This week began with a sublimely endearing live experience of the genre of music which was born right here in Nashville. (Bluegrass - see previous post.) Now today, it's ending with great news published by Nashville's daily paper, The Tennessean! And I love the front-page, above-the fold, headline.
"On the Road Again: Country tours thrive"
The newspaper article features a photo of country singer Tim McGraw in performance at the Fan Fair (CMA Music Festival) held here just over a month ago. Tim and wife Faith Hill make their home just south of Nashville in Williamson Country (where many country music stars have their homes).
The article points out that while tickets sales for music stars' concert tours in general are slumping this year (down 17%), country artists are bucking that trend. And they're succeeding in part due to lower average ticket costs. E.g., Bon Jovi, highest-grossing act in sales, has average ticket price of over $94 and James Taylor/Carole King (wish I could have seen their tour when it stopped here) tickets average over $86. Compare them with Taylor Swift, third-highest gross sales, who averages just over $60, and Tim (#8 on the list) charges an average of $48.53 per ticket.
Now mind you, even the lower country average prices still are way above what yours truly could fork out for a ticket. So I won't be going to see Taylor or Tim any time soon, any more than I was able to see James & Carole!
Nevertheless, it pleases me -- and doubtless pleases many "suits" on Music Row -- that the news is good for the country concert tour scene. To read the entire news article's on-line version, which alas! doesn't feature the headline alluding to Willie Nelson's great hit song, go to http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100717/BUSINESS01/7170320/On-the-road-again-Country-tours-thrive
One last tho't, dear reader. My rejoicing for the good news re country tour sales does not blind me to the not-so-good news for other genres. Nashville is, after all, Music City USA: home of American music in many forms and genres. I do consider myself eclectic in my musical tastes, even tho' Country & Western and Southern Gospel are my two faves. Therefore, I hope and I shall pray that music genres in general will follow Country artists' lead, and lower ticket prices, which will cause larger crowds and greater sales.