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Is Live Music Feeling The Ecomomic Pinch?

Live music has been the one place left where many musicians can count on making money, but this summer have been signs that ticket sales are in toruble. This latest in a series of weekly announcements from Live Nation arrived in my inbox just this morning:

TicketsConcert Fans say 'Give us one more week!'
 Live Nation extends end of summer blow-out sale
with $10 all-in lawn tickets and $15 all-in reserved,
absolutely no service fees,
24 hours only at LiveNation.com

When formerly $45 reserved seats and $30 lawn seats are once again going for $15 and $10, things can't be good in the live music sector. And in fact, at a marvelous Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal show I went to over the weekend, the cheap seats were packed, but there were a feww too many empty seats in the more expensive section.  At two other two club shows I attended in the last few days, talented gypsy rockers Scythian had an storng and entusiastic crowd for an explosive club show in Balitmore and the always amazing Arturo Sandoval had no trouble selling multiple shows in Washington, DC.

So are live music sales in a slump or have Live Nation and the big concert venues simply over booked and over priced their seasons? Or perhaps concert goers are learning to prefer a more intimate experience?  What trends have you seen this summer? Are live music ticket sales in a slump?

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