Ticket sales in China were somewhere between poor and pathetic, according to various reports. One state-run news portal, China.org.cn, reported advance ticket sales of less than 1 million yuan, (or US$160,000), for the Shanghai concert. The Web site of a major Shanghai news group, Yitsai.com, reported slightly better numbers, saying advance ticket sales were over 5,000. However, only three tickets at the top price level of 2,680 yuan (US$437) had been sold, and Aerosmith’s contract further demanded that the 24,000-seat venue be 70 percent full for the concert to take place, according to the report. For comparison’s sake, last year Aerosmith averaged a little under US$1 million per concert at 33 stops on the North American leg of its glibly named Global Warming Tour, with average attendance just under 10,000. In Asia, however, promoters are often expected to put up bigger numbers.
Earlier this week, Very Aspect, told the Taipei Times they might lose up to NT$60 million due to the cancellation. The company did not comment on ticket sales in Taiwan or make any distinction between the concerts in Taiwan and China. In the concert trade, it is normal for a promoter to front up to half the show fee plus travel and transport costs, and there are other advance costs as well (though none of them seem to have been spent on a graphic designer, with the publicity image for the concert a crappy Photoshop collage of Kaohsiung Stadium riding on a sort of tidal wave).
The city of Kaohsiung must be feeling a bit jilted, after the glory of an Aerosmith stadium show was dangled before them and then suddenly jerked away. The first official announcement of the concert was in fact made by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), and the city signed on as a co-organizer, meaning they had thrown in money or facilities. Alas, there was to be no love in this elevator.
Very Aspect however will continue the event, as it had planned a whole music festival around it, including Wu Bai (伍佰), Matzka (瑪斯卡) and other acts for a full day of rock on two stages. Tickets are discounted by 60 percent, and the promoter has promised partial refunds to advance ticket buyers and full refunds to those who do not wish to come.
Rock Sonic Day at Kaohsiung National Stadium (高雄國家體育場) tomorrow from 12:30pm to 10pm, with Wu Bai and China Blue, The Chairmen, Dog G, MC Hot Dog, Matzka, Monkey Pilot and others. Tickets are NT$600 to NT$2,700. On the Net: www.twinklerockfestival.com.