Immigration raids may be hurting attendance at regional Mexican shows, but a paucity of new acts that can move tickets - and outsize demands by artists who can - are just as much to blame.

That view was expressed by several concert and dance promoters on the touring panel at the Billboard Regional Mexican Summit in Los Angeles, which kicked off this morning at the Universal Hilton.

Emily Simonitsch, senior VP of special markets for Live Nation, noted a drop in attendance to shows in San Diego as a result of stricter enforcement at the border near Tijuana.

Sustaining the regional Mexican concert circuit will require a stepped-up effort from radio stations to do remotes and promote shows, as well as some sacrifice from artists on their production costs, such as air travel for entourages, said Simonitsch. "We need to raise our prices because the artists charge a lot," she said. "We need to communicate ... and tell artists that they should lower their costs."

David Valdivia, president of the Fresno-based Valdivia Marketing Group, said there were "10 groups that are pillars" in terms of selling tickets to national tours, with the rest limited to local followings. "We have to find a way to develop more talent."

The promoters said record labels, with decimated marketing resources, were being supplanted by managers better equipped to work their artists. Paradoxically, the popularity of regional Mexican shows has led to oversaturation in some markets. Henry Cardenas, CEO of the Cardenas Marketing Network, said Chicago's two regional Mexican stations were stretched thin in terms of their ability to repeatedly sponsor large concerts of at least 12,000 attendees.