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Dixie Chicks Tour "In Trouble"

Last week I noted that the numbers behind the debut of the Dixie Chicks album didn't bode well for the group. For that I was excoriated by some Chix fans.

Week 2 numbers are out and sales have predictably fallen, down 48%, but the album remains at the top of the Billboard charts. The album, despite massive pre-release publicity, doesn't figure to match the success of the bands 2002 offering, "Home," though it will easily go platinum (one million copies sold) and probably multi-platinum. Unfortunately for the Chicks that's the good news...

Their tour, the place they make their real money, may be in serious trouble...

Dixie Chicks tour struggling in several markets - [Reuters/Billboard]


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Comments (37)

One of the markets they are... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

One of the markets they are suffering in is OKC. What a shock. They slap country fans in the face and then expect to sell concert tickets in Oklahoma -- home of Toby Keith and Reba McIntyre, who they dissed most publicly. Forget their poltics, Willie Nelson and other country artists are anti-war and anti-Bush, but they know better than to attack their fans.

The album couldn't help but sell well with Time Magazine covers, 60 Minutes and other profiles, promotion of the album on shows like Medium on NBC, and all the other publicity they got. What they probably didn't think about was that all those people who looked down on the Chicks when they were just country singers, but now will go out and buy multiple copies of their CD just to make a political statement won't necessarily cough up the money for concert tickets, then stand in line and endure a two hour country music show. Excuse me, it is now California rock. That was a real brilliant marketing plan.

A whole lot of bands would ... (Below threshold)
Village Idiot:

A whole lot of bands would love to have this kind of failure. I feel sorry for the other two singers who didn't really want to be best known for a political statement.

Who. Cares.... (Below threshold)
Bemused:

Who. Cares.

Country fans care.... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Country fans care.

I predict the tour doing mu... (Below threshold)
Steve:

I predict the tour doing much better overseas.

I agree with Lorie-their ga... (Below threshold)
just me:

I agree with Lorie-their gaff is more in not understanding who their fans were, and insulting them at multiple turns.

In the end the Dixie Chicks appear to be trying to make a crossover to pop, so maybe they suspect the have burned more than a few bridges with their fans, and are seeking out new ones.

I don't think they are going to lose money, but it doesn't look like country fans are getting back on the Chick's bandwagon anytime soon either.

They know who their fans ar... (Below threshold)
JBrickely:

They know who their fans are, they have actually stated that they "only" care for a small subset of their fan base. i.e. Anti-war, Anti-Bush fans! The Dixie Chicks made their fame on the backs of midwestern country music lovers and now they have abandoned their roots. They effectively told the remaining fans to go straight to hell!

So to hell with the Dixie Chicks! They will throw a show but no one will come... They will compose an album but no one will buy it.

The other two Dixie Chicks had better gag their moonbat partner before she utterly destroys their fan base and their financial future. Bands make money on tours not album sales! In fact, they often go into heavy debt with the music publisher until they can tour often enough to pay the debt and turn a profit! The debt is incurred in the cost of studio time and other production costs on an album. The artist only makes a few cents per album sale in royalties. The real money is a percentage of ticket sales from tour concerts.

The Dixie Chicks have made a huge second mistake, they might have been able to sweep the 2003 mistake under the carpet of history; but no, they just had to kick it up to a new level.

Perhaps they should change their name from the Dixie Chicks to the Hippie Chicks.

What's the deal with their ... (Below threshold)

What's the deal with their photo on the new CD? They're all made up ghoulishly. They're beautiful women, but in that photo, they look like Nazgul.

Oregon, are you saying thei... (Below threshold)

Oregon, are you saying their lead singer should change her name to Natalie Remains?

Cuntry fans care..what?... (Below threshold)
CurlyLarryMoe:

Cuntry fans care..what?

Yeah, that Natalie is sure ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Yeah, that Natalie is sure an idiot. Imagine speaking her mind, and then sticking by her guns. Why can't she be more admirable like Toby Keith, who has the smarts to wrap himself in the flag and sell a lot of records? We need more Americans like that. Making money should always trump political convictions.

And why is Natalie so angry, anyway? Just because Keith shows pictures of her during his concerts, superimposed with pictures of Saddam? Where's her sense of humor?

They lost me with "Goodbye ... (Below threshold)

They lost me with "Goodbye Earl" which was as misogynistic as anything I've ever heard. They are good singers - but they aren't great singers. Once their tour and album have faded away (which will happen sooner rather than later), one can only hope that it is the LAST we hear from these three bubbleheaded morons. I deliberately suppressed my gag reflex and watched them on Larry King Live last week and confirmed for myself that, yes, they really are as witless as I had imagined. The ability to sing does not confer mental acuity - especially in this case.

Chris - It's not that she "... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Chris - It's not that she "spoke her mind then stuck to her guns." It's that she spoke her mind, then her fans (me included) spoke their minds, then she cried "censorship!" when people stopped listening to and playing her music.

Yup that whats great about ... (Below threshold)
Gmax:

Yup that whats great about America. Freedom of speech. As Big Mo says, Natalie got to speak out and then her ex fans get to vote with their feet. Freedom to speak does not imply in any way that its a freedom to avoid any bad consequences of your speech.

4000 to 5000 advance ticket sales at several venues. OOPS! Al Gore can get more than that to hear him roar at the podium. So how many urbane sophisticated
North Eastern city dwelling C & W fans are there anyway.

Hot country format without ... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Hot country format without the hot country audience; maybe they're hiring down at the Lubbock Wal-Mart...

Who?... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Who?

Hmmmm.I think the ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

I think the sales figures are based not off of individual purchasers but corporate buyers. So if Wal-Mart buys 100,000 copies then that's recorded as 100,000 album sales. So the sales figures may reflect what the corporate buyers are hoping the retail sales will be rather than the reality.

That's why there seems to be the disconnect between the record sales figures and the tour ticket numbers.

I believe another interesting aspect of the music label business is that it's product is grouped into the same category with books and computer software. I.e. it's a published item. What that means is that you must physically produce enough stock to fill the outstanding orders, but the sales to corporate buyers aren't exactly final and you can be forced to buy back unsold copies.

So if you've manufactured 500,000 copies to fill the initial orders from Wal-Mart and what not and they aren't moving off the shelves. Then Wal-Mart can come back and force you to buy back say 250,000 copies.

This situation has broken any number of computer game software companies in the past and could foretell an interesting financial situation in the future for the Dixie Chicks.

From the article:<... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

From the article:

Despite those numbers, early ticket sales are clearly not meeting projections. The plug was pulled on public on-sales for shows in Indianapolis (August 23), Oklahoma City (September 26), Memphis (September 27) and Houston (September 30) because of tepid pre-sales in a national promotion with Target stores.

These are all red-state venues, so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by this. After all, the Chicks have basically burned their bridges by giving the big F U to their long-time fans, so they're going to have to pick up some new ones. I think they're going to have to retool their act to appeal to the NPR/Prairie Home Companion crowd and perform more in the New York, DC, LA, SF markets.

Part of the Dixies' problem... (Below threshold)
JD:

Part of the Dixies' problem is that they have publicly dissed their crowd base, and then are attempting to still play the "big" venues in each of the cities throughout the tour - Indy at Conseco Fieldhouse, OKC at Ford Center, Memphis at FedEx Forum, Houston at Toyota Center.

Each of those venues is 16,000+ for concerts, some even larger (Memphis, Houston).

They had better hope that all those empty seats in the upper bowl add to the acoustic performance of the building.

Nope, red-state folks don't... (Below threshold)
TRR:

Nope, red-state folks don't want their noses
rubbed by the Chicks for backing Bush and this
undeclared War. Being reminded you made a lame
choice is not in the cards for programmers trying to please their audience at country radio.

Whenever you see a vehicle still sporting a
'W 2004' sticker, just realize what the W
really stands for:
WHITE PEOPLE FOR GEORGE BUSH

No clue, No shame.

Bump for Gmac.... (Below threshold)
Don't care:

Bump for Gmac.

I love the Dixie Chick's mu... (Below threshold)

I love the Dixie Chick's music. I went to their concert in Phoenix, for which I paid over $100 for a ticket. So few of us in life are blessed with such incredible talent and success. Given their incredible good fortune, I feel it would have been a wise strategy to not push their luck. I still supported the Dixie Chicks after the first incident regarding a comment about the president - we all say things that we probably shouldn't from time to time. Now, the Dixie Chicks have pushed their luck. They have insulted the people that gave them their success and fortune. I will never EVER listen to, nor support, these ungrateful and wreckless ladies again.Thanks for listening,
sincerely,
famousde or
World's Most Raw Honest anti-Forum

Some of you guys are so off... (Below threshold)
aline kane:

Some of you guys are so off on this one. The Chicks abandoned their fans??? What????how? They continued to make music. Their fans boycotted their music, their album, the radio stations playing the album, made threats against them, their kids, their lives. All they did was express their political view, which, last time I checked, is their constitutional right--don't think Bush has gotten around to changing that..yet. Anyway. They didn't abandon anyone. They were abandoned. And now you actually question their desire to not make music for those fickle former fans? Please. I don't care what you call their music. I don't care what your politics are. The only thing I know is that those are three brave, ballsy, honest women with a ton of integrity. I can't say the same for their former fans. Good riddance, I'm sure.

I have to agree with the la... (Below threshold)
Pete:

I have to agree with the last post. Come on people. What century are you all living in? Not everyone is Christian. Or believes in Jesus. Or gives a hoot about who gay people love. Some people actually care about global warming, human rights, improving our rotten public education system, creating health care for everyone and making a difference in the world. And not going to war on a whim. So maybe that's who their new fans are. I'd have to say they came out ahead.

loved the Chicks before... ... (Below threshold)
notreadytomakenice:

loved the Chicks before... and after.
bought five CDs to make a point.
Which is no different than someone not buying any to make their point.

ONly difference is, I get to listen to a rockin' great album and you don't. :(

Boy Pete, you've swallowed ... (Below threshold)
Gary:

Boy Pete, you've swallowed the whole liberal line hook line and sinker. Your litany of things that conservatives apparently believe show you have lost your critical thinking capability - and apparently don't actually know any hated conservatives or what they actually believe and want.

Do you really think anybody wants to go "to war on a whim"? That anybody does not want to improve "our rotten public education system" - which, as we throw millions and millions more dollars into, is just getting worse and worse despite (or maybe because of) people like you wanting to just throw more money at the problem rather than actually try something new? And so forth.

Think for yourself, man. Don't just swallow whole what you read on moveon.org and see in Fahrenheit 911 or Inconvenient Truth. Try following that old bumper sticker: "Question Authority."

I love the Dixie Chicks. I... (Below threshold)
Onan:

I love the Dixie Chicks. I thought "Home" was a great CD. Three years later, it looks like more people than ever are ashamed of George-- I know I am. Many people have died in Iraq since that infamous statement was made.

I'm hoping to take my 8 year-old daughter to one of the shows on this year's tour. I think they're great role models for young women. Keep it up.

Peace out,
Onan

I love the Dixie Chicks. I... (Below threshold)
Onan:

I love the Dixie Chicks. I thought "Home" was a great CD. Three years later, it looks like more people than ever are ashamed of George-- I know I am. Many people have died in Iraq since that infamous statement was made.

I'm hoping to take my 8 year-old daughter to one of the shows on this year's tour. I think they're great role models for young women. Keep it up.

Peace out,
Onan

The Dixie Chicks made exact... (Below threshold)
Dave:

The Dixie Chicks made exactly the right assessment of our short sighted president and I thoroughly admire their convictions and their keen ability to rightfully exercise their Constitutional rights.

They are playing in my home... (Below threshold)
CherryB:

They are playing in my home town this Thursday night, which is Saint John, New Brunswick Canada and the seats sold out in a matter of hours. I couldn't get through on the phone lines the day the tickets went on sale so I drove over, the ticket lady informed me the fans and been lined up for hours pre sale and only not so great seats were left, at $75 a ticket. I was disappointed and didn't want to risk paying so much for bad seats so I told her thanks but no thanks, she reluctantly then said well I do have these two I'd been saving, top row but a good view. I can hardly wait. I love them and so does everyone I know. The next day the show was sold out.

There are ticket wanted signs all over town.

President Bush is possibly ... (Below threshold)
Alice:

President Bush is possibly the Anti Christ with more blood on his hands than Hitler, good for Natalie for calling it how it is.

How can people be upset by what she said when there sons and brothers are dying as we speak, needlessly, for oil.

I'm a registered Independen... (Below threshold)
Dove:

I'm a registered Independent and I guess you would call me a swing voter...the extremists/emotional thinkers on the left including the Dixie chicks make it easier for me to decide how to vote during elections. Thank you Dixie Chicks! (By the way, I never cared for simplistic name calling)It is so easy for the Chicks to turn their mind off and simply throw insults...I guess they take their cue from the left's emotional example of leadership.

I think everyone is entitle... (Below threshold)
cyndi:

I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the only thing i disagree with is that they said it in another country. If they are so ballsy why not say it in America? I still like there music and i think other musicians have done much worse then this.

Sure, if Natalie had made "... (Below threshold)
Wes:

Sure, if Natalie had made "the statement" in an adversarial nation, you could certainly consider it an improper place to be critical of our countries leadership but Great Britain is by far our closest friend and international advocate, and our strongest confrontational ally since before we were all born. It was effectively no different than speaking these statements on American soil.

If you think otherwise, then you probably don't share very much with your closest friends!

Hey Alice, You must be the ... (Below threshold)
John:

Hey Alice, You must be the Chicks PR director. You are just as stupid. 2000 soldiers die in a war and you compare the president to a man who had 10,000,000 people killed for no actual reason. If it is over oil at least there is a reason. But my guess is you have never been to Iraq. You probably haven't talked to a soldier who has been there either. They have decided on a constitution written by themselves. They have schools, hospitals, rights for women. That's right, before women like you couldn't post a comment like you just did without being beheaded. So thank God tonight for GW.

Hey John,I know so... (Below threshold)
Suzanne:

Hey John,

I know someone who's been to Iraq. I'm married to him. Just because someone is in the military doesn't mean that they agree with Bush or this war (or you for that matter). By the way, most people would agree that oil is an unacceptable reason to fight a war.

The problem with the reaction to Natalie Maines' comments is that they were wholly over the top. Death threats?!? Jingoistic protests and pictures of her with Saddam Hussein? There is so much hatred displayed that it's truly disturbing.

Are the Dixie Chicks stupid because they don't agree with you? I consider myself a liberal but there are some conservatives that I believe are pretty intelligent. I may not agree with them but that doesn't make them stupid.

My husband is fighting for each person in this country to use their right to free speech. Whether he agrees or not. I'm confused as to why country fans require country musicians to be in lock step with them politically. I took my husband to see Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ted Nugent opened for them. He said some pretty hateful things about politicians and public figures. I however did not go out the next day and run over his CDs with a tractor or require my local rock station to ban his music.

This has all been hysterical nonsense. Natalie Maines is allowed to be ashamed that George W. Bush hails from her home state. She is also allowed to make that sentiment public.

Robert Blake was arrested for murder, Woody Allen married his adopted daugher and Ted Nugent is basically insane. You don't see people boycotting them. Does that mean we agree? Of course not, but some of us have much more important battles to fight. Maybe we'll get involved with victims rights or volunteer for local political candidates.

All of these people say that criticizing the President is anti-American. I think that it is imperative in order to have a true democracy. This country was founded on the premise.

Teddy Roosevelt said it better...

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

Thank God for people who are willing to question those in power.

P.S. As for Ed's comment above regarding the Platinum album status, it is incorrect. Shipments that could potentially be returned to the label can not be counted in the figures.

>>This has all been hysteri... (Below threshold)
victoria:

>>This has all been hysterical nonsense. Natalie Maines is allowed to be ashamed that George W. Bush hails from her home state. She is also allowed to make that sentiment public.

People are also allowed to not buy her music if what she says offends them. I think that was the gist of the original post.




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