With U.S. ticket sales slow, Chicks head north of border

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by E.L., Jun 14, 2006.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    With U.S. ticket sales slow, Chicks head north of border
    Concerts may be reset or canceled in some cities

    Staff Writer

    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.

    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 2003 tour was completely sold out," Waddell said. "It doesn't get much hotter than that."

    That North American concert series grossed $60.5 million and landed the group at the No. 8 slot on Pollstar's list of the Top 100 tours of 2003. The Chicks sold a total of 867,000 tickets the first weekend they went on sale for their shows that year.

    It was during that tour that lead singer Maines told a London crowd, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." Immediately after the remark, many country radio stations stopped playing the trio's songs in protest and album sales plummeted.

    The group had kept a low profile for the past three years until coming back onto the music scene this spring with a new album, concert tour and a shot of publicity that included a Time magazine cover and a segment on CBS's "60 Minutes."

    The group's latest album, Taking the Long Way, was released May 23 and immediately shot to No. 1 on the charts, where it remains, having sold 526,000 copies in its first week. While strong, that figure is lower than the group's last studio album in 2002, "Home," which also made its debut at No. 1 with 780,000 units sold.

    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."

    Another factor that Bongiovanni and others said could be influencing ticket and album sales has to do with the group's continuing crossover from country to pop appeal.

    For example, the trio's latest single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," charted at No. 23 on Billboard's Pop 100 chart and at No. 36 in the country rankings.

    "Lots of country stations are flat-out refusing to play them or take their advertisements," Bongiovanni said, pointing to two major country stations in Atlanta that he said are refusing to accept ads promoting the group's planned Oct. 17 Philips Arena concert.

    In Toronto, meanwhile, support for the Dixie Chicks remains as strong as it was when the group came in 2003.

    "The support here has been consistent," said Casey Clark, who handles programming for CMT Canada and a Toronto country radio station. "There hasn't been any great surge in demand.

    "There also hasn't been any backlash. People know what's going on with it, but really it's been a non-issue as far as the music is concerned." •
    The new album by the Dixie Chicks, from left, Emily Robison, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire, remains No. 1 on charts. (JIM COOPER / FILE / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

    5/23/06: Dixie Chicks everywhere but radio
    3/11/06: Chicks not through with country radio yet

    Dates in question
    Ticket sales for 12 originally scheduled concerts in these cities have been postponed:
    Aug. 13: Milwaukee, Wis.
    Aug. 20: Kansas City, Mo.
    Aug. 22: St. Louis, Mo.
    Aug. 23: Indianapolis, Ind.
    Sept. 6: Fresno, Calif.
    Sept. 14: Los Angeles
    Sept. 16: Las Vegas, Nev.
    Sept. 26: Oklahoma City, Okla.
    Sept. 27: Memphis
    Sept. 30: Houston
    Oct. 6: Jacksonville, Fla.
    Oct. 22: Greensboro, N.C.

    Here are eight northern dates added to the Dixie Chicks'
    summer concert tour.
    July 26: Uncasville, Conn.
    Aug. 2: Jones Beach, N.Y.
    Aug. 5: Atlantic City, N.J.
    Aug. 8: Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Aug. 10: St. John, New Brunswick
    Aug. 12: Montreal, Quebec
    Aug. 13: London, Ontario**
    Aug. 19: Winnipeg, Manitoba

    ** Replaces originally scheduled date for Milwaukee, Wis.

    Related news from the Web
    Latest headlines by topic:

    Philadelphia Consolidated Holding
    Natalie Maines
    Gaylord Entertainment

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  2. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Maybe they'll stay there! We sure had alot of people who were gonna move should Bush win - Striesand, Baldwin, etc. Too bad they didn't follow through.
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Dohhhhh Shut Up and Sing
  4. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

  5. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

  6. Infidel

    Infidel Guest

    You may not question our valorous leadership!
  7. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I don’t care about questioning our leadership.
    If you go through life and everyone agrees with you, you are wrong, it is wrong.
    I don’t need non high school grads the Dixie chick telling me about their political views.
    We buy their music, not their political ideals.
    Why is it every time someone post about the Dixie Chick you pop off about Bush?
  8. Infidel

    Infidel Guest

    If they never disagreed with him publicly then you would not post any articles about them. I seriously doubt that except for that fact that they disagreed with the current administration anyone


    here gives a rats ass about dixie chix

    do I see you posting about pearl jam or britney spears?


    you know why, i know why

    no one gives a rats ass

    but they are entertainers that became a pariah because they said they were ashamed of the current leadership

    So I am going back to the origin of the interest in dixie chix and desputing the fact that what happened to them was fair in any way. personality cult this country has too.
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    You need to look through my post count.
  10. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Amen brother.

    The reason it was brought up was because it was news. While we are used to vocal celebrity liberals such as Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Susan Sarrandon, Rosie O'Donnell, etc. voicing their opinions on the president, and especially anything that was remotely considered conservative (not that the president is although the mass media makes him out to be) it was news because there had not been a country artist or group that displayed those feelings. Why is this news, because previous to their statement out of the country they never said a word about it. Their base customers are by nature extremely conservative and I for one was not surprised at all what it did to their business. It was a foolish business decision by foolish young ladies. We don't pay entertainers to offer us political advice, I for one think most of them are idiots. We pay them for their entertainment value. Some of them no longer are compensated as well due to their outspoken views on their causes. I have gotten so sick of it, I refuse to buy, watch, listen, etc. to the works of the most outspoken. Actors, actresses, singers, etc. I see them at about the level of a court jester. Just entertain us, if you use this platform for political purposes, you won't be paid.
  11. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If the majority of Americans could boycott politicans like what happened to the Dixie Chix, then our country just might be headed in the right direction for the better of our country. :D
  12. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Some folks gotta piss in everybodies Cheerios [gone]
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    QS, it's because they have no answers other than what's posted on MoveOn.org. Ever notice there's not a single original thought in these arguments? "Bush Lied People Died" is way easier to remember than actually coming up with original thoughts.
  14. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Yea MoveOn.org seems to help them out by giving them something to spout.
    By which they know nothing about other wise. I just wish the truth would come across there.
    I think they are telling half and the other side is telling theirs, and the truth is in the middle somewhere.
  15. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That last line is the best thing I've seen so far - polititians care only for themselves for the most part and screw everything else. They know the country wants action about illegals but they only make moves that will make them look good in the next election - look at the Govenator pandering in CA. The House bill was so tough because they aren't facing re-election like the Senate is. It's all about the votes.
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