Monday, September 18, 2006

No, Really, This Is Our Farewell Tour...

Big-time artists that have been around for awhile will many times announce a farewell tour when they plan to retire from the music business. However, you then see some bands come out of retirement after their so-called farewell, or at least extend the farewell long enough to play cities multiple times (some recent examples are Eric Clapton, Cher, and the Who). In fact, Phil Collins named his tour this summer the "First Final Farewell Tour" as reference to this phenomenon.

Clearly, bands name their tours this because it raises the revenue for the tour because people think they will never have the chance to see this band again. But on the other hand, if bands keep going back on saying it is a farewell tour, then they lose credibility and people won't be as likely to buy a ticket when it is their last tour. What are your thoughts on this whole idea? What would be the revenue-maximizing strategy for a band in this situation? What type of band could use the strategy of announcing a farewell tour? Red Hot Chili Peppers? Death Cab for Cutie? Hilary Duff? U2?

(Question from Austin)


Anonymous said...

I do think that going on seven or so farewell tours is kind of like the "boy who cried wolf" in that people won't want to buy tickets for the very last tour if there have already been a lot of "farewell tours," so calling your last three, four or six tours "farewell tours" will probably not increase total revenue. Bands that appeal to older groups might want to announce a farewell tour, since the idea of a farewell tour might appeal more to them if they have followed the band for a long time and want to see them in concert one last time. A well-established band that wants to take time off could make money by calling its last tour for a while a farewell tour, even if they plan to come out of retirement in five years or so anyway, and just call that a "revival tour" or something, after having waited long enough to revive interest in the band, but so that the most recent one was still a farewell tour (for a while, anyway). U2 could probably have a farewell tour that lasts a long time just because it spans more than one generation of fans, but Hilary Duff's "farewell" concert probably wouldn't matter that much to anyone because her music fan base is really confined to young, pre-teen girls.

Anonymous said...

oh, that was from me, by the way

Anonymous said...

firstly, to comment on carrie's post. Hillary Duff's farewell tour would probably be a cause for celebration, because her music is abysmal. But take for instance lil bow wow (now just bow wow) who recently anounced his retirement. He is currently having his farewell tour. Since, unlike U2, he is very young he only appeals to a single generation, and furthermore since he really isn't all that popular, he probably won't attract many more fans with this ploy. His motivation is probably not to trick people into coming to his "final concert" and then make a comeback in a few years. instead he probably finds himself unsatisfied with some or all parts of his life as a rap artist and wants to move on to another profession. (he has recently tried acting) Take another example, Venus Williams quit tennis to persue a career in acting and a clothing/perfume line. She, like many bands, had a final tournament. However, after the acting career failed to be successful, she went right back to tennis. I think many bands quit touring and making music to persue something else, then when they realize that they aren't very good at acting or reality television, they go back to what they are good at: music. as for bow wow, in a few years he will probably realize what most people have already (that he is a horrible actor) and go right back to music and start touring all over again.
jacob hormes

Anonymous said...

How many last seasons did MJ have?
Being successful has the advantage of being able to put a hold on what you're doing and try a different profession. Further, being such a fixture as Jordan was in basketball, Venus was in tennis, and, say, Bob Dylan was in music, it would not be hard for any of these people to return to their prior professions, as MJ proved twice, and Venus and Dylan are trying to prove right now. I don't think the "dishonesty" some people see in this is such an issue. I went to The Who's first farewell tour back in 1994 with my Dad, and he was ecstatic to have another chance to see them last year, not disappointed that they lied with the title of their earlier tour. When it's a band you've grown up with, like The Who for my father or the Chili Peppers for me, I would have no problem going to farewell tour after farewell tour; I hate when bands break up. As for newer artists like Duff and Death Cab, I'm sure declaring their tour a farewell would sell some extra tickets, but it would be hard to spin a "triumphant return" for such immature and less well-known acts.


Anonymous said...

If a band said that they were going to have a farewell tour, obviously their fans would all buy tickets thinking that it was the last time they could ever see them live again. This would bring in lots of revenue for them. The problem is, if a band has more than one farewell tour, the fans will stop supporting. They assume the band will have other shows and they won’t attend all of them. People like Hilary Duff and Death Cab for Cutie shouldn’t attempt to have a farewell tour because they are reasonably new artists. Their audience is mostly teenagers, and farewell tours are usually filled with adults. If she really needed the extra revenue Hilary Duff could say she was having a farewell tour and all of her fans would attend thinking it was her final concert. She could continue to have concerts for a while because she is so young, people would continue to watch her for many years. Then when she was older it would probably work to have another farewell tour that was actually real.
-Hope Johnson