Bon Jovi Cancels Tour Including St. Louis Show
One of my bucket list concerts is Bon Jovi. The band's "Slippery When Wet" album propelled the band to superstar status in late 1986 when the singles "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Livin' On A Prayer" topped the charts. Somehow Bon Jovi's one of those bands I never saw and now I'm trying to change that. Unfortunately, this bucket list item will have to wait for another summer, as Bon Jovi cancelled their 2020 tour due to the coronavirus, including their show Thursday July 23 in St. Louis.
A statement on the Bon Jovi website says:
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, it is no longer feasible for Bon Jovi to tour this summer.
The statement goes on to talk about how cancelling the tour will enable ticket holders to get a refund on tickets "to help pay their bills or buy groceries." This statement is a reference to a rather confusing ticket refund policy Ticketmaster has, where it's easier to obtain a refund for cancelled shows vs. rescheduled shows.
Billboard Magazine reports Tickmaster is working on a plan that makes it easier for all to get refunds for shows cancelled or rescheduled due to the coronavirus that should be rolled out around May 1. Bon Jovi it seemed didn't want their fans to have to wait that long to access refunds.
I get why artists are bailing out of touring in 2020. There's the question of how many people are going to want to stand shoulder to shoulder with many other fans rocking out to their favorite act if there's a risk they'll get the coronavirus? If concerts do happen with social distancing mandates from local health departments, how much money is it going to take out of those bands pockets? Even if the country is open for business, if a tour rolls into a city that's a "hot spot" for COVID-19, does the show get cancelled?
And what about fans discretionary income? The concert tickets that were affordable a couple of months ago, may no longer be in the budget for many fans who have lost jobs, been furloughed or whose incomes have been impacted by the coronavirus.
In the 21st Century touring is the life blood of many bands. And for superstar artists I would argue it's a significant source of profit. It also takes a lot cash to put the semis filled with a stage, lights, effects, costumes, and instruments on the road. Not to mention the buses filled with the crew and band members.
And that crew and band, they cost money to put out on the road too. But the cost concern with COVID-19 floating around might have more to do with keeping their crew and band safe vs. the cost. The mental aspect of being in a strange city somewhere and falling ill, away from your family, might be enough to persuade some groups to stay home in 2020.
And no artist wants to be the band that leaves town only to be connected with the headline that such and such number of people got the coronavirus after attending such and suchs show at the "Ennormodome" (Spinal Tap reference, FYI) last week.
As much as I hate to think it. Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift cancelling tours might be the canary in the coal mine that ends the summer 2020 concert season. I can't say I blame them, cause I don't have much interest standing shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of other sweaty people cheering our favorite band on. Most years that sounds fun, right now it just sounds icky.