Shania Twain fans got shocking news yesterday (Aug 17th) when the singer announced a 2018 tour after admitting her 2015 Rock This Country Tour was her final one. Now, it appears Garth Brooks is blocking Twain from selling tickets to a Bridgestone Arena stop in Nashville on that tour due to plans he has later this year at the venue.
Billboard reports that Twain’s manager Scott Rodger, and an unnamed executive at Twain’s tour promoter Live Nation, confirm that Brooks is blocking all other country artists from selling tickets to concerts at the venue until after December 1st, as per terms the venue has with Brooks. Rodger lost the argument with the venue that Twain is more adult contemporary than country, and that Nashville isn’t among the top 20 markets for her music domestically.
“This is just a really bad precedent, to say ‘you can’t sell tickets before I sell mine,’” Rodger tells Billboard. “We’re heading back to the dark ages.”
Tickets for Twain’s 2018 Now Tour go on sale Friday, August 25th for every stop but the July 21st Nashville date. The tour announcement says TBD for Nashville, but we can now confirm it will be at Bridgestone Arena. Rodger is worried that the issue will cause negative reactions from Nashville fans who can’t buy their tickets when the rest of the tour goes on sale.
“We’re heading back to the dark ages.”
Brooks has concert dates announced through October 12th in Atlanta, but hasn’t revealed any Nashville plans yet. He is expected to close out the North American run of his tour in the city sometime in December after a three year run. He tends to block out multiple dates to keep up with fan demand, often performing multiple shows over consecutive weekends in the same city.
Brooks’ touring promoter Ben Farrell reveals to Billboard that there are no confirmed Nashville dates for Brooks’ tour yet and private business matters with venues are never discussed. David Kells, Senior VP of booking at Bridgestone Arena, says he doesn’t comment on unannounced dates nor does he reveal details involving contracts with other artists.
Billboard says big acts and promoters have contractually blocked others from competing with their events in the past. These contracts typically serve to protect smaller competitors from losing business to bigger stars. It also helps prevent flooding markets with too many similar shows.
Brooks tends to announce concert dates six weeks in advance with tickets going on sale five weeks out. Should he continue with that trend, that puts a Nashville announcement at mid October at the earliest. Even with the stipulation, Twain will be able to sell her tickets to the Nashville date more than seven months in advance.