It's tough out there. Of course, we had Metallica in town, so complaining about "no shows" sounds a little bratty. There are hundreds of towns that would give up every one of their shows to have Metallica for one night.

The problem is that the big concert promoters are buying up 30+ dates at a time from all the known acts. Basically, the big boys make ONE deal, and it saves time and effort and affords the bands certain guarantees. If they're packaged with other bands, they also save by sharing transportation costs, roadies, and more. They also have the group buying power to get hotels as a group and so on.

It just makes economic sense for the bands. In addition, many of the bands are banned from playing shows on their days off as part of the deal.

What doesn't make economic sense is going back around and hitting "secondary markets" like they used to.

 

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Think about this; most bands will hit Denver, Albuquerque, and Dallas. So after you've done that, how does it make sense to play Lubbock? Where would they be routed next? The answer may lie in El Paso, but that's only for big bands like Metallica that can take a day or several off between gigs.

In short, the giant festivals are murdering the smaller scenes. By the way, this isn't just conjecture, this was actually what I was told by the person who books about 90 percent of the shows that come to town.