Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why is Charlotte lame?

Readers and friends often ask me why doesn’t this artist come to Charlotte? Or why don’t we get that tour? I’ll tell you why, we’re the pits. We have the most fickle and unpredictable concert goers.

Stevie Wonder, an unquestionable music legend, performs at Charlotte Bobcats Arena on Nov. 28 and the concert has barely sold 5,000 more tickets. He’s not doing much better in Raleigh either.

That’s crazy.

And I hear white ticket buyers are outselling black ticket buyers. I totally don’t understand why black Baby Boomers aren’t buying more tickets. White boomers have had plenty of shows to get excited about at Bobcats arena, from the Police last week to the upcoming Bruce Springsteen concert.

In the last year, black boomers have had few concerts to appeal to them. I mean, really, how many times do you want to see Frankie Beverly & Maze?

Wonder hasn’t toured in 10 years. He’s been touring since August and performing to mostly sold out crowds. In New York earlier this month, Tony Bennett and later Prince joined him onstage. If we can only muster up a handful of people, I doubt they’re bother popping up here. I wouldn’t.

Money can’t be the issue. The maximum ticket price is $95. The maximum ticket price for the Police concert last week was $200, and the arena was packed from the bottom to the top. Are you telling me that in his genre, Wonder isn’t as good as the Police? Heck, I paid, okay the Observer paid, $75 for me to go see comedian Dane Cook a couple of weeks ago. That show was slammed as well.

So, someone please tell me, why is Stevie Wonder selling so slowly here?

Post your replies below.


Anonymous said...

I went to see Stevie Wonder in Atlanta a couple of months ago, because no Charlotte dates were announced at the time. I imagine there were lots of others from around here who did the same. As much as I love Stevie, I can't justify spending a couple hundred for me and my wife to see what will probably be the same show again.

Anonymous said...

Only 5,000 or so tickets have sold? We should be ashamed. We're talking Stevie Wonder, not Miley Cyrus.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the Stevie thing, but my friends and I always can't figure out why other cities get tours of great artist and Charlotte doesn't. Especially when you hear they are coming to COLUMBIA, SC????? or GREENVILLE, SC???? or WINSTON SALEM??? or GREENSBORO??? but not Charlotte. Usually I have to go to Atlanta to see anyone really good. I drove to the ATL for JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE this year, and also NELLY FURTADO. Then drove to Columbia, SC for Maroon 5. I'm really getting sick of driving, LOL

Armando said...

There's no denying that Stevie Wonder is genius and his contribution to music and culture in the last 40 years is immense.

However, it's been years since he's put out anything worth writing home about ("Conversation Peace" was okay, but sounds dated.)

Most people don't want to hear the new stuff anyways. Did the Police play any new tunes? If so, did those songs get bigger cheers than "Roxanne"?

New York has 10 million people. He has to play the big places and will pack them out. The numbers are there. And Charlotte isn't New York. No comparison.

What Stevie should have done is booked a smaller venue, not demanded such high ticket prices, and rocked the joint out to the 5,000 people who really want to see him.

That would have been something to talk about instead of the fact that he can't sell out Bobcats Arena.

Anonymous said...

You all are crazy. Stevie Wonder is a legend and I cannot imagine how only 5,000 tickets have been sold. Has there been lots of advertising? I don't live anywhere near Charlotte, but if I did, I'd go see Stevie in a heartbeat.
Parents - take your kids to see Stevie - they'll be thankful one day. As a kid I was dragged to see Elvis, Ray Charles, and Gladys Knight and the Pips - I'm so happy I was exposed to these artists at a young age. I had a great time at each, much to my surprise.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't pay $5.00 to see Stevie Wonder. I don't enjoy his music. Does that make me pathetic? Then so be it.

Tonya, if you don't like CLT you can move. I think we have a great city with wonderful people. If I wanted to be a New Yorker I'd move there.

ray said...


what a sad,sad day in my city when the genius that is Stevie Wonder has to be threatened with the possibilty of cancellation. Tsk, tsk.

I've actuall written to articles on (well, one article a few monts back

and a rant a few days ago

dealing with this very issue.

Anonymous said...

How can you tell the race of ticket buyers? I bought my ticket online, and they didnt ask me what race I was.

Dumb comment Tonya.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh when I hear "no one good comes to Charlotte." This is the same city that hosted the first David Lee Roth-led Van Halen concert in 20+ years. This place also gets the likes of U2 and Beyonce. You've obviously never lived in a place like Richmond, VA or Fort Wayne, IN where you have to drive 2 hours to see someone good. I know we're not NYC, but come on...

Anonymous said...

A message to Charlotte area concert promoters; “When concerts fail, it’s the promoter’s fault, period.” There was a commentary on “another site” recently where a promoter said, “The O'Jays only sold 1,300 (tickets) this past summer at Cricket Arena”. Therein lye’s the problem. My question for the promoter would be, “Why were the O’Jays booked at a venue configured for 5,000 people when Ovens Auditorium next door seats 1,300 on its ground floor?” Why did this person think the O’Jay’s would attract that large of a crowd? I’ll tell you why, because that person does not know their business. Concert promotions, like all business ventures, are just that, a business venture. Unfortunately the promoters in Charlotte don’t appear to be too experienced or knowledgeable. For example, I would question why Stevie Wonder is playing Bobcats Arena? With that said, 5,000 people sounds like an awful lot of folks coming to see him considering his age demographic, especially for a Wednesday night. And don’t think that Charlotte gets dates like that because of poor history. No, if the date is bad, then the promoter should hold out for a better one. If they’re afraid someone else will grab the bad date they’re giving up; then let them have it, and let them take the loss. But know that if you have a show in a 10,000 seat arena, on a Wednesday night, in a mid-sized city, you might only sell 5,000 tickets. Again, it’s a business. Here’s the bottom line, 300,000 people can’t be wrong; while only a handful of people are right. That 300,000 represents the total number of African-Americans living in the Charlotte metro area versus the few concert promoters who work this region. They need to stop telling us we’re the problem and get “their” act together.