I might say I'm surprised that the Ringling Bros. circus secured another month in the first spot of the TicketNetwork.com Top 10*, but as we all know by now, it's been in a stride for most of the year. So instead of focusing on Ringling Bros. for the discussion about July, I'll skip to the runner-up, Garth Brooks.
Single City and Late Announcement Success
The number of tickets for Brooks sold in July here at TN.com showed that, despite the somewhat unique manner of announcing his tour dates, fans can't wait to see him again. Although the number of tickets sold weren't at the same level as say, Jay-Z & Beyonce from earlier this year, they were at a point where I'm pretty confident saying that, had he released his entire schedule all at once, it likely would have been one of the biggest months for concerts we ever saw.
Now you might expect that the first date he announced, September 4 in Chicago, to be the one with the highest ticket sales at TicketNetwork.com. As it turns out, the highest number of tickets sold was for the 6:00pm concert on September 13 that he released later on the onsale morning. About 23% of all Garth tickets sold in July were for that one show. Not too shabby for a concert added in the middle of the day, and for a day with two back-to-back shows.
Will the Same Release Plan Work Going Forward?
Returning to what I wrote earlier, I do believe that Brooks would have sold more tickets had he released his entire schedule at once; the month of July would have been huge and he very likely would be at the top spot in this list. I did wonder if the way he announced the dates would hurt him, but I'm not entirely sure that it has. At least, not quite yet. For example, during last week's Atlanta onsale, about half the number of Garth tickets sold than did for Chicago, but there were also only three dates released in Atlanta compared to 10 for Chicago. 50% fewer tickets sold when there are 70% fewer shows? That's not bad.
I suppose the risk he has is one of "Garth weariness" developing among fans, where they stop paying attention because he takes so long to announce a tour date near them, or never does. Garth had an advantage early last month of having both the media and fans clinging to his every pronouncement, but media cycles only last so long. Likewise, as we move later into August, minds will begin to focus on Labor Day festivities. If he drags out his tour announcements much longer than that, it will start to interfere with holiday shopping. Whereas, had he announced his schedule all at once, even if the onsales were stretched over a couple weeks, he would have had maximum exposure for all the places he's going to perform at.
Next month, I'll evaluate how the tour fared in August compared to July.
* Rankings and other data are as of 8/14/2014 10:00 a.m. EDT. Top 10 list is ranked based by the number of tickets sold on TicketNetwork.com. Trademarked terms are the property of their respective owners and are used strictly for descriptive purposes and do not imply an endorsement or partnership. TicketNetwork is an online ticket marketplace and is in no way associated with the trademark owners, artists, teams, or productions mentioned.