Here’s Why the Guns N’ Roses Reunion Tour Isn’t Selling Out
Have Guns N’ Roses fans lost their appetite for destruction?
That’s what some observers are wondering as the band’s 2016 reunion tour—which features Axl Rose, guitarist Slash, and bassist Duff McKagan together for the first time since 1993—has failed to sell out many dates.
Music fans have noted on Twitter, for instance, that the second night of a two-night run at at Soldier Field in Chicago last weekend was not well attended, though the first night was sold out.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a recent show at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. was attended by 27,000 concertgoers, a sizable amount, but far below the stadium’s 70,000-plus capacity. A spokeswoman for tour promoter Live Nation, however, tells Fortune that only 35,382 tickets were put on sale for the show, due to various sight-line and related issues (i.e., the number of seats available for a football game is often more than is available for a concert).
Live Nation also told the Journal that it expects to sell more than 90% of the available tickets on the tour, with an average ticket price of $130. Some of the less well-attended shows were the result of the band playing cities it wanted to play, rather than sticking to the highest population centers that would better guarantee sellouts.
“The band wants to play certain cities,” including Kansas City, Bob Roux, co-president of U.S. concerts for tour promoter Live Nation told the Journal. “On virtually any tour we do, the larger cities generally outperform those with smaller populations.”
Update 7/8/16 (6:45 pm): Live Nation added the following statement: “Guns N Roses’ Not in This Lifetime Tour is an unqualified success. Not only is it the #1 rock tour of the summer, it will be one of the top grossing tours of 2016 and one of the most successful reunion tours of all time. At six shows into the tour, it has already grossed more than $100,000,000 in ticket sales. Live Nation expects to surpass 1 million tickets sold and we congratulate the band on this monumental achievement.”