Mariah Ditching 'Bells And Whistles' On Tour
Although Mariah Carey is downsizing her North American tour plans from arenas to theaters, her agent tells Billboard the move had nothing to do with lower-than-expected ticket sales.Although Mariah Carey is downsizing her North American tour plans from arenas to theaters, her agent tells Billboard the move had nothing to do with lower-than-expected ticket sales. "Mariah had been speaking to people, monitoring her Web site, and listening to her fans, and the resounding note she heard was her fans wanted to see her in a more intimate environment and were less concerned about the big production aspects of an arena tour," says John Marx, senior VP of contemporary music at the William Morris Agency.
Beginning June 21 in Seoul, South Korea, the 47-date Charmbracelet world tour, Carey's first in more than three years, was to be her most extensive yet. The North American leg was initially scheduled to begin July 18 at the Sullivan Arena in Anchorage, Alaska, and conclude Sept. 23 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H.; international dates appear to be unchanged.
Marx maintains the tour would have been fine as booked. "Ticket counts were not that bad, and our average capacity on this tour was about 11,000," he says. "She'll have the same band, minus the bells and whistles. She's going to bring it back to what Mariah's all about: the music."
According to Marx, Carey could wind up playing as many as 27 dates, beginning July 26 at Celine Dion's Colosseum showroom at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. As previously reported, Island/Monarc is planning to reissue Carey's latest album, "Charmbracelet," on July 29 with four new tracks.
Only four North American shows had gone on sale when plans began to change: Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. (July 26), United Center in Chicago (July 29), Air Canada Centre in Toronto (Aug. 7), and the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. Carey's official Web site advised her fans in cities where the shows had gone on sale to hang on to tickets and receipts, presumably for a refund or exchange. But some building officials were out of the loop.
Brian Miller, director of event development for the Xcel Energy Center, says he sold about 2,000 tickets out of the box. But when Billboard contacted him earlier this week, he had yet to be informed that the tour was being scaled back and that his date would be scratched. "Sounds like I need to call the promoter," Miller says. "We're still up and on sale." Carey was not only supposed to perform July 26 at Xcel, she also had the building booked for rehearsals July 24-25.
Robert Hunter, senior VP/GM of the 20,000-seat Air Canada Centre, says sales were at about 4,500 for his show, and the date was still on. It will likely take place in the building's 8,500-seat configuration concert bowl.