If management company Q Prime is any indication, 2012 will be all about U.S. acts touring Europe.
Manager Cliff Burnstein recently told the Wall Street Journal why clients Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers are heading overseas next year while U.S. fans patiently wait. The tours are being rolled out as a sort of hedge against the possible collapse of the Euro.
“You have to ask yourself, what’s the best time to be doing what, when and where,” Burnstein said, adding that the high value of the Euro currency is not sustainable.
In fact, Burnstein noted that 75 percent of RHCP’s revenue comes from touring abroad.
The attention to currency rates and economic trends is a healthy byproduct of the 2008 global financial crash. Now, with Metallica gearing up to play its self-titled Black Album at Germany’s Rock im Park and Rock am Ring festivals in June, Burnstein is monitoring exchange rates to determine if the band should be paid in Euros or dollars.
The WSJ noted Burnstein will buy derivative financial instruments to lock in a preferred rate, but that he is opposed to hiking ticket prices to compensate for possible currency-related losses.
“Nobody is looking to make a foreign-exchange trade to make money, bu you don’t want to be a loser,” he said.
“Over the next few years, the dollar will be stronger and the euro weaker, and if that’s the case, I want to take advantage of that by playing more of these [European] shows now, because they will be more profitable for us.”
Although it’s a stretch to call them a U.S. act, Black Sabbath is another band that has opted for a U.K.-first trek next summer. Also, acts like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty have European dates on the books, although the dates are still sparse.
Then there’s the opposite of a collapsing Europe: the rising tides of South America, Asia and Australia.
“We’re a U.S. export the same way Coca-Cola is,” Burnstein said. “We look for the best markets to go to.”