Mega-selling country singer Garth Brooks announced this morning that he was ending his eight-year retirement, and that he’d be embarking on an extended run at the Wynn Las Vegas casino and hotel. And apparently Brooks hasn’t let the recent woes of the record industry dampen his enthusiasm for the grand gesture: Reuters reports that immediately following his announcement, he transported reporters to an “undisclosed location” via private jet. Whoa.
These shows will be Brooks’ first since he played shows for victims of wildfires in California, and firefighters who battled them, at Los Angeles’ Staples Center in 2007; at the time, the Los Angeles Times recalls, he kept prices low. (Tickets for those shows topped out at $45.) “I know this is a young industry, so I’m not sure I’ll be welcomed back but, if the fans want me, I still want to pursue my music,” he told the aforementioned jet-setting reporters at his Nashville press conference this morning; that he’s opting for an extended live engagement instead of a box set, or some sort of foray back into the mind of Chris Gaines, at least shows that his mind is pretty in tune with the current realities of the music business.
What should be interesting in this case is how Brooks navigates the Vegas’ current tourism slump—and the precarious economics of the local area, which are connected both to said slump and the popping of the housing bubble—with his ticket pricing. If Brooks sticks around Vegas for a while, only performs there, and keeps prices for his concerts fairly reasonable, he could be quite the draw for the Wynn; recall that in 2007, a single show that he was going to perform for Wal-Mart employees in Kansas City mushroomed into a sold-out nine-show run.
Garth Brooks says he will resume music career [Reuters]
Garth Brooks is coming out of retirement [Pop & Hiss]
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