Swedish House Mafia canceled five more shows on its upcoming Paradise Again 2022 arena tour on Friday July 22 after months of anemic sales, despite promoter Live Nation’s best efforts to move tickets to discounted rates.
Recently canceled shows include July 31 at Amway Center in Orlando, August 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York, August 9 at TD Garden in Boston, August 11 at Verizon Arena Washington DC and August 17 at Detroit in Little Caesars Arena.
The tour’s low ticket sales and difficulties in generating interest are widely known in the live music industry, and many arena performers face slow ticket sales, especially at the tour level. arena where a number of early tours take place in half-empty houses. . Festivals have also struggled amid a wave of overcrowding and reduced consumer spending.
In April, the electronic dance music trio – who announced a two-year residency deal with Wynn Las Vegas earlier this week – canceled three US shows, including an Aug. 30 stop at the Footprint Center arena in Phoenix. which had so far only sold 250 tickets for the 15,000-seat arena. At the time, a spokesperson for the group said Billboard that no other date “is postponed and that the tour is proceeding as planned”. The representative did not respond to Billboard‘s request for comment for this story.
With eight shows canceled so far, sources say Billboard further cancellations are expected in the coming weeks. That likely includes the band’s show in Los Angeles on Sept. 9 at Banc of California Stadium, where only 25% of tickets have sold so far. Other major markets like Seattle, Vancouver and Dallas are only 50% sold out with only one date – Sept. 16 at the Chase Center in San Francisco – poised to sell out.
As of Thursday, only 40-50% of the roughly 300,000 tickets for the 22-date North American leg of the tour – starting July 29 in Orlando – have sold out. The sales figures would have been worse had it not been for the deep discounts and risk-taking ticket brokers who bought the tickets early in the hope of making a profit, only to then dump the tickets with a strong discount.
The tour’s 23 European dates – starting September 29 in Manchester, UK – are selling better and could help offset some of the losses in the US – when the band announced in October that they were reuniting after a hiatus of several years, few people knew what to expect. The world of electronic music has grown and changed significantly since the band played what many believed to be their last gig at the Ultra Music Festival in 2013. A source said much of the 2022 tour was booked by the group’s former manager. Ron Lafittebut its new director Sal Slaiby – whose management company SAL&CO is a joint venture with Live Nation – negotiated a headlining spot at Coachella to help kick off the tour.
Under Slaiby’s leadership, the Swedish House Mafia scored a major coup when, in October 2021, they were announced as performers for the Coachella 2022 music festival owned by AEG and Goldenvoice. It was thought the buzz surrounding their appearance at Coachella would garner the media attention needed to unveil their 45-date Paradise Again tour.
The announcement of Coachella’s appearance and the upcoming tour meant that Coachella and Live Nation had to agree to waive their respective radius clauses for the double announcement to occur, which is usually only done for acts with serious selling power.
Then, two weeks before Coachella was scheduled to open in Indio, Calif., after a two-year hiatus, headliner Kanye West announced he was abandoning the festival. A few days later, the Swedish House Mafia was elevated to co-headlining status with SAL&CO’s most famous client, The Weeknd. Instead of celebrating the defining moment of their career, however, Live Nation dropped the price of tickets for the band’s show in Los Angeles – to zero. Less than 12 hours after finishing their set, an email went out to three Soul Cycle franchises offering free tickets to anyone who showed up for a Swedish House Mafia spinning class.
“The tour never did well – the face value they originally asked put a lot of people off,” said a ticket broker, on condition of anonymity, who said he should lose some money. money during the tour.
“Obviously, an arena visit for a dance number is not the way to go,” the ticket broker continued, recounting Billboard that general admission halls between 3,000 and 5,000 seats would have been better suited. But the success or failure of a tour like Paradise Again is hard to predict – the trio hadn’t toured in nearly a decade and there wasn’t much publicly available data to help gauge the request.
Pricing tickets would be even more difficult, but it wasn’t long after tickets went on sale on October 29 that fans were rejecting the sky-high prices, with only 25-30% of tickets for the tour sold out after having been on sale for six months.
In May, Swedish House Mafia was one of hundreds of players to take part in Live Nation’s $25 all-inclusive ticket promotion that started more than a decade ago. Unlike most tickets sold on Ticketmaster, these tickets have no additional fees. Live Nation sold thousands of tickets in the upper sections of many touring arenas through the promotion, slashing tickets between $60 and $80 with included fees to just $25.
As a result, many of the tour stops sold out a large percentage of the top tier tickets at a steep discount, while ground tickets priced at $350 with fees included and lower seats near the stage priced at $215. $ with shipping included remain unsold. .
The group has remained silent on the cancellations so far – the last tweet from the Swedish House Mafia’s Twitter page is from Wednesday and shows a photo taken from the band’s stage of its lighting rig with the text “We’re coming for you”.
“No you’re not”, a fan replied. “You just canceled a bunch of tour dates, we’re done with you for good this time.”