Live Nation's Arthur Fogel Addresses Madonna Tour Rumors

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nations chairman of Global Touring, Arthur Fogel talked to Billboard recently, trying to put the kibosh on rumors that Madonna's current tour and her most recent album MDNA were underperforming, describing the rumors as "baseless."

Rumors have been circulating in various music press outlets that Madonna's current tour was experiencing sluggish ticket sales, lagging behind similar artists such as Lady Gaga, who, according to press reports, have been outselling Madonna. One report claimed that Lady Gaga had sold out a concert in the UK in 10 minutes and added a second date while Madonna was still selling tickets to her only UK date two months after the initial onsale.

Fogel told Billboard that he isn't sure what to make of these reports, telling the trade that to date, more than 1.4 million tickets to the tune of $214 million across all 76 shows that are on-sale. This breaks down to more than $2.7 million per show.

"This tour is completely on track to end up in the top 10 tours of all time, especially considering we haven't put South America or Australia on sale," Fogel told Billboard.biz. "To say this tour is not performing is so off base I don't even know what to say. When this tour is said and done, combined with 'Sticky and Sweet,' you're talking $750 million in gross ticket sales. That sounds pretty impressive to me."

If Mr. Fogel's projections are accurate, that would put the final gross for Madonna's MDNA tour about 60 million behind her last outing, 2008-2009's Sticky & Sweet tour, which grossed $405 million at the end.

According to Billboard, Fogel concedes that European sales haven't quite matched North America, but pointed to patterns in ticket purchases for general admission to Euro stadiums, combined with the buzz from Madonna's Super Bowl halftime performance as factors.

"She's at the top of her game and she ain't goin' away," Fogel said.

Fogel also talked down the idea that “MDNA,” Madonna’s latest album and her first under her 360 deal with Live Nation, has been underperforming. After a strong first week debut at #1, sales for the album fell a precipitous a 86.7% from 359,000 to 48,000 according to SoundScan.

Fogel attributes this to the changing structure of record sales where pricing strategies are now geared towards impressive first week sales. Moreover, Madonna has been largely focused on rehearsals for her upcoming tour and promotion efforts for her live outing, which hasn’t helped record sales.

Madge’s manager Guy OSeary recently tweeted in response to a fan’s question: “I wish we could have done TV last week but we were in rehearsals morning and night. 7 more weeks to show time “ – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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