Serial cancellations: buying concert tickets becomes a kind of lottery

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Serial cancellations: buying concert tickets becomes a kind of lottery

A Billie Eilish concert scheduled for last May in Montreal had been canceled, without a reason being given.

Buying tickets to concerts by big names in pop music is increasingly looking like a lottery for their fans, who are seeing cancellations multiply.

In May, singer Billie Eilish canceled her scheduled concert at the Bell Center in Montreal. The following month, it was Canadian star Justin Bieber who announced the cancellation of the rest of his North American tour. A few weeks later, a blackout of the Rogers network caused the postponement of The Weeknd's show in Toronto. Then, just recently, Shawn Mendes decided to cancel the remainder of his world tour.

Even though the circumstances of the cancellation are often beyond the control of the company. artist, the situation can be frustrating for spectators who have paid the high price for their ticket when a concert does not finally take place.

Today, it's like a hopefully profitable investment, says Toronto cultural journalist Jill Krajewski. It's like buying a lottery ticket.

Cancellations and postponements are not a new phenomenon in the entertainment industry, but with rising ticket prices and galloping inflation, fewer and fewer fans want to take the risk of planning an outing, especially if it means moving to another region and staying in a hotel, for example.

Tracy Smith, a fan of The Weeknd from Georgia, will certainly hesitate the next time she wants to buy a concert ticket.

She was gone from ;Atlanta to hear the Toronto artist launch his After Hours til Dawn tour in his hometown. She was patiently waiting in a line to enter the amphitheater when she learned the show was canceled due to the Rogers network outage.

No one knew what was going on, she recalls. The line was getting longer.

The two tickets for her and her daughter had cost a total of US$800 (almost CA$1,025). To this must be added expenses of more than nearly $3000 for airfare and hotel room. If the concert tickets are refundable, these other expenses are forfeited, as the concert was canceled the same day it was presented.

Tracy Smith's case is not isolated. Eric Alper, a radio host and entertainment industry media relations specialist, says all of these cancellations aren't helping an industry trying to bounce back from the pandemic.

From a fan perspective, these constant cancellations leave a sour taste. They aren't just hearing about the cancellation of a concert in Toronto. They learn on the Internet that this is also the case in Barcelona, ​​Paris and the United States. It gets into people's minds. That's a bigger problem than three or four canceled shows.

Eric Alper believes 2023 will see one or more of these trends. : people will return en masse to see concerts or they will show a lack of interest in uncertain events.

He takes out the example of a concert for which he worked . All the tickets had sold out, but only 70% of people who had bought tickets came to attend.

Ipsos released research last week showing that Canadians and Canadian women expected to spend less on entertainment in the future, as inflation hits a 39-year high.

According to this survey, 25% of Gen Xers say they limit their cultural activities compared to 15% of Baby Boomers.

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