To Tour Or Not To Tour?
This year we have seen tour records broken and achieved by the likes of Beyoncé, Jay Z, Eminem, Cher and One Direction. Their success has helped back up the fact that touring is where the true money is made in todays music industry.
But is touring and putting on a live show every night for at least six months of a year as lucrative and as ambitious as it is a perceived to be?
Better yet do some artists need to even bother touring at a certain stage in their career? Let’s take a look at the more seasoned performers such as Cher, Madonna, Kylie Minogue and even Robbie Williams. They are acts that always put on a good show and are guaranteed to sell out both arenas and stadiums around the world. However as each new tour begins their fans are always intrigued as to what show they will see…
Will they get a concert full of the hits or will the get an up to date show that will focus on the singers latest passion project? This is something that causes a great debate amongst critics and audiences as leads to people to ask whether they truly get their moneys worth out of their favourite musician.
However from the singers stand point they need to stay fresh and keep the tour interesting for them, in order to reignite interest in both the songs that they have been performing consistently for the last twenty years and the work that they have been proudly creating in the studio for the last year or so.
If they can find a happy medium with this then touring will continue to be a great (and beneficial) experience for both them and their fans.
Alternatively there are some musicians that now limit their touring and just stick to residency shows (e.g. Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Elton John, Shania Twain and now Kate Bush). This avenue is an extremely lucrative market that also comes as a risk.
For once these acts must rely on their audiences to come and see them and not vice versa, meaning that their live show must truly be something of value for someone to commute just to see them.
If the residency is a success, then you could ask yourself that touring is not necessarily an option and that this set up creates a good ideal for both their professional and personal commitments.
Then you have some acts that are just not profitable enough to pull of a full scale tour. Sure they may have had a few hit singles and they have created a buzz on social media, but when it comes to live performances they may leave something to the imagination. Due to this they might do joint headline shows or just stick to the festival circuit that guarantees an audience (but not necessary ones that are just there to see you).
This situation often proves the most difficult and is genuinely found amongst many pop acts. If there is a way they can work around this both during and after their commercial peak then the touring scene can still be a money earner regardless of the crowd you are playing towards.
Most importantly some acts just don’t like the idea of touring! Whilst they love singing, performing and interacting with their fans, its usually the long travel and time spent away from home that can put a negative aura around the idea of it. In most cases the positives outweight the negative but there has been a number of examples in the past of singers complaining about the hectic schedule.
Even when announcing her ‘Dressed to Kill‘ tour last year Cher was quoted saying “Being on the road is horrible but the concerts are great. I can understand why bands tear up hotel rooms – it can be a very lonely place – but the only time you have fun is at the concerts.”
Another interesting take is that sometimes going on the road can reignite interest in artist and given them a renewed passion to capitalise of their new and respected exposure. For example many agree that thanks to Mariah Carey’s extensive ‘Charmbracelet‘ tour in 2003/4 her voice strengthened and helped plant the seeds for her 2005 comeback album ‘The Emancipation of Mimi‘.
And of course there is the aspect of money to take in. As mentioned touring offers extreme financial benefits and can either add to the artists already rich bank account or can give them much needed financial benefits that can set them up for the rest of their lives…
So to answer my question of whether to tour or not to tour? Just do it, it benefits everybody in some way or another!
What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below
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