The concert business is about to experience its most robust summer season in years. Early indicators point to a 20 percent increase in ticket sales when compared with 2012, according to Billboard, with multi-artist package tours — like the co-headlining duo of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z or the triple bill of 98 Degrees, New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, along with heritage acts like Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath, Rush and The Rolling Stones — setting the pace.
Indeed, the last time Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and friends toured the U.S. (in late 2012 to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary), they grossed an average of nearly $8 million a night. With 18 arena shows kicking off May 3 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and ticket prices ranging from $170 for the cheap seats to $700 for a prime spot (with VIP package incentives going for $2,000-plus), it all points to another watershed achievement for the group of 70-somethings.
A more realistic take for an arena act is about $600,000 a night, with top-tier sellouts commanding closer to $1 million. Among those in the upper bracket is Beyonce, who looks to take a cue from last year’s top touring act, Madonna. Like the MDNA tour, which grossed $228 million for 72 sold-out shows, Beyonce gave potential ticket buyers a sneak peek of her Mrs. Carter Show at the Super Bowl. Campaigns for Pepsi and H&M and word of a new album followed, and now the four-month world tour is off and running, with the 28-date North American leg set to end at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in August.
After years of dramatic increases, ticket prices seem to be stabilizing as artists continue to push for more affordable price points to pack arenas with merchandise-buying fans. Even the Stones have lowered prices from their mid-2000′s peak. At the same time, secondary sellers like StubHub and TicketsNow often dictate what the market will bear. McCartney’s Out There tour, for example, boasts only nine U.S. dates and big buzz, yet tickets to some shows are going for as little as $40 on StubHub. Kid Rock priced all tickets to his Best Night Ever tour at $20 in a deal with Live Nation that calls for profit-sharing from parking, concessions and merch sales.
But not every act has the fan base to toy with creative ticket pricing. “It’s a balancing act and one of the hardest things we have to do in our jobs,” says David Galea, a 12-year booker at The Agency Group, which represents such bands as Muse, Nickelback, The Black Keys and Paramore. “If you’re overpricing your artist, ticket sales are going to suffer, but you don’t want to undervalue your artist, either. It’s tricky.”
To hedge risks, more tours are combining several acts — be it the Under the Influence tour, which brings together hip-hop newcomers Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky and Trinidad James, the Americanarama outing featuring Bob Dylan, Wilco and My Morning Jacket or co-headlining bills such as the Honda Civic Tour featuring Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.
“These are acts that bridge five decades of music listeners,” says Galea. By growing the pool of potential ticket buyers, “you’ve got a lot of one-plus-one-equals-five.”
Justin Timberlake has just announced that he is teaming up with MasterCard for a two year partnership focused on brand collaboration and making unforgettable experiences!
“I’m thrilled to be part of a collaboration that offers me the opportunity to connect and engage with fans and bring them closer to the music,” the 32-year-old entertainer said in a statement. “MasterCard is a respected global brand and I look forward to working with them to bring something truly unique to their cardholders.”
Justin will be kicking off the partnership this Sunday evening (May 5) with a special concert at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom exclusively for MasterCard cardholders. Fans can sign up now at Priceless.com to find out how to get tickets for the special show.
This isn’t the first partnership for Justin, who has used his strategic deals with Bud Light Platinum and Target, in addition to his role as creative director of Myspace, to help move his album The 20/20 Experience to sales of nearly 2 million copies.
Wiz Khalifa gave rap fans a bit of an inside scoop this week, revealing in an interview with DJ Whoo Kid that Taylor Gang signee, Juicy J, is collaborating with Justin Timberlake on his upcoming album.
As credible of a source as they come, Wiz Khalifa told listeners that J’s new work, entitled Stay Trippy, will be a “real hood album” but will still mix in pop and R&B influences; calling on none other than pop’s golden boy to get the job done. “He’s breaking his back to give that old sound mixed with the new. Nothing forced or anything like that but make it a real, well rounded project,” Wiz said.
J previously revealed that he’s working with 2 Chainz and The Weeknd on his album. Now, with the announcement of JT, listeners can anticipate a well rounded sound.
Although a seemingly odd couple, JT and Juciy J have had collaborative success before. Back in 2006, Timberlake tapped Three 6 Mafia for a feature on the song “Chop Me Up,” a Timbaland produced track on Justin’s massively successful FutureSex/LoveSounds album.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel will co-host a Barack Obama fund-raising reception being thrown by Harvey Weinstein and Georgina Chapman next month, it has been revealed.
According to the New York Post, the US president is expected to appear May 13 at the DNC reception, being held at the Manhattan home of Weinstein and Chapman.
The intimate party is billed to include fewer than 65 guests with tickets costing 32,400 dollars per couple.
Time Magazine have released their 100 Most Influential People list and in it’s 10th year, the list has been given a makeover. Instead of ranking the top 100, Time has divided everyone into seperate sections. These include: Titans, Pioneers,Leaders, Icons and Artists. Jay-Z tops the Titans list with Michael Bloomberg describing him as someone who “embodies so much of what makes New York New York.” Other musical names included in the Titans list include Scooter Braun who is known for spearheading Justin Bieber’s career and is there for being “a man who sees something the rest of us don’t.”Noteably, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce both appear in the Icons list. Stevie Wonder wrote a piece about JT in which he said “His star power comes fromt he fact that he sounds like he’s having fun when he makes music, and he can read a song – meaning as a singer or songwriter you can feel the emotion.” Wonder finished by saying “He has a spirit. He does God’s work through using the most of his talent.”Director Baz Luhrmann was the person who spoke about Beyonce and why she deserved to appear on the Icons list. He spoke of her work ethic and relationship with her family before closing the piece with the main reason as to why she’s one of the most influential female artists around at the moment: “She’s gone beyond being a popular singer, even beyond being a pop culture icon. When Beyonce does an album, when Beyonce sings a song, when Beyonce does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparant diva of the USA - the reigning national voice.”Other people to feature on the Time 100 Most Influential People list include Jennifer Lawrence, Christina Aguilera, Miguel,Frank Ocean and Jimmy Fallon.
Man, remember all that excitement leading up to Justin Timberlake‘s The 20/20 Experience and the frenzy of buzz and speculation during his perfectly executed publicity campaign? Feels like it was ages ago, doesn’t it? We sure felt alive back then, didn’t we? Well pretty soon our lives will have that sense of purpose all over again, as Volume 2 of 20/20 is scheduled for a November release and key players are starting to reveal tidbits of information about the album. As JT’s Tennessee Kids guitarist Elliott Ives told us back in March, the forthcoming second volume will include material from the original 20/20 sessions, and now Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon — who co-produced and co-wrote just about every 20/20 song save for the two bonus tracks — confirmed Ives’ note about the initial sessions and also teased that there would be brand new material on the sequel.
Speaking with Billboard, J-Roc said he, JT and Timbaland had “over 30, 40 tracks” the first time around, so Timberlake will likely “take some of the stuff that we’ve already done, and of course create more music at the same time.” For some reason it’s exciting to think that Justin will be back in the studio so soon to record even more stuff. Based on everything that happens on Volume 1, he’s clearly not at a loss for ideas, so it’s great that he’s so invigorated by music again that he can churn out two massive albums in a year’s time.
But the most interesting thing J-Roc revealed in the interview was that “Mirrors” originated a few years ago as a simple, four-minute ballad.
“‘Mirrors’ was something we started working on in 2009, and [Timberlake] just shelved it,” Harmon said. “He’s like, ‘I’m gonna save this one, and this is gonna go on my album.’” J-Roc added that the extended R&B coda on the single was pasted on years later. “Once we got all the songs that [Timberlake] knew he wanted on this album, then that’s when we began to tie everything together, and the second part just fell in order.”
Do you think Volume 2 will outshine the first one?
Funnyman Fallon was one of the lucky 150 guests to attend Timberlake’s Italian wedding to actress Jessica Biel last October and the according to the 32-year-old “Suit & Tie” singer, the late night host butted in while he was giving a heartfelt speech at his reception.
“Picture this: I’m in the heart of an impromptu speech at my wedding reception in front of 150 guests, pouring it out to my lovely new bride,” Timberlake writes in the new issue of Time, in which Fallon is named on this year’s Time 100 List of the most influential people in the world.
“You could hear a pin drop. I paused for just a moment in between thoughts. And then there was Jimmy, shouting a joke from his seat, sparking an improv between the two of us that went on for a good five or 10 minutes and had all our guests roaring laughter.