after some dates were postponed and rescheduled so he could tend to his ill mother. 

Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, racked up to two canceled shows as of March 11 because of laryngitis. Skrillex, whose real name is Sonny John Moore, cut out five dates because of costs. Local H canceled three tour dates after its singer was robbed and beaten in Moscow and damage was done to his throat. The Darkness’ drummer has serious hip problems so Australia and New Zealand are out of luck.

“Rolling Stone” reported Lady Gaga’s, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, hip injury and subsequently canceled tour is costing nearly $30 million in refunds, according to Pollstar. 

The list goes on and on. 

Yet unlike dates who don’t show, all these artists seem to have legitimate reasons, except for maybe Skrillex. I thought winning Grammys meant instant money – guess not. 

As legit as the reasons might be, though, the aftermath of canceled tour dates can not only have serious effects for artists, but for the venues and fans who purchased tickets as well. 

Can you imagine being the poor soul in charge of fielding the calls for Lady Gaga’s canceled tour? Gaga’s fans, the “Little Monsters,” were less than pleased I’m sure. 

Is it more than just money lost, though? 

Musicians are not solely artists, they are celebrities as well. Rihanna getting sick and Skrillex admitting he has money problems takes away the mystique from the musicians that fans have come to idolize. 

But bands and musicians are human, and they get sick, even though fans forget that. 

I mean, even Justin Bieber canceled a tour date in Lisbon, Portugal. The Justin Bieber. 

You can add the “Beliebers” to the list of disappointed fans. 

The more serious question is where is the cut-off line? Apparently artists are not immune to the common cold – or any illness, for that matter (as much as we would like to believe that they are as close to the music gods as possible). 

Should an artist be able to cancel for any reason? 

Bieber’s reasons for his canceled show were reported to have ranged from “unforeseen circumstances” to low ticket sales to fainting before the show. 

Are any reasons more acceptable than the other?

I can understand illness. Going to a show where a performer can’t perform would possibly be worse than having the show canceled beforehand, but low ticket sales? 

Come on Justin Bieber. You just made a movie about your life and are on the mind of nearly every girl under the age of 17. 

Ticket sales? Insufficient demand?

Struggling and new-to-the-industry musicians play for nearly empty rooms way more often than I would like to imagine. 

Now I understand that arenas have costs to run a show at the size and magnitude of an artist like Bieber or Skrillex. An entire crew has to be there to run the floor, backstage, sound, lighting, etc., but I just have a hard time believing that the more than $100 ticket price after fees (which is what you will pay for most seats to see Bieber in Columbus in July) won’t be able to cover that cost. 

How much is my seat actually worth?

Unless the arena is going to be undertaking a massive financial hit for putting on a show, I don’t see “unforeseen circumstances” as a reason worthy for canceling a show. It’s a pretty safe bet to say that the people who do booking at large arenas (versus smaller venues) have been in the business for quite a while. They know what artists will bring in enough fans to feasibly make a profit for a show. So isn’t that on the fault of the booking manager and not the fans who paid an exorbitant amount for a ticket? 

So why all the canceled shows this season?

That’s beyond me, or apparently my understanding. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.