After a very busy fall and early winter with a new job and a massive project, I am, finally, finding myself in a spot in which I can catch my breath, tie up loose ends and move on to new projects. (Let that be a warning—that’s right. Amanda has time. This is always dangerous.) One of those loose ends is a long promised blog in which I summarize what I learned about Duranies and their touring behavior/history. For a long time, I asked questions about specific tours, traveling, age, etc. all in hopes of understanding our fandom a bit more. Overall, I am not sure that I learned something shocking or even something that surprised me. More often than not, the responses I got confirmed patterns I believed to be true from years of observing, discussing, thinking about our fandom. Here are the patterns I found to be true based on the various polls I conducted. Please note. These are the patterns I saw. That does not mean that every fan fits into the patterns. These patterns are the generalities I found. I am also well aware that the people who responded are most likely pretty intense Duranies. They are not casual fans. Their fandom is probably a big part of their lives. Plus, I’m no expert when it comes to polls/polling.
Overall, Duranies seem willing and able to travel to see the band perform live. When asked, 36% of the responders said that they have traveled outside of their country to see the band. Then, an addition 60% have traveled outside of their own city/town to see the band. Only 3% of the people who responded said that they stick close to home.
Number of Shows
The overwhelming response to this question was that most Duranies are willing and able to see more than one show per tour. 69% of those who answered the poll said that they see 2 or more shows per tour. What was interesting to me was that most people see 2-3 shows per tour but there is still a good percentage who will see up to 7-10 shows per tour.
Over the course of months, I asked people to share how many shows of various tours people attended in hopes of really understanding which tours were most popular with the fans. Participation in these questions decreased over time. Is that because people were sick of answering them? Is that because no one attended those tours? Is it because the fan base has changed so dramatically since those early tours? All of the above? Maybe. Probably. Nonetheless, this is what I found.
*No one who attended one of the band’s very early shows, the Hazel O’Connor shows, the first UK Tour, the Faster Than Light Tour, the First European Tour, or the first North American Tour. At least, no one who is still around today, according to the poll.
*The earliest tour that any current fan attended was the First German Tour in 1981.
*The first tour that had over 10 current fans attend was, indeed, the Sing Blue Silver tour. That did not surprise me as this was the height of Duran Duran’s popularity.
*With current fans, it seems that the Strange Behaviour Tour was more popular, though, as over 20 fans said that they attended at least one show on that tour and one person said s/he went to over 10!
*Big Live Thing Tour seemed to keep the same number of fans in attendance or close to the same number as the Strange Behaviour Tour, based on my informal polls. That said, for the second run of shows supporting Big Thing, the numbers seemed to decrease.
*The number of fans who went to see shows during the tours for the Wedding Album did not significantly change in comparison to the Big Thing tours, which surprised me. After all, Duran had hits and radio play during this era.
*Likewise, there wasn’t a big change in the number of fans who attended the Let It Flow tour, which was in support of Medazzaland. The same is true for the Pop Trash Tour. Fascinating.
*Interestingly enough, there was a noticeable decrease in the number of fans who attended the Up Close and Personal Tour of 2001.
*The reunion tour of 2003-2004 saw a significant increase in fans who attended not only the tour itself but many shows in that tour. A lot more fans saw 2 or 3 shows than in previous tours.
*The increase continued through the Astronaut era as the majority of fans who voted saw more than one show. Clearly, people were excited by having the Fab Five back.
*The Red Carpet Massacre Tour continued to have a large number of fans who attended. The majority, though, only attended one show during the tour. There were less people willing to go to multiple shows for that tour.
*The All You Need Is Now Tour saw the number of fans jump back up to Astronaut numbers in the majority of fans who participated saw 2 or more shows.
*Overall, it seems that attendance for Duran Duran tours was consistent between Sing Blue Silver (1984) and the Pop Trash Tour (2000-2001). There was a drop for Up Close and Personal (2001) until a jump for the Reunion and Astronaut Tours. Red Carpet Massacre saw a slight decline but there was a bounce back for All You Need Is Now, from all that I saw from my informal polls and imprecise stats.
Based on the poll, most fans first saw Duran Duran play live when they were teenagers or close to it. The vast majority saw the band when they were between the ages of 11 to 22. The first tour was usually either Sing Blue Silver or Strange Behaviour. Generally, if a fan didn’t see them in 1984 or 1987, then s/he saw them for Big Thing, the Wedding Album, or post reunion show.
How well do you fit into these patterns? Anything surprise you?