“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen”.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Growing up in Chicago I was very familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright as an architect, educator, designer and visionary. If there was a person who would know something about the price of success, it would definitely be Frank Lloyd Wright. His buildings and houses can be found throughout the city as great historical landmarks. His quote rings true for persons within any industry. Yes, even the music industry.
Whenever you see a popular entertainer you can be sure they arrived at the top due to a combination of talent, hard work and devotion to their art. The aforementioned attributes expand to a wide array of persons and entertainment companies that all work very hard to insure success of every recording and performance of the individual artist. So many people invest time, energy and money that whether an artist succeeds or fails falls on the shoulders of many. And of course, each concert and release is measured independently of the entire body of work. Why? Many times different record producers, writers, promoters and concert promoters are used from one project to the next. The larger issue is what happens when the unplanned problem arises.
An illness or injury to the artist really throws a monkey-wrench into the entire works and creates an insurmountable hill to climb. This is exactly what happened to this weeks’ featured artist Lady Gaga a few weeks ago. She had been fighting through a hip injury for months and when it the pain became unbearable, doctors realized surgery was required to repair a labral tear. Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, now widely known as Lady Gaga, is understandably unhappy about cancelling her tour and not being able to perform for her fans. The twenty-six year old entertainer has performed at a high level for about eight years and does not seem to contemplate thoughts of early retirement. However, she is injured and her body must heal after the surgery to repair her hip to return to performing.
I think we all have at one time or another suffered an injury and possibly needed a surgical procedure to correct the problem and heal. Several years ago I underwent knee surgery to finally alleviate a painful problem of several years. In a way my situation was similar to Lady Gaga’s because I pushed through the pain for years before I realized I could not function until receiving medical attention.
Lady Gaga is indeed disappointed as well as her many fans. At what price? Billboard reports that approximately $25 million in ticket sales alone will have to be refunded, for the singer had sold about 200,000 tickets for the rest of the tour. Are there any of you reading this post who have purchased tickets to a concert that had to be cancelled? I know I have been through it a few times and it hurts, even with the monetary refund. However, imagine the pain of losing on the promotional end. A stadium tour like Gaga’s employs well over 100 crew members, not to mention the impact the development will have on both local support staff and top-level partners like Live Nation. A recent article in the Huffington Post stated, “An expert tells MTV that Live Nation will probably suffer the most, as the event company pays huge upfront costs for development that it hopes to recoup over the course of the tour.
Therefore, even though there is a great price for success, there can be a bigger price when we do not succeed. Even though Lady Gaga will not be able to perform for a while, I’m sure she will still be in the news speaking as an advocate for a variety of human rights issues as well as giving attention to the less fortunate. Despite canceling the tour, Gaga made good on a promise to visit terminally ill 5-year-old fan Kayleigh Gurbynski in Chicago. Get well Lady Gaga, and we hope to see you back on the stage performing very soon.
Through Jan. 17, the “BTWB” tour had grossed $168.2 million and moved 1.6 million tickets to 85 shows, according to Billboard Boxscore, with Asia, Europe, and South American legs already completed in 2012. The North American leg, which was to wrap the tour and was almost completely sold out, would have likely put the tour at more than $200 million gross, easily in the top 20 tours of all time and probably in the top 15. As it stands, Gaga finished sixth among all touring artists in 2012, with a gross of $125 million and attendance of more than 1.1 million, according to Boxscore.