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TOURING & FESTIVAL NEWS: House of Blues Promotes Second Grey Goose Music Tour (Click on More to view all articles)

The second annual Grey Goose Music Tour is set to take off with a sweet, soulful sound. Musiq will headline while new talents Jaguar Wright and Vivian Green will split the opening spot. Produced by House of Blues, the tour will hit 21 cities, kicking off on May 22 in Washington, D.C. and winding down in Orlando, FL on June 22.

Last year's Grey Goose Music Tour featuring Bone Thugs & Harmony was highly successful and the momentum continues this year with a totally new lineup. "The Grey Goose Music Tour is growing in both size and scope," says Lee Einsidler, executive vice president of Sales & Marketing for Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc., the owners and importers of Grey Goose Vodka. "We are really excited about the intensity of this year's talent as well as the prospect of working with House of Blues."

"House of Blues is all about the music," says Jack Gannon, senior vice president of Marketing, House of Blues. "The partnership with Grey Goose will take this music experience to the next level."

Grey Goose Music Tour itinerary:

May 22 Washington, DC 930 Club

May 23 Richmond, VA Kanawha Plaza

May 24 Atlanta, GA The Roxy

May 25 New Orleans, LA House of Blues

May 27 Houston, TX Numbers

May 29 Denver, CO Gothic Theater

May 31 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues

June 1 San Diego, CA Belly Up

June 2 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues

June 4 Anaheim, CA House of Blues

June 6 San Francisco, CA Fillmore

June 8 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom

June 9 Seattle, WA Showbox

June 12 Minneapolis, MN 1st Avenue

June 13 St. Louis, MO The Pageant

June 14 Cincinnati, OH Bogart's

June 15 Chicago, IL House of Blues

June 17 Detroit, MI St. Andrews

June 19 New York, NY Supper Club

June 21 Boston, MA Avalon Ballroom

June 22 Orlando, FL House of Blues

American Fleadh To Showcase Irish Artists

Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Hothouse Flowers, The Saw Doctors, Floggin' Molly, and the Prodigals will be touring under the American Fleadh banner in June and July, when they make stops at several amphitheaters this summer. Not every artist will perform at each date.

American Fleadh, the brainchild of Black 47's Larry Kirwan, should not be confused with the Guinness Fleadh tour, last staged in 1999, that combined Irish acts and top rock and pop artists on multiple stages. American Fleadh will also feature a literary tent featuring well known Irish and Irish-American authors as well as various dance troupes in the different cities.

"Last Memorial Day the Saw Doctors and Black 47 played a double-header at the big Chicago Gaelic Park Festival," says Kirwin. "When the Docs finished, about half of the audience of 6,000 left the tent and went to the bars; by the time Black 47 came on, the tent had filled to capacity again. Then it hit me, what if you got four or five bands with avid followings, and something in common, and put them on tour. You'd have a hell of a festival. That's the philosophy of the American Fleadh."

Additional dates are expected in New York, Philadelphia and Buffalo.

American Fleadh tour dates:

June 19: MD Baltimore, Pier Six Concert Pavilion (Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Floggin' Molly,
Hothouse Flowers, the Prodigals, Saw Doctors)

June 21: MA Boston, FleetBoston Pavilion (Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Floggin' Molly, Hothouse
Flowers, the Prodigals, Saw Doctors)

June 26: OH Cleveland, Tower City Amphitheatre (Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Hothouse
Flowers, Saw Doctors)

June 27: PA Pittsburgh, Chevrolet Amphitheatre (Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Hothouse Flowers,
Saw Doctors)

une 30: WI Milwaukee, Summerfest (Black 47, Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Hothouse Flowers, Saw Doctors, and other Summerfest artists).

Attendance at Jazz Festival Falls 50,000

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than 450,000 people attended this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, down from more than 500,000 in 2002, organizers said.

The drop in attendance was cheered by many music fans who enjoyed the extra elbow room and shorter lines for food stands and bathrooms.

"This has had the feel of a more traditional Jazzfest," said Carolyn Hennesy, a New Orleans lawyer.

Smaller crowds concerned many groups that rely on the event's draw to feed the coffers of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit beneficiary of Jazzfest. The foundation uses festival proceeds to support and promote the city's musical culture.

"The foundation is 365 days a year," said Wali Abdel-Raoof, executive director of the foundation. "We're basically the purpose for the party."

Abdel-Raoof said he doesn't expect the lower attendance to have much effect on the foundation's efforts.

If anything, the foundation might not choose to expand much this year but will likely be able to maintain its annual $700,000-plus support for programs ranging from housing subsidies for musicians to instrument grants to local schools.

"We hope for super super attendance so that we can expand, but if we don't get that, we just maintain what we are doing," Abdel-Raoof said.

Verizon Music Festival to Hit Four Cities in Spring and Summer

The four-city 2003 Verizon Music Festival kicks off in New York City in May but is a bit different than the previous two incarnations. Instead of a fall festival, the Verizon Music Festival is now a spring/summer festival with New York, NY scheduled for May 16-18, Tampa, FL June 11-14, Washington, DC June 27-29 and Los Angeles, CA July 24-27.

Some of the headlining R&B, Latin, soul and jazz talent includes Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, George Benson, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bo Diddley, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Gillian Welch.

As an added feature this year, the Verizon Music Festival will include a club series featuring one-night engagements in Philadelphia, Washington and New York. The Club Series will feature R&B, soul and reggae artists and appeal to a young, urban audience.

"In three years, the Verizon Music Festival has become one of the most widely anticipated events on the concert scene," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon's Retail Markets unit. "Quality artists at quality venues means quality entertainment for our customers. The Verizon Music Festival showcases some of the best artists in varying music genres, all reflecting the individual interests of Verizon's diverse communities."

The Verizon Music Festival will include ticketed concerts and free events to be held at a variety of venues ranging from concert halls to intimate clubs and outdoor sites. Venues include Alice Tully Hall and the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center, The Apollo Theater and the Copacabana in New York; Tampa's Performing Arts Center, Mahaffey Theater, Jannus Landing, Skipper's Smokehouse and Coachman Park; Constitution Hall, Freedom Plaza, and Lisner Auditorium in Washington, and UCLA's Royce Hall, Wadsworth Theatre, Old Pasadena's Central Park and the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

Rock The Mic Tour Hip-Hop Festival To Launch In June

Jay-Z and 50 cent will co-headline the Rock the Mic Tour, billed as the first annual hip-hop festival. Scheduled to hit more than 30 cities this summer, also on the bill are Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul and Fabolous. The event will feature additional elements showcasing the hip-hop lifestyle; several special guests will also appear.

A fully collaborative effort of several different artists from several different labels and camps, Jay-Z will be joined by his Roc-A-Fella family comprised of Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Freeway and 50 Cent will be joined by G-Unit.

Rock the Mic tour dates

June 25 Hartford, CT Meadows
June 26 Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
June 27 Boston, MA Tweeter Center
June 28 Scranton, PA Montage Mountain
June 29 Buffalo, NY Darien Lake Amphitheater
July 1 Toronto, ON KISS-FM / Molson Center
July 2 Pittsburgh, PA Post Gazette Pavillion
July 3 Philadelphia, PA Tweeter Center
July 5 VA Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 6 Washington, DC Nissan Pavillion
July 7 Wantagh, NY Jones Beach
July 9 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend
July 10 Columbus, OH Polaris Amphitheater
July 11 Cleveland, OH Blossom
July 15 Moline, IL Mark of the Quad
July 16 Chicago, IL Tweeter Center
July 17 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
July 18 Milwaukee, WI Bradley Center
July 19 St. Louis, MO UMB Bank Pavillion
July 20 Kansas City, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 22 Denver, CO Fiddlers Green
July 23 Salt Lake City, UT West Valley Amphitheater
July 24 Boise, ID Idaho Center
July 25 Sacramento, CA Sleepy Train Amphitheater
July 26 San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheater
July 27 Las Vegas, NV Thomas &Mack Center
July 28 Phoenix, AZ America West Arena
July 29 Albuquerque, NM Tingley Coliseum
July 31 Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Centre
August 1 San Antonio, TX Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
August 2 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Pavillion
August 3 Beaumont, TX SE Texas Entertainment Complex
August 4 New Orleans, LA UNO Lakefront Arena
August 5 Atlanta, GA Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater

Fairport Convention Set For Spring Tour

Legendary English folk-rock artists Fairport Convention launch a U.S. club/theater tour on May 30 at the Birchmere in Alexandria,VA, in support of their recent release XXXV
(Compass Records).

Now entering their 36th year as a touring entity, long-term members Simon Nicol (guitar, vocals) and Dave Pegg (bass) will be joined by Chris Leslie (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), drummer Gerry Conway and fiddler Ric Sanders. Material will be drawn from Fairport favorites, contemporary songs and rarities from their vast catalog.
revamped Fairport favorites, contemporary songs, and surprise rarities drawn from the band¹s vast catalog.

Fairport Convention tour dates:

May 30 Alexandria VA Birchmere

May 31 Hightstown NJ Grace Norton Rodgers School Theater

June 1 Oxford NY Night Eagle Cafe

June 2 South Easton MA Blackthorne Tavern

June 3 Unity ME Unity Performing Arts Center

June 5 Boston MA Sculler's Jazz Club

June 6 Amagansett NY Stephen Talkhouse

June 7 Arden DE Gild Hall at the Arden Club

June 8 Cumberland RI Blackstone River Theatre

June 10 Annapolis MD Ram¹s Head Tavern

June 11 Northampton MA Iron Horse

June 12 New York NY The Bottom Line

June 13 Chester NY Bodles Opera House

June 14 Philadelphia PA Tin Angel

June 16 Ann Arbor MI The Ark

June 17 Milwaukee WI Shank Hall

June 18 Berwyn IL Fitzgerald's

June 19 Kent OH The Kent Stage

June 20 Cincinnati OH 20th Century Theater

June 21 Columbus OH Thirsty Ear Tavern

June 23 Lexington KY Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour

June 26 Rochester NY Milestones

June 27 Pawling NY Towne Crier

June 28-29 Altamont NY Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance

Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity Has Two-Week Delay

The debut of Cirque du Soleil's "Zumanity" at New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has been delayed by two weeks and will now open August 14 to address technical demands associated with the production of a new show.

"We have experienced small delays in the installation, testing and programming of the technical equipment necessary to begin rehearsals with the creators and artists of the show," said Lyn Heward, Cirque du Soleil's President and COO, Creative Content Division. "The birth of a new show involves combining human artistry with modern technology. When one of these elements is delayed, we must allow time to adjust."

The high standards of Cirque du Soleil and New York-New York dictate that we take every measure to ensure that the highest standard for this new production are fully realized at opening," added New York-New York President and COO Felix Rappaport. "We're very pleased with the show's development, which we know will be consistent with all of Cirque du Soleil's incredibly successful, world-wide productions such as Mystere and 'O'. Additionally,
we are confident the theatre will provide a stunning artistic environment for this captivating production. It may just be the most unique theatre anywhere in the world."

Xbox To Be Presenting Sponsor for Lollapalooza

Xbox will be the presenting sponsor for Lollapalooza, which kicks off July 3 in Grand Rapids, MI at the Ionia County Fairgrounds. The 30-plus city touring festival winds down August 30 in Syracuse, NY at Vernon Down's Raceway. The sponsorship marks one of Xbox's largest deals since the gaming console launched 17 months ago by Microsoft.

Xbox will host festival activities and "play the band" opportunities. Both Lollapalooza and Xbox draw on the same key audience of 16-24 year-olds (Gen Y), making the Xbox sponsorship and strong presence at Lollapalooza venues an added value to the festival experience.

"Video games and music are intrinsically linked, making this an ideal sponsorship," said Michael Kassan, the entertainment media expert who brought the transaction together. "And we know Xbox is a brand Lollapalooza fans want to get their hands on — now they can."

Gaming competitions, contests and free playtime will be hosted at each Lollapalooza event in a centrally located GameRiot pavilion, featuring activities for everyone from casual to hard-core gamers. Concertgoers will be invited to test Xbox games and services during each daylong show.

"I love a challenge, and while we're on the road, I get off on Xbox," said Perry Farrell, co-owner and mastermind of Lollapalooza, as well as frontman for touring band Jane's Addiction. "We are practicing our music for the tour and our video gaming skills for the tournament."

"Knowing how closely the Lollapalooza and Xbox audiences mirror each other, we jumped at the opportunity to be a presenting sponsor with the tour, and provide fans with the combination of technology and entertainment that is sweeping the nation," said Mitch Koch, corporate vice president of marketing for Xbox at Microsoft. "We couldn't be more excited to be a part of everything Lollapalooza symbolizes."

The sponsorship package includes "presented by Xbox" printed in all Lollapalooza references, the Xbox logo prominently placed on all advertising, tickets and materials, inclusion in radio promotions, and a huge presence at concerts.

This year's lineup also includes Audioslave, Incubus, Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle, Jurassic 5 and The Donnas.

Metallica To Play Free Concerts

Metallica will play four free concerts at the Fillmore theater in San Francisco next month, the band posted on its fan club web site.

Tickets for the shows — May 18-19 and 21-22 — are available via certain radio station giveaways and fan club members can enter a lottery for a pair of free tickets. The band is rehearsing for its upcoming summer tour which will feature new bass player, Robert Trujillo, who replaced Jason Newsted.