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TOURING & FESTIVAL NEWS: XM Satellite Radio To Broadcast From Bonnaroo & 'The Passion Of The Christ' Tour Set For Fall

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — XM Satellite Radio will broadcast interviews and acoustic sets by artists live from the XM hosted Sonic Stage at the sold-out 2004 Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN on June 11-13. XM will also broadcast select performances originating from Bonnaroo's main stage and is turning over its XM Live Channel, XM 26, to Bonnaroo-related programming for the duration of the festival.

"XM's broadcast of Bonnaroo continues our tradition of giving our listeners the very best in commercial-free music today, especially live music," said Lee Abrams, XM chief programming officer. "We are particularly proud to be associated with Bonnaroo because the festival's lineup of exceptional artists — from last year's Shortlist of Music Award winner Damien Rice to current chart toppers Maroon5 — mirrors the wide range of musical formats available on XM."

"Since Bonnaroo is the ultimate destination for music lovers, XM will make it easy and affordable for these fans to buy a radio and subscribe to XM on-site at the festival" explained Abrams. "We can think of no better way to keep the great Bonnaroo spirit alive year-round than listening to these phenomenal artists every day on XM." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

'The Passion Of The Christ' Tour Set For Fall

CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — "The Passion of The Christ" sparked a national phenomenon at the movies this spring and will now be coming to performing arts theaters and other concert venues when Metropolitan Talent Management, LLC and Icon Productions presents "Music From And Inspired By The Passion of The Christ Tour." The tour is being booked by John Huie of Creative Artists Agency out of Nashville.

"The Passion of The Christ Tour" will visit U.S. cities beginning this fall and continuing through Easter 2005, said John Scher, co-CEO of Metropolitan Talent. The live event will be conducted by John Debney, the film's music composer, and will feature a full orchestra, choir, world musicians and vocalists performing music from and inspired by "The Passion of The Christ" set to a visual backdrop, designed by award-winning production designer Wendall Harrington, which will include scenes from the box office smash.

"'The Passion of The Christ' was a full sensory experience that lasted well beyond the two-hour theater encounter for millions," said Scher. "We expect the tour to elicit the same emotional response. John Debney's stunning score lends itself beautifully to a live setting, and with a stage set with the world's finest instruments and voices along with multimedia, the live event will be a powerful experience whether you've seen the film or not."

"That John Debney has called on his considerable talent to create beautiful, utterly transcendent music that is a fundamental thread to the viewing experience of 'The Passion of the Christ' is without question," said Mel Gibson, director and producer of "The Passion of The Christ." "That his haunting, unforgettable work treads the very thin line between a symphony of epic sweep and an intimate and emotional piece, ethnically true and inspired by the best that all those forms have to offer defies expectation. In so doing, this oeuvre lifts itself up to a rarefied realm where it stands alone, even without the film, as a genuine work of art."

"The Passion of The Christ" f enjoyed extraordinary and unprecedented success when it released on February 25 bringing in a worldwide box office of more than $600 million worldwide to date (according to Box Office Mojo). The film experienced the biggest February domestic opening of all time and currently sits at #7 on the U.S. all time box office charts.

"The Passion of The Christ" official movie soundtrack (Sony/Integrity Music) has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and continues to be a top-selling soundtrack on the Billboard charts. The Debney composed soundtrack is the only recording that contains the music from the film. The soundtrack features haunting vocals and chants provided by Shannon Kingsbury, Shankar and Gingger, the Transylvania State Philharmonic Choir, The London Voices and Mel Gibson, who co-produced the soundtrack with Debney.

Award-winning composer John Debney is one of the busiest and most capable musicians in Hollywood. In addition to the soundtrack for "The Passion of The Christ," he has scored numerous films, including "Princess Diaries," "Princess Diaries II," "Raising Helen," "Bruce Almighty," "Welcome To Mooseport" "Elf," "Liar Liar," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Spy Kids II: Island of Lost Dreams," "The Tuxedo," and "Snow Dogs." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Bonnaroo Music Festival Comes To Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State transportation officials say they are taking steps to keep traffic moving on Interstate 24 during the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester next week.

About 90,000 people are expected to attend the outdoor music festival June 11-13. Among the acts are Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan and The Dead.

Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner Jerry Nicely said assistance trucks and maintenance units will be posted in the area, message signs will warn drivers of delays and road resurfacing work will be suspended.

Festival traffic will be kept in the right lane and interstate shoulder, allowing through traffic to have the left lane unimpeded. Median crossovers will be guarded to prevent motorists from parking there and blocking emergency vehicles.

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Black Sabbath To Reunite At Ozzfest

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Sabbath will reunite for the ninth annual Ozzfest, which begins July 10 in Hartford, Conn.

After initially declining an offer to join original Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward has now reconsidered, said a posting this week on Ozzfest's Web site.

Ozzfest 2004 also will include a reunion of the original lineup of British heavy metal band Judas Priest.

"You have the original Black Sabbath and the original Judas Priest. What more could you want!" Sharon Osbourne said in a statement.

Will A Country Festival Follow Coachella In Indio?

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA has been so successful for the past three years that the Empire Polo Club wants a country music festival added to the site. However, Goldenvoice, the concert promoter, is not sure it can be financially viable. According to the Desert Sun, former promoter Marshall Harris staged a weekend country music festival at Empire Polo Club in 1998, and the event lost about $700,000 after taxes.

"They’re (the concerns) on GV’s (Goldenvoice) side," Empire Operations Manager Robert Del Mas told the paper. "We’re ready, willing and able to do it. I think they’re determining within their own organization whether they can do it (or) want to do it. We’re very much open to the idea."

Goldenvoice's Paul Tollett told the paper that there have been some discussions about a country festival, but that it is quite premature. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Cure Fans Can Buy CD With Ticket Purchase To Curiosa Festival

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Cure has formed the
Curiosa Festival 2004 The idea came last fall after The Cure headlined the KROQ Festival. They decided to spend the coming summer touring North America with bands they enjoy. The Cure put together a wish list and handpicked the lineup for this summer's Curiosa Festival 2004. The main stage will host The Cure, Interpol, The Rapture and Mogwai. A second stage will also be part of the festivities showcasing Thursday, Muse, Cursive, Melissa Auf Der Maur, The Cooper Temple Clause and Head Automatica. Second stage performers will rotate throughout the tour.

The tour kicks off July 24 in West Palm Beach, FL and continues through the end of August. Tickets go on sale this weekend.
For the first time, will offer concert ticket purchasers the option to add a CD purchase into the ticket transaction. Cure fans will be able to pre-order the deluxe DVD version of the new Cure CD, The Cure, along with a limited edition button set. The charge for the CD will be conveniently added to the ticket purchase and not require a separate credit card transaction.

The Cure's new self-titled CD will be the band's 13th studio record and their first album of new music since 2000's Bloodflowers. It was recorded at London's Olympic Studios with Ross Robinson (Korn, At The Drive In, Slipknot) producing and arrives in stores June 29 on Ross Robinson's imprint label, I Am Records, through Geffen Records.

Led as always by lead singer/guitarist Robert Smith, the Cure line-up since 1994 comprises longtime bass player Simon Gallup, guitarist Perry Bamonte, drummer/percussionist Jason Cooper, and keyboardist Roger O'Donnell.

Curiosa Festival 2004 Itinerary (ore cities and venues will be announced shortly):

July 24 West Palm Beach, FL Sound Advise Amphitheater

July 25 Tampa, FL Tampa Bay Amphitheatre

July 28 Nashville, TN Starwood Amphitheatre

July 29 Atlanta, GA HiFi Buys Amphitheatre

July 31 New York, NY Randall's Island

August 1 Camden, NJ Tweeter Center

August 3 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center

August 4 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center

August 6 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion

August 7 Boston, MA Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts

August 9 Toronto, ON Molson Amphitheatre

August 11 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre

August 12 Chicago, IL Tweeter Center

August 14 Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Centre

August 15 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

August 17 Denver, CO Coors Amphitheatre

August 18 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre

August 27 Los Angeles, CA Home Depot Center

–Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Last Tour For Simon & Garfunkel?

NEW YORK (AP) — Now, however, "my friendship with Artie is back to where it was when we were 12 years old," Simon told The Associated Press. "We're laughing and kidding around all the time. It's a lot of fun."

Agreed Garfunkel: "We are remarkably like brothers in our musical calling and our senses of humor."

Good vibes. Without them, Simon & Garfunkel probably wouldn't be going out on the road again this summer, starting June 10 in Albany. The $64.5 million in ticket sales for the first leg of the "Old Friends" tour probably helped their mood, too.

They may be friends again, but that doesn't mean they always see eye to eye. In the course of two interviews, they disagreed on whether Simon & Garfunkel has a recording future, a touring future beyond this summer and whether a change in their show for Europe was politically motivated.

Last fall, during the song "America," a video montage ran on screens behind the two singers, showing images of the nation during the past 40 years. That will be either changed or eliminated when the tour moves to Europe.

"It's what an artist does when he feels the name of his country speaks too loudly and too provocatively (that) it pushes the music aside," Garfunkel said, somewhat cryptically. He wouldn't comment further.

Simon said it will be altered to be more appropriate to Europeans.

"It's not a political statement," he said. "It's a geographic reality."

The singers' repertoire is kept strictly to the Simon & Garfunkel recordings, except for Simon's early 1970s solo recordings "Slip Slidin' Away" and "American Tune." Trying to balance the duo material with more solo work would have been too difficult, Simon said.

"It's particularly appropriate now to stay locked into a time capsule, because it has a lot of resonance," he said. "The power of the elapsed time adds emotion to the songs. A lot of these songs, even back then, were dealing with the passage of time."

Simon was in his early 20s when he wrote a line in the song "Old Friends" about being 70. The idea that he's performing the song at age 62 "is still shocking to me," he said.

Simon spoke from his office in the Brill Building, a legendary location for songwriters during the 1960s. His walls were covered with old posters and album covers, along with the New York Yankees fan's impressive collection of baseball memorabilia.

Garfunkel talked at his three-story apartment off New York's Central Park, shortly before leaving on a trip to continue a walking tour of Europe.

Preparing for the show was difficult in an odd, unexpected way, Simon described. For most people, their memory of Simon & Garfunkel is two singers, one guitar. But the old recordings usually had full bands. The challenge was being true to the fans' memories yet updating the sound. The duo travels with a seven-piece band.

The tour gave Simon a greater appreciation for what Garfunkel's voice meant to his music.

"The sound of the two voices is unique," he said. "The fact that the Everly Brothers are part of the show really connects us to our beginnings. Just the fact of duo singing is a powerful thing. It's gone."

Between the Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel and John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles, the sound of two voices blending to make a sound distinct from each alone is a powerful thing, he said. It sounds shocking today because no one is doing it, he said.

"I find Paul at his absolute best," Garfunkel said. "He is a benign papa, with that same considerable talent and a beautiful work ethic. I love people who respect their work."

Seeing the duo isn't a cheap date. The average ticket price for a Simon & Garfunkel show last fall was $136.90, well above the industry average of around $50, according to Pollstar magazine.

"It's a hard subject," Garfunkel said. "It puts me on the defensive. I didn't make the ticket price. I'm involved in it, my profit is related to it. Am I squeezing the American people? Well, if they show up and say we're happy to buy your ticket price and come see the show, who am I to say you shouldn't be happy?"

Garfunkel said he's had great fun with the reunion, which he called "an open-ended experience." The idea of new recordings from Simon & Garfunkel is "a very interesting and feasible possibility," he said.

That may be wishful thinking.

Although they're preparing a CD and DVD recording of their Madison Square Garden from last fall, Simon doesn't expect any new music from the duo.

"I think we're about what we were," not what we could be in the future, he said. Simon is halfway through a new album, an intriguing partnership with soundscape engineer Brian Eno.

He also predicted it would be the last time on the road for Simon & Garfunkel.

"If it was an ongoing act where there was new material being recorded and you were working that into the repertoire, maybe there would be some justification," Simon said. "But I think this is a good example of the music that we made and I don't really see any powerful reason to do it again, because we did it. It's not a Shermanesque declaration. It's just how I feel."


On the Net:

Willie Nelson To Make Special Appearance At CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair On June 13

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Willie Nelson will make a special guest appearance with fellow Texan Pat Green on June 13 at The Coliseum in Nashville during "Country Music's Biggest Party" at the CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair.

"These collaborations are a cornerstone of what we are hoping to accomplish with CMA Music Festival," said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. "Our goal is to present one-of-a-kind moments and memories that will last a lifetime for our attendees. This is certainly going to be one of them."

"Willie has always been so supportive and you look over and there he is," said Green. "It just doesn't seem real."

Nelson and Green plan to perform "Threadbare Gypsy Soul" from Green's double-Grammy nominated album Three Days. Nelson also performed on Green's current Republic Records/Universal South project Wave On Wave. Also performing on June 13 are Dierks Bentley, Chris Cagle, Glen Campbell, Keith Urban, Hank Williams Jr. and Wynonna.

Advance purchase tickets for each nightly show at The Coliseum cost $25 (plus handling fees). "You look at the price – $25 – and you look at the lineup and you can tell right away that this is a value," Benson said. "You can't get this level of entertainment for this price anywhere but CMA Music Festival."

The2004 CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Country Weekly is an official media partner. MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, is the official radio broadcaster. Promotional partners include American Airlines, B.A.S.S., Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Bush's Baked Beans, Camping World, Carl Black Chevrolet, Coca-Cola, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Country Music Television (CMT), Fisher's ATV World, Ford, Grand Ole Opry, Greased Lightning, Great American Country (GAC), High Lifter, HCA, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Lewis Bakeries, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Convention &Visitors Bureau, Nashville Predators, NBC Daytime, Prilosec OTC, The Rage, Shoney's, Sparkle Paper Towels, Star-Time Sports &Entertainment, The Tennessean, Tennessean Titans, TNA Wrestling, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the works and Wrangler. Fan Fair is a registered trademark of CMA. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Barry Manilow Returns To Concert Circuit

NEW YORK (AP) — Barry Manilow will return to the concert circuit with a One Night Live! — One Last Time! tour.

The 22-city tour will begin Sept. 30, Stiletto Entertainment said Tuesday. Stops include Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Cleveland, Detroit and Phoenix.

Manilow's last tour concluded in mid-2002.

Aching Back Derails Loretta Lynn's Tour

NEW YORK (AP) — Loretta Lynn's aching back has forced her to postpone her June concerts, according to the country singer's Web site.

"Due to a back ailment, Loretta Lynn's physician has ordered her off the road. All of her June concert dates have been postponed. More information to come regarding rescheduling," said a posting on the Web site.

Lynn, 69, had been set to perform in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

A performance at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., is scheduled for July 3.

Aerosmith Concert Canceled

PELHAM (AP) — Police in Pelham said they were notified that Monday night's Aerosmith concert at Oak Mountain Amphitheater has been canceled.

Police Sergeant Bobby Sasser said the Police Department wasn't given a reason for the cancelation at Oak Mountain State Park.

A statement from concert promoter Clear Channel Entertainment said concert, also featuring Cheap Trick, was canceled due to illness and has been rescheduled for June 30. No other details were released.

At capacity, the amphitheater, now called Verizon Wireless Music Center, can hold about 11,000 people. A spokesman for Aerosmith was not immediately available for comment. The concert reportedly was sold out.

Aerosmith ranks in the Top 10 concert tours.

'Avenue Q' To Bypass National Tour For Las Vegas

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Tony Award winner for Best Musical "Avenue Q" is by-passing the usual national tour for a long-term open-ended stay in Las Vegas. It will open around Labor Day 2005 at Steve Wynn's new $40 million, 1,200-seat theater built especially for the show at Wynn Las Vegas, a $2.5 billion, 235-acre resort opening next April with more than 2,700 rooms and more than 12 restaurants.

"If you want to see `Avenue Q,' the only place you'll be able to see it is Las Vegas or New York," Robyn Goodman, one of the show's lead producers, told the New York Times.

It is felt that the Las Vegas gross can double "Avenue Q's" maximum Broadway take and eliminate high touring expenses. The deal was made just a few days before the Tony Awards but kept secret from the show's creators until after the awards. Clear Channel Entertainment, one of the show's minority investors, will not get the opportunity to present the show in its venues across the country. The Shubert Organization is also shut out around the country; "Avenue Q" is at the 796-seat Golden Theater in New York, a Shubert theater.

There was concern whether the show would have translated well in many theaters on the road, some of which seat nearly 4,000 people. Instead of the eight performances a week on Broadway, "Avenue Q" will probably play 10 a week in Las Vegas.

"Avenue Q" could gross a nearly $1 million a week in Las Vegas as opposed to its potential gross on Broadway of $490,000, according to Kevin McCollum, one of the show's producers. He estimates that his production company could save more than $2 million a year in touring expenses (among them building, loading, unloading, and trucking the musical's sets) by staying put in Las Vegas, according to The Times. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen