By Whitney Pastorek
Updated July 16, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

So far this month, the relaunched Lilith Fair has axed 10 shows, and the American Idol tour has dropped eight cities. That’s on top of Christina Aguilera canceling her tour, Jonas Brothers and Rihanna ditching dates, and Limp Bizkit postponing their entire run. Maybe that last one’s not a shock, but halfway through summer, the concert business is flailing — down 17 percent from last year, according to concert trade mag Pollstar. Festivals like Bonnaroo are doing well, and Lady Gaga is selling out arenas. But fans seem to be blanching at many other big-ticket shows. ”There are [tours] out there that should be doing fine, but the ticket prices are too high,” says booking agent Dave Kaplan of the Agency Group. So why do concerts cost so much these days? Promoters say they can’t lower prices because talent guarantees are too steep, while managers blame ticket surcharges. For Kaplan, the solution isn’t really that complicated. ”Across the board,” he says, ”people need to be a little less greedy.”