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Madonna Tour: Does She Need the Cash?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,121045,00.html

May 27, 2004

Story:

What would force a 45-year-old multi-millionaire pop icon [Madonna] to go on the road once again, especially if it meant risking health and taking time from her family? One would think Madonna is past all that. I'm sure as she cancelled her Los Angeles show last night for the flu and read the negative reviews of opening night, she was thinking the same thing.

But the pop queen must go on. In fact, Madonna needs to tour, and here's the simple answer to why she'd put herself through all this: cold cash. Even with her vast wealth, investments, etc, the singer probably needs it by now.

You see, Madge — for whom no one will be having a telethon anytime soon — is not the money machine she was in the late 1980s. According to Forbes, Madonna has only made their Celebrity 100 list three times in the last 11 years and once in the last five years. True, in 2002 she grossed $43 million from her Drowned World Tour, but she finished overall at number 17 for money earned among entertainers.

On the other hand, she landed at number 4 for the amount of power she wielded that year. One thing's for sure, Madonna gets a lot of press even when she's not raking in the bucks.

If Forbes is right, in 2003 Madonna made less than Bill Clinton, who picked up $9 million for writing his book and doing speaking engagements.

Madonna's problems earning fresh income from songwriting royalties or publishing began once she stopped using professional songwriters for her hits and started writing songs that weren't hits on her own.

For example: although they are closely identified with her, Madonna did not write her most popular hits "Holiday," "Borderline," "Papa Don't Preach," "Like a Virgin" or "Material Girl." (For "Borderline," one of Madonna's first hits, Reggie Lucas actually just cannibalized another of his hits, Stephanie Mills' "Never Knew Love Like This Before."

They are almost interchangeable.) On most others, like "Into the Groove" and "Like a Prayer," she shared credit with at least one songwriter. Still radio staples in 2004, those songs make money for their writers and not for Madonna.

Before 1990, Madonna rarely even put her name on a song for a co-writing credit. If she did, it was for filler, not a hit. She only started that practice around that year, with the "Like a Prayer" album, adding her name to songs by Patrick Leonard and by Stephen Bray, each of whom had previously written for her. Not a great songwriter, she "contributed" to the songs' composition and wisely took a cut of the publishing royalties.

Only one track of the 17 on Madonna's greatest hits album, "The Immaculate Collection," issued in 1990, is credited solely to her: "Lucky Star." Of the other 16, five lack her name completely. The other 11 are collaborations, with two of them getting only "additional lyrics" by Madonna, thus diminishing her cut of the profits.

But after 1990, Madonna — believing she'd become a great writer — changed collaborators. Bray and Leonard were succeeded by Shep Pettibone, William Orbit and Mirwais. The sound went from pop to electronic, and, in the process, traded sensuality for mechanics.

It's almost impossible to name a Madonna song or even hum one that's come out since 1990 even though many of them were video or radio hits. How about "Mer Girl"? Don't know that one? What about "Deeper and Deeper," "Bad Girl," "Bedtime Story," or "Frozen"? The theme from "Die Another Day"? Nothing, huh? "Ray of Light," a hit, was more admired than it was beloved.

Essentially, she has her name on a lot of forgettable records.

Madonna's new publishing philosophy of adding her name to songs was almost done too late. By that time, the damage was done and the big hits were credited to others. Madonna's plight, you could say, was similar to those of other great singers and performers from the pre-singer/songwriter era who only recorded but didn't write their hits.

That's because there is no performance royalty for airplay. When you hear a song on the radio, only its writer is paid a royalty. If the singer is just singing it, even if it's a hit, they are not getting any benefit from it other than fame. Oldies radio staples from Motown, Stax, the Brill Building era and even Elvis Presley are included in this.

The decline in album sales overall for artists of her generation hasn't helped the bottom line either. Madonna's last album, "American Life," never even went platinum, selling a meager 637,000 copies, according to SoundScan. Those numbers are frightening when you have to support a husband, children, staff, a manager and a personal lifestyle that's platinum card, five-star and over the top.

For example, Madonna reportedly gave the Kabbalah organization a $5 million gift to build a London headquarters. She also turned over royalties from her two children's books, which sold well enough and probably generated some income. At the rate things are going, she may be asking for all of it back any day now.

Madonna's Drawing Power Not as Strong in Some Areas

From New York Daily News

June 2004

In fact, Madonna could have packed Giants Stadium for several nights. But her drawing power isn’t as strong in some other cities, so her show had to be scaled for 20,000-seaters rather than the 50,000-seat jumbo types.

Rabbi Boteach Responds to Madonna's P.R. person, Liz Rosenberg

June 2004

Excerpts:

“How tragic that sixty years after feminism rightly demanded that women cease being treated as the lecherous man’s plaything and instead be accorded the dignity of an equally intelligent and dignified member of society, Madonna has been allowed to undo so much of that progress with barely a whimper of protest.

“But while it is unbecoming of responsible feminist leaders not to speak out at Madonna’s wholesale vulgarization of the female image, it would be downright scandalous for Jewish religious leaders not to object to Madonna being promoted as the foremost practitioner of Judaism in the world. Judaism and Kabbalah are, above all else, moral disciplines that demand a striving for moral excellence. Stripping on stage and calling oneself a Kabbalist are mutually exclusive.

“For Madonna to put herself forward as a spiritual spokesperson while continuing to degrade women by simulating sex acts at music concerts, portray full nudity in her movies, and to ridicule lesbians by performing same-sex kisses merely for TV ratings, is a mockery of her claims to a life of spiritual renewal based on the teachings of the Kabbalah.

Las Vegas Sun

June 1, 2004

During his show Prince took a few digs at some other artists currently on tour.

"Las Vegas, you made the right choice tonight," Prince said, making a clear reference to the Madonna concert going on at the same time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

He also said several times that there was "no lip-syncing going on here tonight," nor canned music, a gentle swipe at Britney Spears as well as Madonna.

Madonna Wimps Out

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/25326.htm

by By Julia Gorin, from The New York Post

June 8, 2004

ISN'T Madonna supposed to be controversial and independent? Then why did she cancel all three Israel stops on her "Reinvention Tour"? At least now we know how she's reinventing herself: as someone who plays it safe.

The whole tour, in fact, plays it safe.

It takes nothing to spout antiwar messages and to bash Republicans, President Bush and the U.S. military. Nor is there any longer anything provocative about getting naked and simulating heterosexual and lesbian sex.

Antics that target "decent folk" aren't risky — she's made herself very rich over the years by selling that tired shtick.

The truth is, Madonna hasn't pushed any envelope in a long time. Similarly, she understands that it's a lot safer to diss Jews than to diss Arabs. Jews only kvetch; Arabs might kill.

To be fair, Madonna is still shameless. After all, she's snubbing the Jews after flaunting her study of the Kabbalah for years now.

It gets more pathetic.

Madonna told "Access Hollywood" that it's her manager who isn't letting her do the Israel shows, and that if she had her way, she would go.

No, Madonna isn't one to get her way.

Contrast this with Melanie Chisholm (formerly Sporty Spice), who played a concert in Tel Aviv in 2001 just months after Intifada II broke out.

The Associated Press reported then that she told the sold-out crowd, "I am not at all afraid to be here. I have seen reports of what is going on in this country. I have fans here, and if they are living here and are OK, then I'm OK, too."

In other words, the former Material Girl turns out to be more timid than a Spice Girl.

Madonna Loses Maverick Label

June 2004

» Madonna Loses Label

June 14, 2004

She might still be a Material Girl, but Madonna 's no longer a Maverick.

Ending a nasty legal battle over the future of her Maverick Records, Madonna and Warner Bros. have reached a deal that ends her control of the label she cofounded 12 years ago.

Madonna and her partners, Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev, teamed up with Warners to form Maverick, essentially a vanity label for Madonna to play music mogul. Madonna, Oseary and Dashev controlled 60 percent, while Warners owned the remaining 40 percent.

Despite some huge early success with Alanis Morissette 's Jagged Little Pill and a roster that now includes Michelle Branch , Maverick has struggled of late.

With the partnership deal due to expire this year, Madonna and her two pals reportedly tried to sell their stake in Maverick to Warner Bros. for $60 million. But those talks fell apart, and, in March, Madonna & Co. filed a $200 million lawsuit accusing Warner Music and parent company Time Warner of breach of contract, gross mismanagement and creative accounting.

Warners, in turn, launched its own lawsuit against Madonna, Oseary and Dashev, claiming Maverick was a poorly run black hole sucking to the tune of $66 million in red ink since 1999. Warners said Madonna and her partners would have to cough up close to $100 million if they wanted sole control of Maverick.

Monday's deal scotches the dueling lawsuits. Terms of the payouts were not disclosed, but reports say that Warners bought out Madonna for less than the $20 million she initially sought.

Under the new deal, Madonna will have no say in Maverick, but she will keep recording for Warner Bros., her home base since 1984. Warners also bought out the shares controlled by Dashev, who was Maverick's chief operating officer. Oseary will keep his shares and stay aboard as the label's A&R chief.

"This new joint-venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick," Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen said in a statement.

In the same press release, Oseary thanked Madonna and Dashev and said he welcomed "the new independent spirit at Warner Music." (The label was acquired in November by an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr.)

There was no immediate comment from Madonna, who is in the midst of her re-Invention Tour in support of her underwhelming latest disc, American Life.

Even without Maverick to worry about, Madonna still has plenty of extracurricular activities to amuse her. Aside from the touring, recording and child-rearing, she is getting ready to publish her next two Kabbalah-flavored kiddie books, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, due out next week, and The Adventures of Abdi, slated for release Nov. 8.

» E! Online News - Madonna Loses Label

June 14, 2004

She might still be a Material Girl, but Madonna's no longer a Maverick.

Ending a nasty legal battle over the future of her Maverick Records, Madonna and Warner Bros. have reached a deal that ends her control of the label she cofounded 12 years ago.

Madonna and her partners, Guy Oseary and Ronnie Dashev, teamed up with Warners to form Maverick, essentially a vanity label for Madonna to play music mogul. Madonna, Oseary and Dashev controlled 60 percent, while Warners owned the remaining 40 percent.

Despite some huge early success with Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and a roster that now includes Michelle Branch, Maverick has struggled of late.

With the partnership deal due to expire this year, Madonna and her two pals reportedly tried to sell their stake in Maverick to Warner Bros. for $60 million. But those talks fell apart, and, in March, Madonna & Co. filed a $200 million lawsuit accusing Warner Music and parent company Time Warner of breach of contract, gross mismanagement and creative accounting.

Warners, in turn, launched its own lawsuit against Madonna, Oseary and Dashev, claiming Maverick was a poorly run black hole sucking to the tune of $66 million in red ink since 1999. Warners said Madonna and her partners would have to cough up close to $100 million if they wanted sole control of Maverick.

Monday's deal scotches the dueling lawsuits. Terms of the payouts were not disclosed, but reports say that Warners bought out Madonna for less than the $20 million she initially sought.

Under the new deal, Madonna will have no say in Maverick, but she will keep recording for Warner Bros., her home base since 1984. Warners also bought out the shares controlled by Dashev, who was Maverick's chief operating officer. Oseary will keep his shares and stay aboard as the label's A&R chief.

"This new joint-venture agreement is clearly a win-win for both WMG and Maverick," Warner Music boss Lyor Cohen said in a statement.

In the same press release, Oseary thanked Madonna and Dashev and said he welcomed "the new independent spirit at Warner Music." (The label was acquired in November by an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr.)

There was no immediate comment from Madonna, who is in the midst of her re-Invention Tour in support of her underwhelming latest disc, American Life.

Even without Maverick to worry about, Madonna still has plenty of extracurricular activities to amuse her. Aside from the touring, recording and child-rearing, she is getting ready to publish her next two Kabbalah-flavored kiddie books, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, due out next week, and The Adventures of Abdi, slated for release Nov. 8.

» Madonna label loses millions - Tiscali Music News

http://www.tiscali.co.uk/music/news/040421_madonnalabellosesmillions.html

By Tamara Conniff

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Madonna’s Maverick Records label, home to the Material Girl as well as Alanis Morissette and Michelle Branch, has lost $66 million (37 million pounds) since 1999, according to recently unsealed court documents filed by its adversary and partner, Warner Music Group.

Last month, Maverick sued Warner Music for $200 million, claiming breach of contract and fraud. The Warner documents were part of a pre-emptive claim filed in a Delaware court asking a judge to find that the company had fulfilled its commitment to Maverick.

The documents claim that in order for Maverick to get out of its joint venture with Warner Music, which is up at the end of the year, Maverick will have to pay $92.5 million, in addition to the value of Warner’s interest in the label. The price tag includes the $66 million in losses, a $20 million loan and $6.5 million in unrecouped fees.

According to Warner Music’s filing, if Maverick cannot raise the money needed to buy itself out the joint venture, Warner can convert the label into a "purely passive economic interest", taking all control of the label away from Maverick. In this case, Maverick would reap no profits from the label until the losses were repaid

» See also:

» Entertainment News.org - Madonna Loses Label

» NME.com - Madonna's label loses millions

» Much Music - Madonna Loses Maverick

» www.smh.com.au - Madonna settles label feud

» My Way - Madonna's Label a $66 Million Loser

Madonna to RIP OFF Jean Harlow and Other Famous Personalities AGAIN, for "Hollywood" Video

June 14, 2004

» See:

» Ananova

Madonna dresses up for new video

Madonna has recorded a glamorous new video in which she wears £15 million worth of vintage jewellery.

She also dresses up as a string of famous actresses from the 1920s through to the 1970s in the promo for new single Hollywood.

The video, directed by photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino, is described as a cross between Vogue and Express Yourself.

The track is the second single from her American Life CD.

It tells a bittersweet tale about Madonna's relationship with Hollywood and movies.

Some of the expensive jewellery worn once belonged to the legendary actress Mae West, reports The Sun.

» The Sun UK

and

» Strike a Pose

Jean Harlow
Madonna
Above: 1920s movie actress Jean Harlow Above: Madonna trying to revive dying career by once again ripping off past celebrities in her "Hollywood" music video
Madonna's Concert Bombing, from the New York Post

by Mary Hunh

June 16, 2004

Maybe Madonna's "Re-Invention Tour" needs a little retooling.

Thousands of tickets are still available for the Material Mom's six-night stand at Madison Square Garden that begins tonight — many at cut-rate prices.

Late yesterday, Ticketmaster, the official retail outlet for Madonna concert tickets, had seats in all price ranges ($50 to $300) for all six nights.

And some ticket brokers — who usually offer seats at a premium — were desperately trying to clear their bloated inventories with discounts of up to 30 percent off face value.

"We're losing money on these tickets," said one broker offering deep discounts. "The bottom line is she's doing too many shows."

Besides the six MSG shows, the 45-year-old musical artist has two shows slated for Continental Airlines Arena across the Hudson in New Jersey next month as part of her 19-city world tour.

"Tickets are selling well, but not as well as anticipated," said Mi chael Issac, president of broker Preferred Ticket.com. "Three years ago was a much stronger tour."

That tour, "Drowned World," "was a whole other ballgame," Issac said. While his agency isn't discounting tickets for this stand, the last tour drew prices "five times" the current stand.

A broker at greattickets.com said the phone was ringing off the hook, but not for Madonna — for the NBA's Detroit Pistons, who are close to winning the league championship series from the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Her public opinion might be shifting," said the broker, who did not want to be identified.

A few brokers remained optimistic yesterday, offering $300 second row center seats for tonight for up to $1,700.

And a $300 front row center seat for Sunday's performance was offered for $2,400.

Front row seats for tonight may not be available through Ticketmaster, but as of last night, $300 tickets on the floor in Row L were available for face value plus the usual processing fees.

The show was initially reported sold out, but last week hundreds of tickets were released as more seats became available after the stage was set up.

Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's publicist, said she's not worried.

She remained confident that tonight's show will "absolutely" sell out.

"A lot of people know that last-minute tickets are available," says Rosenberg.

She's doing well nationally. According to Pollstar, the first 10 shows averaged $2.6 million in ticket sales, selling more than 136,000 tickets over 10 shows in four cities. The average ticket price is $175.

The tour is on track to be the top-grossing tour of 2004, with a gross in the $120 million range and attendance of about 920,000. "New York has always been an exceptional market for Madonna," says Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar. "It's hard to believe she's not selling tickets. It could be she held back tickets, and people are just finding out."

Meanwhile cable channel Trio TV is having a little fun at Madonna's expense, hosting three Madonna silver-screen bombs at the Loews Theater on 34th Street.

The schedule: "Who's That Girl," tonight; "Body of Evidence" next Wednesday, and "Swept Away," on June 29.

Immaterial Girl: Sluggish box office slashes Madonna tix prices

by Dean Johnson

June 17, 2004

Haven't yet bought your precious tickets for Madonna's four-night stand at the Worcester Centrum later this month? You might want to wait a bit. Prices are tumbling.

"I'm selling tickets at literally half the face value,'' said Jim Holzman, president of Ace Ticket, a Bay State ticket broker, "and sales have still just been OK.''

Ace Ticket actually is offering a second ticket at half price when one is purchased at full price. Holzman said he's surprised by the sluggish sales.

"I think the big problem is that they're calling it the Re-Invention Tour,'' he added. "People are afraid she's going to come out and start doing some Kabbalah chants, when it's actually a greatest hits tour.''

Most agencies are still selling the most expensive tickets (list $300) for big bucks, more than $1,000 even. But the cheap seats in Worcester can be had for as little as $65 for a $90 seat.

If you really want some bang for your Madonna buck, go to the online auction site eBay. Yesterday, a pair of seventh-row tickets for the June 27 show ($600 face value) were going for $250, a $300 ticket for $199, and two $102 seats for $130.

Madonna "Flips Off" Fans During Concert

June 17, 2004

Photo below: taken during one of Madonna's Reinvention concerts. In the United States, the hand gesture she is making is a vulgar one which means "f*ck you."

This makes the news stories from this time period about her keeping a "swear jar" during her tour rehearsals ridiculous and hypocritical.

No matter that since about 1997 Madonna has been marketing herself as a mature woman who has shunned her raunchy past - stunts such as this show she is still a piece of white trash who revels in being vulgar:

Madonna making obscene hand gesture

Some fans paid upwards of $400 to receive this treatment from Madonna.

Divas Gone Dumb

from MSNBC.com

June 18, 2004

"Diva": The term is just about to move from creative and hip—to annoying.

Four of America’s top women performers may have all “jumped the shark” simultaneously: Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, and Britney Spears.

“Jumping The Shark” is the exact moment when quality becomes schmaltz, when adulation becomes pity. ...

Madonna

Bummed by Britney’s bad break? Don’t worry, you can still go see Britney-classic... Madonna.

Plenty of good seats are available for her tour. After it opened on track to be the top-grossing junket of the year, the wheels—or the falsies— have fallen off.

In New York, Ticketmaster reported thousands of seats, in all price ranges, were available for her six concerts at Madison Square Garden. Ticket brokers, the polite term for “scalpers,” are reported to be offering deep discounts—the polite term for “giving the damn tickets away.”

This just in: The Material girl now has a new name. The artist is now going to be known as the artist- formerly- called- Madonna. She now wants to be called Esther, a Hebrew name.

"I was named after my mother. My mother died when she was very young, of cancer, and ... I wanted to attach myself to another name," the singer says in an interview on ABC's "20/20," airing at 10 p.m. ET Friday. "This is in no way a negation of who my mother is ... I wanted to attach myself to the energy of a different name."

Madonna's authentic hypocrisy

By Jonah Goldberg

June 19, 2004

From an ABC News exclusive: "She was in the pages of Playboy, published her own book on sex and kissed Britney Spears in a live stage performance, but Madonna tells ABC News' '20/20' she may be through with propelling her celebrity with sex."

What courage! What daring! A 45-year-old mother of two has decided to stop using sex as a publicity tool. Isn't this a little like Saddam Hussein declaring now that he will abide by all U.N. sanctions?

Full disclosure: Every columnist has a few topics that serve as a bottomless well to draw from. For some it's church-state issues, for others it's the gas tax.

For me, it seems to be Madonna's penchant for "reinvention." Actually, that's not fair, because the last three or four times I've written about Madonna she's been "reinventing" herself into the same thing: a more responsible working mom.

In 2001, People magazine ran a breathlessly sycophantic article titled "Balancing Act," which portrayed Madonna as the Rosie the Riveter of working moms.

"Like many working mothers - even those who have an assistant and at least one nanny on hand, as she does - her life is 'exhausting."' She told People: "There isn't a second in my day that isn't taken up looking after my family or thinking (about work)."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution declared that her tour should've been called "Material Mom Puts Family First This Tour."

Of course, that "reinvention" stood on the shoulders of another, more or less identical reinvention from a year earlier. In 2000, Madonna explained in another People magazine article: "I've gone through all my sexual rebellion and don't need to do it anymore. I worked it out of my system, it's pretty safe to say."

So imagine my surprise when ABC broke the "exclusive" that the Material Girl was prepared to admit that she was ready to put her rebellious life behind her.

The exciting news now, other than her embrace of a bogus pseudo-Jewish mysticism, is that she's now so "traditional" that she actually - gasp - insists her kids pick up after themselves. In terms of news value this ranks only slightly above "This Just In: Abraham Lincoln is Still Dead. Story at 11."

So why should anyone care?

Excellent question. I'm glad I asked it for you. First of all, it never hurts to be reminded that "news" outfits are not above repackaging the same old shinola in new wrappers.

But there's something a lot more important, even sinister, about the public treatment of Madonna. Madonna was a slut when sluttiness worked for her. Oh, and before you get on some high horse about how it is ungentlemanly to use such language, all I would say is that the word has no meaning if it doesn't apply to a woman who glamorized group sex and performed lessons on oral sex - all aimed at a teenage audience.

When conservatives - and plain old good parents - criticized or denounced Madonna for promoting slattern chic, they were uniformly jeered at as prudes, theocrats, Comstocks, etc. Those who didn't celebrate Madonna's ability to "transcend bourgeoisie morality" or some other gobbledygook "just didn't get it."

Well, now that Madonna's getting older, is a parent herself, and younger Madonna rip-offs are doing the same thing, she claims to value modesty and tradition - and the same nattering bandersnatches of the "sophisticated" media congratulate her on her maturity.

When Madonna defended her shtick, she was celebrated as "authentic" - and authenticity is the most important thing in the world. Now, that she's lewd no more, it's OK for her to criticize lewdness.

But here's the thing: Lewdness is either right or wrong regardless of Madonna's personal behavior. It's similar to the outrage at Rush Limbaugh's alleged drug problem. Since liberals are terrified of being "judgmental," they could denounce his "hypocrisy" and not the actual underlying transgression. It's tantamount to saying that gluttons must condone gluttony for everyone, because to say otherwise would be hypocritical.

This is a very real problem in a culture that sees super-rich - and often very dumb - celebrities as role models. Madonna championed promiscuity as self-expression for millions of girls who would never grow up to become kazillionaires like Madonna, who, by the way, has bragged that she's never changed a diaper (she's got staff for that). That is not the plight of real "working moms."

Madonna could always afford her values, as when she had a baby with her personal fitness trainer. Most people cannot. What solace is it to the women who followed her advice 20 years ago that she now has realized that there was something to "bourgeoisie" values all along?

A bummer Summer For Concert Promoters

http://money.cnn.com/2004/06/25/news/newsmakers/summer_concerts/

from CNN

June 25, 2004

.... According to Michael Issac, a Las Vegas broker and president of PreferredTicket.com, brokers who bet heavily on huge demand are now unloading tickets at below face value. Madonna tickets for her "Reinvention" tour are a case in point, he noted.

The music industry overall is having a tough time amid falling CD sales and rising iPod sales. The live concert business was the one form of music delivery that seemed immune to competition from the Internet and downloaders.

But now a stool and a microphone are no longer enough.

... It doesn't help that ticket prices are soaring. Since 1996 the average cost of a concert ticket has nearly doubled, to $50.35 last year, according to Pollstar.com, the magazine's online edition.

Leading the way is the Material Girl herself. The average face value for a Madonna ticket is $175, according to Pollstar, and in Vegas, where concert ticket prices usually top out, promoters were asking $375 for the best seats.

"We keep pushing the envelope on ticket prices and I think it's finally gone beyond the pale a little bit," said Pollstar's Bongiovanni. "Consumers are voting with their wallets and they're keeping them in their pockets."

To be sure, the concert industry isn't on life support. Overall concert ticket sales reached $2.5 billion in the U.S. last year, up from $1.7 billion in 2000, according to Pollstar.

But those seemingly rosy figures mask who's making -- and who's losing -- money.

Unlike with album sales, the performers themselves pocket the bulk of the price of a ticket, portions of which pay for five-star hotels, bodyguards and so on. So when a rock star cancels her tour, her bank account feels the pain too.

For promoters, who get a much smaller slice of ticket sales, what matters most is concert attendance. That's because they make most of their money off T-shirt sales and other services like parking.

And fewer ticket sales can mean fewer sales of $85 Material Girl rhinestone camisoles.

In recent years growth in ticket sales has been fairly anemic.

After falling below 2000 levels for two years in a row, the total number of Top 100 concert ticket sales reached a record 38.7 million last year, according to Pollstar.com.

Concert promoters say they've gotten the message -- hence, this month's "$10 ticket Tuesday" Clear Channel offer in San Antonio and a similar fire sale in San Francisco. More promotions are likely.

"I think we do need to move very swiftly in creating value for consumers and reacting to the economics," Brian Becker, CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment, told CNN/Money. "What consumers are saying is that they love the music and they will come out but they need a better value proposition." CCE is owned by San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications. (CCU: Research, Estimates)

It's rare that concert promoters openly admit that a tour was aborted due to bleak sales.

But that's what the producers of "Lollapalooza," the two-day traveling alternative rockfest that got its start in 1991, said when they pulled the plug this week on a 16-day tour set to begin in July. In its heyday, the festival featured the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and other hot bands.

"Our plight," Lollapalooza co-founder Perry Farrell wrote on a tour Web site, "is a true indication of the general health of the touring industry and it is across musical genres."