The music industry feels the pinch as musicians cancel overseas tours
Kelly Rowland, Beyonce Knowles, ...
Credit: Destiny's Child: Ethan Miller/ImageDirect

With many Americans feeling nervous about traveling these days, it’s no surprise that performers are similarly uneasy about taking their shows on the road. Destiny’s Child, Janet Jackson, Weezer, Brian Wilson, Luther Vandross, Aimee Mann, Ben Folds, and Blink 182 are just some of the acts that have postponed or cancelled upcoming tours in Europe and Asia.

Mann, who was scheduled to play in London on Oct. 11, wrote on her web site: ”Given the recent terrorist attacks, news reports of there being a 100 percent chance of another attack, the military action, and the U.S. State Department’s strong warnings to Americans traveling abroad, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to postpone our upcoming tour indefinitely.”

Staying home may seem like the safe choice, but it ends up costing artists. ”The U.S. is probably a little more than half of the world market in terms of touring,” says Gary Bongiovanni, editor in chief of the tour industry publication Pollstar. ”Markets like Japan and Europe and Australia do a significant amount of concerts, and this is going to have some [financial] effect.”

One way for performers to make up lost overseas revenue is to add more stateside dates to their American tours, but that tactic often backfires. Many smaller cities don’t have arenas large enough to host the more elaborate shows, which Janet Jackson discovered when she considered, then rejected, the idea of adding U. S. dates to her schedule. ”For her, it came down to mathematics,” says Phil Casey, head of contemporary music for ICM. ”The cost of putting a tour through those minor venues didn’t make sense.”