N.Y. State Fair cancellation mars successful Nicks tour

Stevie Nicks’ solo tour has done solid business since it opened Aug. 16 at the Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mich., with grosses at or near capacity at most dates.

The numbers show strong interest on the part of fans, but one venue is seeking restitution for an apparent no-show situation.

Nicks canceled three shows in the first month of the outing, citing illness each time.

She was to appear Aug. 31 at the New York State Fair, Syracuse, “and we had nearly 8,000 tickets sold,” said the fair’s Joseph LaGuardia. “With the walk-up business, it probably would have drawn 10,000, which would have been our highest-grossing show. It was a major setback from a grandstand point of view.

“The disturbing thing is that we were not notified of the cancellation,” he continued. “None of her trucks and gear were here for the 10 a.m. load-in. Of course, her management and booking is on the West Coast, so we had to wait until noon to find out what was going on. The only tip we got was that her road manager called at 1:15 and said, `I don’t need the limousine and the van.’

“We had to call management; we had to ask them. They dropped the ball miserably on this. We intend to get full restitution — the stage-hands were here, everything was all set to go.”

LaGuardia said the date will not be rescheduled, although the fair tried to arrange a make-up performance.

As the fair begins refunding tickets, he termed the whole experience “very disturbing. When illness does occur, obviously the performer can’t go on. We understand that. But her management team has got to let us know.”

Personal management of Nicks is handled by HK Management, Los Angeles, and media information comes through Levine-Schneider Public Relations.

Syracuse’s misfortune was a boon to Buffalo until that date was canceled, too. Irwin Pate was promoting Nicks’ Sept. 11 show at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium, which was canceled reportedly because Nicks suffered an allergic reaction to an insect bite.

Pate told AB that 5,382 tickets were sold in advance, and said the Syracuse cancellation had helped those sales. “That’s how we got so many; we advertised in Rochester (midway between Syracuse and Buffalo) after the fair had come and gone.”

Informed of the cancellation the day before the show, Pate had an experience substantially more pleasant than the state fair’s.

“It was kind of hectic, but I won’t fault anyone with that. With a $100,000 guarantee, I don’t think she’d want to cancel if she didn’t have to. And it certainly wasn’t due to lack of ticket sales.”

Pate said he did not have an exact accounting on the number of tickets refunded. He is currently working with Creative Artists Agency to reschedule the date.

Promoter Frank Russo, whose Aug. 23 show at the Seashore Performing Arts Center (SEAPAC), Old Orchard Beach, Maine, was also canceled, termed his experience pleasant considering the circumstances. He was informed of the cancellation at midnight before day-of-show.

“It was selling rather well for us, a half house or better,” said Vince Longo, director of SEAPAC, which seats 15,000. Tickets were $18.


Grosses reported as AB Boxscores show Nicks has drawn well in major markets. Among the reported dates:

  • $157,380 (U.S.), Canadian National Exhibition grandstand, Toronto, 7,855 of 10,000 capacity, Aug. 17;
  • $203,660, Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, N.Y., sellout at 10,183, Aug. 25;

  • $108,230, Bally’s Grandstand Under the Stars, Atlantic City, N.J., sellout at 3,807, Aug. 26;

  • $201,025, Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, 10,698 of 13,243 capacity, Aug. 28;

  • $157,246, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, 9,168 of 12,223 capacity, Sept. 1;

  • $203,660, Jones Beach Theater, sellout, Sept. 9.

The two Jones Beach dates came about when the first booking went SRO while the remainder of the tour was still being put together. The venue had already booked Don Henley and Edie Brickell & New Bohemians for Aug. 26, so Nicks was booked for Sept. 9, just two weeks later.

Other dates remaining on her itinerary, with more to be added later, are as follows:

Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, Sept. 27; Orlando (Fla.) Arena, 29; Miami Arena, 30; Sun Dome, University of South Florida, Tampa, Oct. 1; Stephen C. O’Connell Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, 3; Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, 4; Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, 6; Summit, Houston, 8; Frank Erwin Center, University of Texas, Austin, 9; McNichols Arena, Denver, 11;

Compton Terrace, Phoenix, Ariz., Oct. 13; Pacific Amphitheater, Costa Mesa, Calif., 14; Concord (Calif.) Pavilion, 17; Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, 18; Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, Calif., 20; Aladdin Amphitheater, Las Vegas, Nev., 21; Greek Theater, Los Angeles, 23-24.

© 1989 The Nielsen Company.

Zhito, Lisa. “N.Y. State Fair cancellation mars successful Nicks tour.” Amusement Business 30 Sept. 1989.

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