Too Much Touring?

Are you guys also drowning in tour announcements? It seems like everyone has hit on the last two weeks of April as the perfect time to start up the PR machine for Summer and Fall tours. How are you handling the deluge? I’ve got a long list of bands I’d like to see and a very small budget myself. This kind of situation seems like a tiny bit of a nightmare on all sides. Too many shows, too few venues, too little cash to spend, too many delays at vinyl plants and t-shirt companies. And it’s been going on a while.

Some friends and I were talking about our “balk points” the other day. What’s the thing or circumstance that will stop you from going to a show that you kinda want to see? My calculus for shows was already changing pre-2020 but now it’s even more complicated. So here’s my Monday afternoon ramble.

First up is price. This has always been an issue but it’s probably the top most thing for most of us at the moment. A personal example here is The Cure and Duran Duran. Despite my best efforts, I’ve never seen either band. Both are coming to Atlanta. However, one is offering floor tickets in front of the sound board for roughly $120 a piece and the other gets you to the nosebleed section for a similar price. Did I pay a lot for The Cure? Yes, my wallet is still bruised, but it felt fair for the location and I’m unlikely to get to see them again. Sorry Duran…

The likelihood of being able to see a band again is also high up in my personal calculations. There’s a great newish Goth band from Texas called Urban Heat. They were recently on tour with Vision Video. I was hoping to go see them a few weeks back but had to skip due to other things. They’ve been in the area quite a few times before and I’m fairly confident that I will get to see them again. I hate to have missed it but I’m also okay with it.

But there’s the next thing: unexpected day of exhaustion, other events, or lack of interest. Another friend texted me the other day feeling bad about not going to a show that was a reschedule from the start of the pandemic. It’s an odd feeling to have booked something several years ago and now find yourself beholden to those plans. I firmly believe that you shouldn’t hold yourself to most decisions made in late 2019/early 2020 because you, and the world, have changed a lot in the time since. It’s okay to let it go.

I bring some of this up today because one of my other favorite bands, U2, released some preorder/waitlist info for their Vegas residency in October. Now, I’m finally at the point financially that if I really and truly wanted to, I could save a few months and swing this. Airfare, hotel, tickets, food, etc to Vegas isn’t cheap but I could maybe manage. But they announced the dates today. Presale requests for fan club members (yes, I’m one) start now and end Wednesday. This is a LOT to spring on folks. Yes, we’ve known this was coming since before the Super Bowl announcement but we had no idea of the pricing! So I’ve got a day or so to decide if this is something I can pull off. Honestly, it’s probably not.

I’m not going to just pick on U2 here though. Several bands are now dropping tour announcements with just a few days/a week’s notice. I don’t have the money y’all! And even if we all had the money and made the Verified Fan sale and everything, there’s still a not small chance that the day will come and you can’t or won’t feel like going. I don’t have an answer here, just a few complaints and observations. Basically, don’t feel bad for bailing on a show. If it’s a smaller band, send ’em some of your money via bandcamp or their merch and release yourself from that particular guilt. The days are long and time is short. Go to shows when you can and rest when you can. The music is all still there.

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