War Brings Postponements, Cancellations To Music Biz

The international music industry has already begun to feel the effect of the war in Iraq. Bands such as matchbox twenty, Tenacious D, and Blindside have postponed European tours, while U.S. tour on-sa

The international music industry has already begun to feel the effect of the war in Iraq. Billboard Bulletin understands that the 15th World Music Awards in Monte Carlo are to be shifted from April 24 to October due to concerns over the availability of artists. Producer Marcor International had already pushed the annual event back from its traditional March date, citing "the threat of war." A spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Elsewhere, Epic duo Tenacious D has cut short its European tour, canceling an appearance on a late-night show in Sweden to return to the U.S. Additionally, U.K. act Blue is postponing engagements in Asia, citing both the conflict in the Gulf and illness. Elektra issued a statement Wednesday canceling "all international touring plans"; Blindside, which was to start a European tour next week, is the only act affected so far.

This morning (March 21), matchbox twenty postponed a European tour that was set to begin Tuesday in Cologne, Germany. Dates will be rescheduled for later in the year. "Our concern is not only for the safety of our band and our crew, but, more importantly, for the well-being of our fans, whom we certainly do not want to put at risk just by coming out to see us play," frontman Rob Thomas said in a statement.

In the U.S., on-sale dates for tours by Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles have been pushed back a week, says Randy Phillips, CEO of producer AEG Live. The tickets were supposed to go on sale tomorrow. "The reason for that was two-fold," says Phillips. "In order to have a successful on-sale you need a media blast, and you can't compete with war coverage, nor should you. [Also,] it didn't seem appropriate to be promoting and marketing a concert tour in the midst of our young men and women going into combat."

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are pressing on with a string of dates in Australia in New Zealand. Prior to a show last night in Melbourne, Sprinsgsteen canceled a press conference, saying it was too "somber" a time to offer opinions or give answers. Once onstage, the artist began the show with a solo acoustic rendition of "Born in the U.S.A." before the band joined him for Edwin Starr's "War (What Is It Good For)."