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.
ABC's "Good Morning America," New York City
June 11, 2010
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.”
Lilith Fair, McMahon Stadium, Calgary, AB, Canada
June 27, 2010
Click here to read the complete Chicago Tribune article.