It’s 12:25 in the afternoon my time here in lovely Southern California, and I have yet to write today’s blog. I’ve been sitting here, scouring the boards and trying to come up with something “smart” to write for the better part of the morning as our construction team is downstairs ripping out our fireplace. If I were a better writer, I would probably be able to make some sort of fantastic parallel between the demolition of the fireplace and the reconstruction of my family room to the band and their current state of “remodeling” with the upcoming album. (All You Need is Now, available on iTunes on December 21. How’s that for a free plug?!?)
One day later in the South African show cancellation saga and the news continues to spur speculation within the community. The news articles coming out of South Africa continue to blame low ticket sales for the cancellation, and there have been no further updates from the band. The truth is that we fans may never know the entire truth behind the dates being cancelled, and we are probably going to have to be OK with that. That said, I can’t help but fan the flames of the speculation fire a bit by saying that perhaps the truth is somewhere in the middle of “the tour promoter defaulted on the contract” (notice that no reason was given as to WHY the promoter defaulted) and “low ticket sales”. Other news bytes on the topic quote the promoter as saying that they tried to renegotiate fewer dates with the band as a result of the low ticket sales, but they were not able to come to a favorable resolution with the bands management.
Oddly enough, after one looks into the venues where the band was slated to play – the story seems to become clearer to some extent. The band was to be performing 5 shows throughout South Africa: one in Durban, two in/around Johannesburg, and two in Cape Town. The venue in Durban accommodates 15,000; the venue in Cape Town from 8-10,000. Those are large venues, to say the least. It isn’t a surprise if the ticket sales really were lower than expected, but that would seem to me to be on the shoulders of the promoter. Chances are, the promoter realized the shows would not come close to being sold out, tried to back out on the agreement, and the band held their ground. Whether it was a mistake for the band to back out on the chance to play ANY South African shows is up for others to decide.
Other writers from South Africa have touched upon the subject today (you can read one article here ), and they’ve painted a far less positive picture. As a fan, I have to wonder how it is that Roxette can sell tickets well and Duran Duran was not – although once you read the article it’s pretty clear: Roxette sold 5000 tickets for 3 shows coming up in May. These South African shows were not given nearly the same amount of sales time between announcement, onsale date and show, and if that’s not enough to convince the naysayers out there, 5,000 tickets is only 1/3 of the capacity of just one of the venues that Duran Duran was to play during their 5 show run. Doesn’t seem as though the author is truly comparing apples to apples….
Regardless, the speculation will go on. In the meantime, I will sit and listen to the roar of saws, nail guns and hammering in my house! Who had the crazy idea of taking out the fireplace and getting new flooring anyway?!? (um, that would be me!)