Even though Prince is amidst a 21 shows-stand in L.A. that began on April 14 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., it's not at all clear where future shows will be held or where the tour will wrap-up. All Live Nation knows is that there will be 21 shows. Currently the last show on the schedule is April 23 -- but that's only his fourth show.
"Everything comes from Prince," says Mark Campana, co-president of North America concerts for Live Nation. And, as Prince is prone to making quick decisions, the remainder of the tour after L.A., or even when the L.A. run will wrap, is still in the air.
"He has not discussed anything beyond L.A., and L.A. was decided literally as the trucks were leaving the Carolinas [at the end of March]," Campana says. "The drivers needed to know what direction to go and Prince said, 'head west.' By the time they were halfway across the country, they were told to go to Los Angeles and we were announcing the shows and putting them on sale for the Forum. So spontaneity is in play on all levels. We're all waiting with bated breath as to where's he going after Los Angeles."
Madison Square Garden Entertainment is finalizing the purchase of the Forum from the Faithful Central Bible Church, a deal Live Nation is involved in. According to Campana, Prince is playing the Forum because Prince wants to. "This has nothing to do with any relationship between Live Nation and the building, this really came from Prince wanting to support the church that's there, and it's not often that there's a building he felt was as related to and as close to a community as is the Forum," says Campana, who points out that there is a large charitable component to Welcome 2 America, with Prince leaving money behind in all the communities he plays. Campana adds that it was Prince's call to have 85% of the tickets available at $25. "The thinking there was he did not want price to be a barrier to attending the shows."
Live Nation is the producer of the show and the production will stay in L.A., though not necessarily a the Forum. Campana didn't rule out that the show may be staged in another venue at some point. "[ Production] will come in and out depending on what is going on [at the Forum]," Campana says. "We will do 21 shows in the L.A. area, and we expect they'll be played out in the Forum. But it is up to Prince how we do it. We are taking direction, not giving direction."