Many New Year's Eve concerts suffer from low public interest : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Many people are planning to stay home this year...

-- Linkmeister (, December 12, 1999


Saturday December 11 12:57 PM EST

Millennium Concerts Plagued by Y2K Glitch

Seems like only yesterday our nation's citizenry was panic-stricken by the prospect of the millennium--terrified of not being able to score seats to the top concerts, worried of being left out of the hot spots for champagne cork-popping.

Well, welcome to today: Apparently fed up with the hype (not to mention astronomical ticket prices), most folks will be spending New Year Eve's at home, according to a recent survey by Time magazine. In fact, what may be a boon for Dick Clark, the survey said, 72 percent of Americans aren't planning anything special at all.

This is all very bad news for the rock 'n' roll set.

"For a lot of people, this is just another New Year's Eve," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar, a trade magazine of the concert industry. "A lot of this hype was just created by the media."

With the year 2000 just weeks away, pricey tickets are still available for nearly all of the supposedly hottest concerts. According to Bongiovanni, people just aren't willing to pay-- millennium or not.

"The problem isn't the big names, the problem is the big ticket prices," he says. "I think people overestimated the public's willingness to pay high ticket prices for the privilege of going out New Year's Eve. Any time you start charging ticket prices in the hundreds, much less thousands, of dollars, you're greatly limiting the potential size of your audience."

Among the still-open shows:

* "Piano Man" Billy Joel's Madison Square Garden concert in New York. Cost: $375 and $299.

* Parrothead Jimmy Buffett's concert at Los Angeles' Universal Amphitheater. Cost: $500.

* Soon-to-be retired diva Celine Dion's chest-thumping show at Montreal's Molson dome. Cost: $500.

* The Eagles concert, featuring Jackson Browne and Linda Rondstadt, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Cost: $350-$1,000. (Concert promoters say they are anticipating a sell-out here.)

* The Metallica, Alice Cooper, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent hard-rock bonanza at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. Cost: $29.50

* 'N Sync's Hawaiian celebration in Honolulu. Cost: $65.

And don't forget the slew of stars that scrapped plans altogether after facing less-than-stellar ticket sales. In New York, the so- called Celebration 2000 Party of the Century featuring the superstar likes of Sting, Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias, Chuck Berry, Tom Jones, among others, was canceled. The $1,000-$2,500 admission fees for the dusk-to-dawn soiree apparently sunk the ship.

Folkie singer Jewel also nixed her New Year's Eve concert in Anchorage, Alaska. She blamed possible Y2K glitches, but at the time of the cancellation, more than 6,000 seats were still unsold.

Other Y2K Eve casualties include Michael Jackson, who was scheduled to do millennium shows in both in Honolulu and Sydney, and the hard rockers of Creed, who were set to usher in 2000 from Florida.

Barbra Streisand is one of the only stars who's actually packing a house for Y2K. The diva's high-priced (up to $2,500-a-seat) December 31 concert at Las Vegas' MGM Grand is completely sold out. A second concert on January 1 is well on its way to boffo sales, as well.

"Las Vegas is one of the hottest destinations in the world and Barbra Streisand is one of the most popular entertainers of the century," explains MGM Grand spokesperson Shelley Mansholt. "I think it has to do with who she is and her name. Obviously she does not perform frequently."

Aside from the whole Streisand phenomenon, Bongiovanni has a simple explanation for the audiences' stay-at-home mood.

"People are not stupid. They know when they're getting gouged," he says. "With that kind of money, you can do a lot of things."


-- Linkmeister (, December 12, 1999.

With the government saying that United States citizens should avoid large gatherings due to terrorist threats (thread below), it is reasonable that people are staying home (or going to small parties) in droves.

-- Mad Monk (, December 12, 1999.

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