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McLachlan Talks About Lilith

10:01 AM Friday 7/16/10 | |

Seems that whenever anyone talks about soft ticket sales during this summer’s concert season the subject eventually turns to the return of the Lilith Fair tour. With several cancellations already under its belt, Lilith has been getting plenty of second-guessing from the media. Now, tour co-founder and headliner Sarah McLachlan addresses some of the slings and arrows aimed towards this year’s outing.

  • Sarah McLachlan

    ABC's "Good Morning America," New York City
    June 11, 2010

    (AP Photo)


McLachlan made her comments in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, which points out the tour has lost 12 of its 35 dates, resulting in losing some of its high-profile artists, such  Kelly Clarkson, when the revised routing didn’t work logistically with the performers’ schedules. McLachlan talked about the cancellations, and the Canadian songstress did not mince words.

“It’s been a combination of bad ticket sales and Live Nation making a decision to pull shows because they didn’t have the marketing money to promote them properly,” McLachlan told the Tribune. “But the alternative of canceling the whole tour is not going to happen.”

Why, when the economy is still struggling to climb out of a recession, did McLachlan agree to resurrect the female-centric Lilith Fair, which hasn’t toured since 1999? Her first new album in seven years, Laws Of Illusion, plus her personal life figured heavily in her decision.

“My oldest daughter is going into third grade, so I knew I could only tour during the summer,” McLachlan said. “Lilith made a lot of sense. I hadn’t been out with a band in a long time and I wanted that sense of community around me.”

During the interview, McLachlan pointed out that attitudes within the music biz towards female artists changed somewhat for the better after Lilith’s original run in the 1990s, saying that while “inequality still exists,” today’s Top 40 is “50 percent women now.”

McLachlan also said the lineup for Lilith’s return is more diversified than when the festival toured more than 10 years ago, saying it’s more about “the comfort level and the camaraderie, a chance for us to get together and play some music.”

But regardless of soft ticket sales and lineup changes, McLachlan said it’s a different market than when Lilith launched in 1997.

“Somebody mentioned how disappointing it was that we’d only sold 9,000 tickets for Lilith in Indianapolis after selling 27,000 there in the ‘90s,” McLachlan told the Tribune. “But it’s a different market than it was 12 years ago. Nobody is selling that many tickets anymore, and the people who are coming are super excited to be there. That’s who I’m playing to. There’s no reason to be sad about it. If we knew the economy was going to tank, maybe we would’ve thought twice about doing this, but once the wheels are in motion, you can’t go back.”

  • Sheryl Crow

    Lilith Fair, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB, Canada
    June 27, 2010

    (AP Photo / The Canadian Press)


Click here to read the complete Chicago Tribune article.


  1. chadstermac wrote:

    06:54 AM, Jul 19, 2010

    um, in Raleigh NC, they were selling 10 dollar lawn seats for Lilith, with no service charges for the entire month of June, How could it be high ticket prices ? They still couldn't sale, and canceled the show. If 10 bucks is too much, I guess they will just have to start playing for free. I had tickets, it sucks, I just don't think that people are spending the money on music right now, they can just buy the blu ray concert dvd and watch it at home without worrying about it raining,lol. However , GaGa, Taylor Swift, and U2 seem to be selling just fine.

  2. bigsled wrote:

    07:47 PM, Jul 18, 2010

    The suits that be just dont get it anymore. I looked at ticket prices for here in the twin cities and they wanted eiyjer 250.00 or 150.00 for all the front sections or you could sit in the back for less... I just laughed !

    The suits will push for the highest prices thru ticketmaster and their brokers then if it dosent sell , they lower the prices .

    People need to stop suporting this and the artist need to stand up too. You dont see popular country artists , that sell out, doing this but, you'll see Bono talking about releasing 3rd world countries of the money they owe then he rapes his fans for 250.  a ticket, LOL.

  3. jaredoliveira wrote:

    10:36 AM, Jul 17, 2010

    This article makes McLachlan sound like an idiot. There are many reasons to blame Live Nation when it comes to concerts these days, but Lilith not being able to sell tickets is definitely NOT one of them. And this is definitely not a battle of the sexes thing and I really don't think that the Lilith Fair had much to do with the prominence of women being successful in the industry today. I think most of that 50 percent are women that McLachlan would not want on the tour if she's supposed to be promoting strong minded musicians. I mean which women are successful right now? Lady GaGa. Katy Perry. Ke$ha. Are they going to be wanting to tour with Lilith anytime soon? And would Sarah want them on the tour? Well maybe - that might actually generate ticket sales. But seriously - the prices are out of control. She's right. It is a different market. A market of inflated ticket prices that only a select few can afford. And who is she to say that nobody is selling that many tickets anymore. So why can't I get one ticket to see Phish in Berkeley? And why can't I get one decent seat for Dave Matthews Band at Shoreline? How did the Black Keys sell out so quickly at the Fox in Oakland - both nights! Hey Sarah McLachlan - try being a relevant artist in this decade, then make a comback with $200 ticket prices. Idiot.

  4. bep76 wrote:

    07:28 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    lilith fair has always played outdoor venues. so people mad that it asnt outdoor doesnt know much about the tour. and i believe they cut ticket prices in half for some shows. so those complaining about prices need to do more research. the truth is that the days of going to 100.00 concerts are over. so artists like lady gaga and madonna either need to downsize their shows to make them more affordable, or touring as a whole just needs to go away. i havent been to a concert since aug of last year cuz a: nobody good is touring and b: the mediocre acts are overcharging. i mean, 84.00 for idol tix?!?

  5. gregb511 wrote:

    07:14 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    Anyone who attended any of the Lilith shows cannot say enough positive about the event.   Sarah McLachlan collected some of the best women in music for her tour.  I saw the show at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and had a phenomenally great time.  I love Sarah, but Heart, Colbie Caillat, Miranda Lambert & the Bangles provided an unforgettable evening.    Thank you Sarah for moving forward in a very difficult year.  The economy continues to tank and shows are not selling well and it was wise to pull the plug when absolutely essential.  But, I am so happy Lilith has been revitalized and hopefully will return again in future years.

  6. millionaireintraining wrote:

    01:29 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    I, and probably most of the concert goers agree with you, blueraiders.  Ticket prices have gotten to the point where you practically have to take out a second mortgage on the house in order to see your favorite artist.  No thanks.  For the price of a ticket in some cases, I could buy all of a band's CD's and videos and still have money left over.

    Years back, I remember Garth Brooks doing a tour and insisting that his tickets top out at $25. He wanted people to be able to bring their families.  And, Creed has the right idea this year with the 20/10 tour where the first 2010 tickets sold will be $20 all inclusive, with no additional fees. Sweet deal if you're a Creed fan.  Whoever put that together was thinking about the fans and I wouldn't be surprised if the tour does really well and even creates a whole slew of new fans for the band.  

  7. fugitive fiend wrote:

    01:25 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    I could not agree more - the reason this tour is doing so terribly is because of how absurdly overpriced the tickets are!!!!

  8. trooper872 wrote:

    12:39 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    Got my refund when they changed venues from an indoor to a outdoor event.  I would have loved an email stating something about the change.

  9. blueraiders wrote:

    12:27 PM, Jul 16, 2010

    Wake up Sarah and the rest of you people in the music industry who live in another world. The sky high prices is what is keeping people away from concerts. It's not Live Nation not marketing them properly or anything else. The prices have gotten ridiculous. I would have loved to have seen some of the acts at the Lillith Fair and wanted to go when I first heard about it. But when I saw the ticket prices, I had to make a decision, because with other concerts that I wanted to go to and the ticket prices for them as well, there is only so much money to go around. The economy has not affected me. I still have a job. But for the prices for these shows keep going up and and up and up. I used to go to a lot more concerts than I do today. I never thought twice if it was someone I wanted to see. But with the price of tickets these days, I have to make choices and there is not enough to go around for everyone. I'm sure there are a lot of other people in the same boat. Sarah referred to a lot of people who were excited to be at the concert. There probably would have been a lot m more who would have been excited to be there if the ticket price was lower. If you want your fans to come to your concerts, you might want to think about them, too, and not just your own pocketbook.

  10. El Perro wrote:

    10:18 AM, Jul 16, 2010

    The tour is still a good idea.  But they should have been more realistic and booked into theaters and smaller outdoor venues instead of trying to fill 20,000 seat sheds.

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