Some shows around the country have been canceled for the reasons we know.  Primus had to postpone their show in Cedar Rapids due to somebody in the Primus camp testing positive for COVID.  Other shows are being canceled before they hit the road like the Bush tour which was announced and then canceled.  This was over concerns of the rise in COVID cases.  Yet others, like Chevelle, have gone out for a run and then canceled the second half of the tour even though cases are once again dropping.

If you have been to any concert with I-Rock 93.5 you know that I have a couple of beers, get on stage, and start yapping about stuff.  One thing I always bring up is who else we are working on bringing to town.  Mostly I like to get you excited for what is next but also I like to gauge where your interest level is.  If you were at 3 Doors Down or Chevelle, I tossed out some big names.  Some of those won't be happening now because not enough people are going to see live music.

When concerts started to come back this spring, the general thought was that tickets would sell fast because everybody was ready to get back to the show.  While we've had some great shows, and great crowds, the overall reality is that people are not flooding back to live events.

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Look at some recent numbers.  That Chevelle show.  1,000 people on a Sunday is pretty solid.  But really, that should have been like 1300.  How about this one, go check out how the Tool show is selling.  Here you go....check out the link for tickets.  The first time Tool was announced, there was nothing but single seats left by the end of the day.  Now, over a week later there are plenty of good seats still available.

Why are ticket sales down?

There is not a singular reason why ticket sales are down in the Quad Cities and across the country.  There is a combination that is taking its toll.

  1. There are still people who are uncomfortable going to large indoor gatherings.  You might be fine with it, clearly, you've seen me out and about, but others are still nervous.
  2. There are still people holding onto tickets for future shows, or they got burned in the spring of 2020 and lost money.  These people are nervous about spending money when something might get postponed or canceled.
  3. The fun money is running out.  We got stimulated by the government and spent a lot of that cash on other things.  Now, the extra cash has run out and people are looking at their money coming in and going out a bit closer.
  4. What are the COVID rules at the ___ show?  Some people don't want to show a vaccine card or a negative test or wear a mask.  Others want those restrictions.  And who knows what each venue, artist, or state is doing.  If it's not your absolute favorite band, you won't take the time to find out.  You just won't go.

When you add in all these factors, shows are down 20-40% from "normal" attendance. You'll still get some shows and tours that will rip it.  CMFT, KnotFest, the In This Moment Tour are all doing great.  But that is not the norm.  That is the exception.

More Quad Cities Concerts Are Being Canceled, But It's Not For The Reason You Think.  

So when I say more shows are being canceled, you will ask me which ones.  They are concerts that you didn't even know were supposed to come to town.  These bands are canceling plans before even making the announcement.  Over the last year, when we read that a tour is canceled or postponed, it's because of COVID.  Now, shows aren't even being booked, due to lack of attendance.

It's Econ 101:  Venues aren't filling up.  So the venue can't give bands full prices.  So bands are deciding not to tour.

The majority of bands and venues don't want to screw each other over.  Both have a symbiotic relationship and understand both need to make money to survive.  They also want to make their money while keeping the concertgoer happy with prices and the show so they come back to the next one.

Talking with promoters and bookers, they are thinking it will take till 2023 before things get fully back to normal.

The next 3 weeks in the Quad Cities are packed with shows.  Saving Abel, Stone Temple Pilots, Jackyl, two giant Halloween parties.  There is a lot happening between now and the end of the month.  Will you be at one of them?  All of them?  None of them?  You may want to hit some of these up because I am predicting a bit of a dry spell this winter.  And if you want to know which shows/tours were planned that are now not happening, come find me after 2 beers at any of these shows and I'll let you know.

The Best Illinois Concert Venues

With concerts back in full swing, we give you the best venues for seeing live music in Illinois. Any missing? Send the name of the venue and some of your pictures to ryan.mccredden@townsquaremedia.com.
After looking at the Illinois venues, check out the Iowa venues here.

Chevelle at The Rust Belt

Chevelle rocked the Rust Belt Sunday night with an awesome, high energy set that provided us a ton of concert memories.