With the summer concert season approaching, North American tours by Hanson and Metallica are already reporting strong ticket sales. The Hanson showing is particularly encouraging, as it follows a trend of strong sales by youth-oriented acts. Hanson notched a sellout in less than 20 minutes Saturday in the Detroit market for a June 29 show at Pine Knob Amphitheatre. Also sold out is a June 23 show at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre and a June 26 show at the Boston-area Great Woods Amphitheater, which went clean in less than two hours. More than 15,000 tickets have been sold for a July 12 show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, which promoter Bill Silva calls a “tremendous feat” for the market. The tour, which has 11 dates confirmed, begins June 20 at Molson Centre in Montreal and includes stops in Atlanta and Hanson’s hometown of Tulsa, Okla.
The youth movement is seen as a positive sign for the industry. “I think we’ve finally heard from the next generation, and that may be very healthy for the business,” says Detroit promoter Rick Franks. “Hanson, Backstreet Boys, and Spice Girls are selling faster than everybody else we’ve got on sale.” He adds, “The voice of a younger demographic is being heard, and hopefully they will embrace the live music industry for years to come.”
On the other side of the pop music spectrum, perennial heavy metal favorite Metallica’s first headlining shed tour since 1994 also has notched a number of sellouts, beginning with a show June 24 at Coral Sky Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Fla. Last year, Metallica reported more than $32 million in grosses from 72 shows, fourth among all tours and first among non-stadium tours, and this year’s outing comes on the heels of a successful arena tour of Japan and Australia. “It doesn’t get much more consistent than Metallica when it comes to touring and tickets sales,” says Tony DiCioccio of Metallica’s management team at Q-Prime. The tour, which is being promoted on a market-by-market basis, has about 40 dates on the books, with most venues selling out the first week.
–Ray Waddell, Amusement Business