(CelebrityAccess News Service) — The Dixie Chicks wrapped up the North American leg of their successful “Top of the World Tour” August 13 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, AB. Throughout the last three months, the Chicks have played to over 1 million people and pulled in $61 million in ticket sales making them the top grossing country tour of the year.
The “Top of the World Tour” kicked off on May 1 in Greenville, SC and continued for a total of 63 performances, with an average attendance of 15,753 grossing roughly $976,000 paid attendance for each show–57 of the dates were complete sellouts.
The multi-tiered set, complete with shifting hydraulic-lift levels, winding catwalks and walkways that shot out over the heads of the crowd, weighed over 80,000 pounds and took up most of the arena floor. The troupe of 120 traveled in 13 busses and 17 trucks. They also carried the largest touring video show complete with 1.5 million LED lights that showed graphics on video screens and on the floors of the stage. During the show, the stage also sprang props of flowers, grass, trees and even a windmill. All together, it took over 2,000 amps of power and 240 pounds of CO2 gas for the special effects of each show. Joan Osborne, Michelle Branch and Jann Arden each took a turn as the opening act.
Representatives from “Rock The Vote” were at each of the performances encouraging fans to register and vote, regardless of their political views. The Chicks are continuing this partnership with Chicks Rock, Chicks Vote!, a campaign aimed at persuading young people to register to vote on the web at rockthevote.com. The campaign features the Dixie Chicks as spokespersons and includes public service announcements, a soon to be launched forum on the "Rock the Vote" website designed to encourage young people to speak out and learn about all sides of the issues, and other activities to promote voter participation, particularly targeting young women.
Dixie Chicks will take a few weeks off before resuming the overseas leg of the “Top of the World Tour.” The tour will make stops in Europe and Australia throughout September and October. Shows in Stockholm, Manchester and London are already sold out. — by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
Ben & Jerry's One World Heart Festival Canceled
(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The Ben & Jerry's 2003 One World Heart Festival August 23-24 at Bethel Woods, NY, the site of the original Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, has been canceled.
"Ben & Jerry's rolled into its 25th year with a sizable birthday wish to take a great concept known as the One World One Heart Festival to the next level and to a new location more accessible to its many East Coast fans, " says the company's website. "The decision to move the company's annual festival to Bethel Woods, the site of the original 1969 "Woodstock Festival" with its rich heritage and unique history, seemed just the ticket. Right place. Wrong time. An economic downturn coupled with an unexpected slump in the music industry, has forced our hand and the cancellation of this year's One World One Heart Festival. At times like these, our loyal fans come first."
Tracy Chapman and LeAnn Rimes were the headliners with support from Third Eye Blind, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Soulive, Darius Rucker (Hootie & the Blowfish), The Wild Magnolias, Terrance Simien and Recycled Percussion. Ben and Jerry’s planned to make one-third of the 60,000 tickets available to concertgoers who registered two friends to vote. — by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
T-Mobile to Present Unique Five Concerts in Five Cities Simultanously
(CelebrityAccess News Service) — T-Mobile USA's "T-Mobile All Access" concert experience will bring music fans five-concerts, in five-cities, on one night, September 4. Major participating performers include Ashanti (New York), Jason Mraz (Chicago), Fuel (Philadelphia), LIVE (Dallas) and 311 (Los Angeles). Concert-goers from the five markets have a variety of ways to win free tickets, including a special VIP text messaging option, exclusively for T-Mobile customers. Fans from around the world will have "All Access" to watch the five concerts in a first ever simultaneous web-cast event at www.t-mobile.com in partnership with Samsung mobile phones and produced by Clear Channel Entertainment and AOLMusic.
Each "T-Mobile All Access" concert location also holds a special twist as the non-traditional concert venues themselves are unique: New York — Arts at St. Anne's, Philadelphia — Pier 1 Cruise Terminal, Dallas — Gypsy Tea Room, Los Angeles — Barker Hanger, and a venue to be disclosed later in Chicago. Unlike some concerts, winners will be encouraged to bring their T-Mobile camera phones to the once-in-a-lifetime event and snap pictures to send to T-Mobile.com to share their experience in the moment with the rest of the world.
"T-Mobile's been at the forefront of providing customers with innovative features and services that allow them to communicate on a whole new level," said John Clelland, senior vice president of Marketing for T-Mobile USA. "The T-Mobile 'All Access' experience is the ultimate Get More event and highlights how T-Mobile service allows customers to spontaneously communicate with friends and family from coast to coast and around the world."
In conjunction with the "T-Mobile All Access" experience, T-Mobile subscribers can sign up to receive special artist trivia alerts for each of the participating "All Access" performers, including free content available exclusively only through T-Mobile. Following the concert, T-Mobile subscribers with t-zones enabled phones can download a variety of MegaTones and Wallpaper for each of the participating artists.
Consistent with T-Mobile's Get More promise, concert fans not able to attend in person still get 'all access' to the five performances in "real time"via a live web cast at www.T-Mobile.com as part of a partnership with AOLMusic. While most anyone with a high speed Internet connection can access the online concerts, subscribers of T-Mobile HotSpot "WiFi" broadband wireless Internet service can enjoy the live web cast, even if they are away from their home or office. By using their WiFi enabled laptop, T-Mobile HotSpot customers can access the Internet at the speed and reliability of a T-1 connection — 40 – 50 times faster than a standard dial up connection — at over 2,700 convenient public locations including Starbucks coffeehouses, Borders Books and Music and numerous airport locations across the country. –by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
Ludacris Surprises Georgia School With Concert
ATLANTA (AP) — It didn't take long for Clark Atlanta University freshmen to learn an important first lesson: Expect the unexpected. Atlanta rapper Ludacris gave approximately 1,000 freshmen a welcome surprise Monday night with an unannounced concert.
The performance was not a secret to MTV, which recorded the performance to air in September as part of its show "Jammed."
Without notice, an orientation session was interrupted when the lights dimmed, a thumping bass background began sounding through the speakers and Ludacris suddenly took the stage.
Ludacris, from the Atlanta suburb of College Park, was joined onstage by another hip-hop star, Jermaine Dupri, for the performance of "Welcome to Atlanta."
Excited students rushed the stage while others ran outside the arena to spread the good news.
"Oh my God, Ludacris is at my school," 18-year-old Crystal Harris of Charlotte screamed into her cell phone.
Clark Atlanta University associate dean Rick Robinson said the surprise performance should have a positive effect on future orientation sessions.
Said Robinson: "The next time we call a mandatory meeting, you can be sure they'll all show up."
Voodoo Music Festival Expands to Three Days
(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The 5th Annual Voodoo Musicâ Experience has expanded to three days from one this year. Set for October 31-November 2 New Orleans City Park, the three-day event features three stages, more then 80 artists and a massive 90 hours of music. Three day passes are $80.
"Last year's event deemed us as a Halloween tradition, this year's event will solidify us as a three-day world class music experience not to miss," says Steve Rehage, president Rehage Entertainment, Inc. "Our weekend line-up showcases some of the best talent in today's industry and allows us to pepper the weekend with some of music's rising stars."
"New Orleans is known as a leading festival and cultural tourism destination because we cater to the senses with our great music, food and just plain fun," added New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin. "We are thrilled that premier events like Jazz Fest in the spring, the Essence Festival in the summer and the newly expanded Voodoo in the fall help to enhance the internationally recognized New Orleans brand and attract new visitors to our city year after year."
Launched in 1999, Voodoo has drawn more than 250,000 attendees and cast its spell on music worshipers across the country in just five short years. Eminem, Tool, Snoop Dogg, Stone Temple Pilots, Missy Elliot, Black Crowes, No Doubt, 311, Garbage, Ben Harper, John Mayer, Counting Crows and Macy Gray have performed in the past.
Voodoo Musicâ Experience 2003 Line-up:
Queens of the Stone Age
Rabbit In the Moon
A Perfect Circle
Felix da HouseCat
String Cheese Incident
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
Better Than Ezra
Bad Boy Bill (DJ)
Mindless Self Indulgence
Smile Empty Soul
Sponsors for the 2003 Voodoo Musicâ Experience are Fuse, PlayStation® 2, Southern Comfort, Rollingstone.com, Miller Brewing Company, SoBe, Spin Magazine, Vibe Magazine, KKND, Sheraton New Orleans, Heavy.com, Fila, Slim Jim, 105.3 The Zone and B97, US Army, Offbeat Magazine & Where Y'at Magazine. –by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
Shania Twain Hits the Road Sept. 25
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Shania Twain will begin her first worldwide tour in more than three years on Sept. 25 in Canada. The tour will run through mid-December.
Twain announced 18 North American dates, including concerts in Boston, New York, Detroit and Washington. More dates are expected to be added later.
Tickets for the Canadian shows go on sale Friday. The U.S. tickets will be available Saturday, except for shows in Uniondale, N.Y., and New York City, which will go on sale Aug. 25.
"I want the show to be a huge party," Twain said Monday in a statement. "The stage will be set up in a way that puts me in the middle of my fans, which is right where I want to be. You can expect a lot of surprises."
Her new album, "UP!" has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide.
Twain's announced tour dates are: Sept. 25, Hamilton, Ontario; Sept. 27, Ottawa; Sept. 29, Pittsburgh; Sept. 30, Buffalo, N.Y.; Oct. 2, Toronto; Oct. 4, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Oct. 7, Boston; Oct. 8, East Rutherford, N.J.; Oct. 10, Philadelphia; Oct. 11, Albany, N.Y.; Oct. 12, Uniondale, N.Y.; Oct. 14, New York City; Oct. 17, Washington; Oct. 24, Detroit; Oct. 28, St. Paul, Minn.; Dec. 4, Calgary, Alberta; Dec. 5, Edmonton, Alberta; and Dec. 7, Vancouver, British Columbia.
On the Net:
Despite Blackout, Jo Dee Messina Proves The Show Must Go On
(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Despite the August 14 blackout that plagued the Northeast and Midwest, Jo Dee Messina is a living example of the entertainment maxim, "the show must go on."
Messina was scheduled to perform at the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Casino Resort on August 14, and hundreds of ticket-holders waited in the emergency-lit lobby for hours on the chance that electricity would be restored in time for the 8 p.m. concert. The power outage occurred at 4 pm.
“We talked to her manager and her road crew, and their plan was to wait right up until 8 o’clock in case we got power back,” said Sam Madonia, director of the resort’s Entertainment Department. “When that didn’t happen, Jo Dee Messina said she wanted to perform anyway because all these people had come to see her.”
The original idea was for Messina to perform an acoustic concert on the Showroom stage. But the resort’s generators do not provide emergency lighting for the Showroom, creating safety concerns, so the audience was moved into the lobby and a piano was wheeled out.
“Her whole band came out,” Madonia said. “They had acoustic guitars, and the drummer had some maracas, and Jo Dee played the piano. They performed for about half an hour in the heat, and the crowd was great. They really appreciated the effort she made to make up for the inconvenience.”
During her half-hour performance, Messina fielded questions from a crowd of about 350 people.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and this was a first,” Madonia said. “Everybody – the Showroom staff, her crew, the box office staff, security – everybody pitched in and worked together to bring this off. Even Jo Dee said she had never seen any place where so many people wanted to put a show on in these circumstances.”
Messina's regular concert has been rescheduled for Sept. 5, and tickets for her August 14 performance will be honored.–by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner
Timberlake, Aguilera Concert Rescheduled
HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — The Justin Timberlake/Christina Aguilera concert in Hartford that was canceled this week is back on.
The show has been rescheduled for Aug. 22, a week after the original concert date. The Hartford Civic Center will honor all tickets from the first date, promoters said.
Concert organizers canceled after three stagehands were injured when a lighting grid above the stage at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., collapsed Aug. 9.
About 30 people were working below the 100-by-100-foot grid when it buckled and lurched before falling, forcing postponement of the sold-out Boardwalk Hall show.
Concerts scheduled for this past Monday in Albany, N.Y., and Wednesday in East Rutherford, N.J., were also postponed.
Lane Getting Closer to 'Producers' Return
NEW YORK (AP) — Nathan Lane is getting closer to returning to Broadway as the rapscallion Max Bialystock in "The Producers."
The actor has cleared his schedule for early 2004, making it more likely that he and Matthew Broderick, the original stars of the smash Mel Brooks musical, will be able to come back to the show in January for three months. The two actors have been negotiating to rejoin the New York production.
Lane had a committment to star in "Butley," a play by Simon Gray, for Boston's Huntington Theatre Company from Jan. 2 through Feb. 1.
The darkly comic story of a self-destructive English professor, the play has been rescheduled for Oct. 24-Nov. 30 with Lane still in the title role, the Huntington announced Thursday.
That spot in the Huntington's fall season was previously announced for the world premiere of "The Paris Letter," a new play by Jon Robin Baitz about a Wall Street executive whose life begins to crumble.
"The Paris Letter" will be postponed indefinitely "due to artist's scheduling difficulties," Huntington spokeswoman Dina Croce said. The January slot for "Butley" will be filled by "Bad Dates," a comedy written by Theresa Rebeck and starring Julie White.
Lane will, however, be on a New York stage before going to Boston. He opens off-Broadway Sept. 4 in "Trumbo," about blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo. It begins preview performances Aug. 26 and opens Sept. 4. Lane will appear in the show through Sept. 21.
Blackout Cancels Michigan Iggy Pop Concert
CLARKSTON, Michigan (AP) — A high wattage rock band and a venue named after a power company couldn't make the show go on during the blackout that hit the state.
Iggy Pop & the Stooges had finished a soundcheck Thursday at DTE Energy Music Theatre and were headed back to their Auburn Hills hotel when the power went out, the Detroit Free Press reported on its Web site.
It was supposed to be the biggest Detroit rock reunion of the year: Iggy with brothers Ron and Scott Asheton, performing their first hometown show in three decades, in front of what would have been a packed crowd of fans.
The concert was rescheduled for Aug. 25.
Those seeking refunds can get them at their point of purchase. That may not be much consolation for those who had trekked from England, California and elsewhere to witness the big night.
"I'm so bummed," said Eric Danville who flew in from New York. "It had to be an act of God or a solar flare that would keep me from seeing the Stooges."
Symphonic Vanilla Fudge Concert Declared Incredibly Unique
(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Vanilla Fudge's first ever concert with a symphony orchestra was declared an "absolutely incredible unique ride'" by the group's manager Dave Libert. Vanilla Fudge performed with the 52-piece San Fernando Symphony Orchestra out in Woodland Hills, CA. on August 18.
"The crowd was a mixture of all ages; couples, sons, daughters and dogs running all around, and everyone seemed to know the words as they sang along to each song," adds Libert. "The band rocked so hard at times they drowned out the orchestra, but then they did an accappela song (Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way'" with just the orchestra, that was positively brilliant and brought the evening to a standstill as everyone was just blown away. The orchestra also wrote a special overture for The Fudge that properly set the mood for the night. It was a magical night." The evening was recorded for a forthcoming live DVD and CD.
According to Fudge-leader Carmine Appice, 'It worked better than even we thought it could. We'll definitely do it again!"
The band was also presented with a commemorative American flag that was flown at the House of Representatives in Washington by Congressman Brad Sherman (Central San Fernando Valley–27th District) in recognition of the concert.–by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen
Olivia Newton-John Postpones L.A. Concert
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Newton-John has postponed a Thursday concert at the Greek Theatre to be with her ailing mother in Australia.
The singer flew to Melbourne to join family members at her mother's bedside Monday, according to a spokeswoman for Nederlander Concerts, which operates the Greek.
The Greek Theatre show will be rescheduled.
There was no information on the health of her mother, Irene Newton-John, the daughter of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Born.
Newton-John's show at Sandia Casino in Albuquerque on Tuesday also has been canceled. She's scheduled to wrap up her summer tour Aug. 29 in Jacksonville, Ore.
The 54-year-old singer successfully battled breast cancer in the 1990s. Her hits include "I Honestly Love You," "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Physical." She co-starred with John Travolta in the 1978 hit movie "Grease."
Supreme International to Sponsor Music Fest Miami August 30-31
(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Supreme International, a division of Perry Ellis International Inc., is sponsoring the 3rd annual Music Fest Miami on August 30-31. Music Fest Miami is a celebration designed to bring together Miami's diverse cultural communities through music, dance and the arts. Earth, Wind &Fire, Jonathan Butler, Alex Bugnon, Doug E. Fresh, Proyecto Uno, Nu Look and many more will be performing.
Lori Medici, vice president of Marketing and Communications for Supreme International, said: "We are excited to be part of this annual celebration which brings together Miami's diverse cultural communities. Our portfolio of brands reflects this diversity."
Supreme will also be contributing to the Music Fest Miami kick-off Independence Day Gala event on August 22 at the Parrot Jungle Island. This formal private affair will feature a cocktail reception and dinner followed by a special performance from Tito Puente Jr., spokesman for The Havanera Co. brand.
Music Fest Miami is an annual festival made possible through partnership with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County, and the generosity of corporate partners, sponsors and the community. These free events offer quality entertainment, family-oriented activities and a mix of cultures. –by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen.