Is it the end of an era for classic rock concerts? With recent announcements of farewell tours for baby boomer rock stars, the future for legendary classic rockers on tour does not look promising. Elton John, Neil Diamond and Rush, to name a few, have resigned from performing all within the same week.
Whether it’s due to failing health or simply slowing down after years on the road, one thing remains the same: their departure from the concert scene has left promoters wondering who will replace them. Jeff Jampol, manager of the estates for The Doors, Ramones, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding says, “As these boomer rock & roll artists are passing and retiring and disappearing, I don't see anything that's going to take their place musically.”And he’s not the only one concerned. Marsha Vlasic, agent for Iggy Pop, Neil Young, and the Strokes says, “It's extremely worrisome. Once these artists really do retire, who will be the replacements?” The answer and future of concerts for the baby boomer rock star generation remains unknown.
The concert industry otherwise is still alive and well as worldwide ticket sales grew to $5.6 billion in 2017 compared to less than $5 billion in 2016. However, for performers of this particular boomer generation, it’s slowly dwindling. According to Pollstar, only 6 of the 25 highest grossing tours in 2017 starred performers of retirement age, one of which, Tom Petty, has since passed away and another, Billy Joel, who has now announced retirement.
There still remains hope with stars like Ozzy Osbourne who has declared retirement at least 3 times, but continues to tour. Elton John’s farewell tour has been relatively similar with 300 shows scheduled over three years, with possible expansion.
Promoters say that the best way to maintain the thriving industry of classic-rock concerts is to replace the boomer generation of rock stars with the next generation’s icons. Bands like U2, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica, who have members in their mid to late 50s, are the next in line.
What is the future for classic rock in-concert? If you’d like to know more read the Rolling Stone article here.