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10 Reasons Madonna Ticket Sales Are Soft


According to the New York Post, ticket sales are so soft for Madonna’s upcoming Rebel Heart tour she has sold out neither Madison Square Garden nor Barclay Center this September. In 2012, for the MDNA tour, she sold out Yankee Stadium in 20 minutes and added another date (the add on dates are money in the bank: you’ve already spent the money getting there so the second night is way less overheads) and she added two nights at MSG on the back, so consider it the equivalent of selling out MSG SIX TIMES. This time she can’t sell out two nights? What happened?

1 – No Super Bowl appearance to up Madonna’s public image.

2 – Despite Rebel Heart being a much better album than MDNA, there has been no hit single. “Living For Love” didn’t do the job.

3 – And sales for the first week look like they will be down 50% from MDNA.

4 – Here we get down to the nitty gritty. The MDNA was art pop to the place where it wasn’t pop -it was a boring arty show with classic songs rearranged and an atmosphere completely unsuitable for younger audiences and a sound that got boring fast -plus Madonna lecturing us. Why is Madonna lecturing me?

5 – The prices are insane, this tour there are a handful of $60 seats behind the stage (think about that for a moment), nosebleeds at at $115, mid levels at $200 and good seats at $400.As in $1600 for a family of four.

6 – But even if you thought it was worth it, who wants to go to a concert that starts at 11pm? If you can get past the other hurdles and still want to go, who wants to be stuck at MSG for five hours doing nothing because Madonna doesn’t feel like doing her job and getting on fucking stage. It derailed Lauryn Hill’s come back and left many people (including me) furious when it came to Madonna.

7 – Plus, there isn’t the slightest sense of must see… we know she’ll be back, Madonna makes too much money not to be back, besides an eight year break from touring in the 1990s, she is on the road every three years like clockwork. Folks don’t feel any sense of urgency.

8 – Her setlists suck: Here is a breakdown of her set by album from the MDNA tour:
MDNA (8)

Celebration (2)

Like a Prayer (2)

True Blue (2)

Bedtime Stories (1)

Confessions on a Dance Floor (1)

Hard Candy (1)

I’m Breathless (1)

Like a Virgin (1)

Madonna (1)

Pretty lousy, right? Plus not enough. 20 songs? Too much dicking around with big production numbers.

9 – If this tour bombs expect a Greatest Hits show next. Why? MDNA box office? US $305.2 million ($313.52 million in 2015 dollars). Impressive but look at these numbers for the 2008-2009 Sticky And Sweet Tour : US $408 million ($448.5 million in 2015 dollars). Box office is down by 25% and if the 2015 is down to $250M then, trust me, Maddie will have to fix it.

10 – I was writing the other day about how Spotify don’t have a human face and therefore there is no brand loyalty. The same is true of Madonna. She is just too arrogantly above her fans (unlike, say, Taylor Swift), Lady Gaga is becoming the same way. If you are a brand, make damn sure you are a consumer friendly brand.


  1. Madonna on March 16, 2015 at 2:09 am

    LoL you write this like you WERE a madonna fan… If ticket sales are soft why did they just add two additional US cities yesterday? (Portland & Glendale) riddle me that fuckface. Lol memories are priceless, unlike your writing skills/talents. I’d wipe my ass with your column if someone had wasted the paper to print it out… 🙂

    • jason on May 30, 2015 at 10:57 am

      I am a Madonna fan in Australia and I absolutely agree.
      I will be disappointed if she does come here and its a Rebel Heart heavy setlist.
      She needs to play the hits.
      Fans have abandoned her in the droves because she is so narcissistic she’s lost all sense of reality.
      She’s running on fumes.
      Though the latest facelift does have her looking great.

      • jason on May 30, 2015 at 10:59 am

        Because the last few years her face has looked like a chipmunk.
        She looked terrible from 2010 to 2013.

      • Steve on June 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

        The tour is called REBEL HEART not greatest hits…… pretty sure it’ll be a Rebel Heart heavy setlist.

  2. Fiona on March 16, 2015 at 3:47 am

    This article is what sucks from beginning to end! You can’t even get the name of her last album/tour correct yet you say you were at MSG . I’ll help you out – MDNA as an alternative for Madonna, not MDMA as an alternative for Molly!!! You say there were 20 songs ? There were 24 – yep all big production numbers which is exactly what Madonna fans love about her show. You missed out Erotica (1) (W.E. – Masterpiece so 1), American Life (1) and there were 9 from MDNA! Re start time: any decent Madonna fan knows 8pm start on the ticket means ‘support act’ . if you don’t want to endure that then get there later. I was at MSG all the way from UK , never missed Madonna show there ever ! Worth every penny and my favourite venue!! It was such a special night of MDNA and to have you devalue it with your whingeing and inaccuracies is pathetic. You say Rebel Heart is slow selling, well I’m an Icon Legacy member and in PRE-SALE (1st hour) I struggled to get the tickets I wanted , tho I succeeded in the end . The first week’s showing are for various pre-sales and are mainly VIP packages . There are not many tickets left now after they went on sale to general public and that when she has been doing European promo for the last two weeks . Expect another show to be added as Madonna starts her main US promo on Ellen (4 days) 17-20 March , iHeartRadio Awards 29 March and many others in US in between. I can’t really understand why someone with the mentality of ‘Im a victim I was ripped off ‘ would bother to go see Madonna in the first place . Anyone who thinks Taylor Swift is a better option – well just GOOO! But be warned, Taylor said at the Brits she loves Madonna and sees her as a role model …… oh dear your damned!!!

    • David Evans on March 16, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      fiona you seem so proud to know her last record was named after a nickname for an illegal drug that’s killed people.

      • Matthew Rettenmund on March 16, 2015 at 10:12 pm

        Most of your points are very fair. The concept that she’s arrogantly above her fans doesn’t jibe with what Madonna shows are actually like. She connects. She’s punk-rock with it, but it’s funny and she riles her fans up and captivates them. She’s never going to sit on the stage and dangle her feet to be touched and tell off-the-cuff stories; to suggest she warm up is to suggest she stop being Madonna and try being something else. All of her tours have been successful with her same persona, so I think that point is off the mark. Also, I think it’s a bit ridiculous for you to get all Nancy Reagan about “MDNA” being a play on “MDMA.” Isn’t this a rock blog? Is rock and roll really that anti-substance? More to the point: Alcohol and cigarettes have killed far more people. Sorry, that just comes off as Church Lady-ish. But the rest is less biased and totally based in reality, not in bashing. I think her tour will do fine in the US over time, and will be a smash overseas, especially in areas where she hasn’t over toured.

        • admin on March 17, 2015 at 5:25 am

          I didn’t get all Nancy Reagan about MDNA, that was a readers comment. Thanks – IL.

      • Red on March 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

        Anyone who’d spend $400 to watch that has- been, deserves her.

  3. Ben on April 3, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    The haters are up to their usual trickery, predicting that the upcoming madonna concert is under-performing and will disappoint. But as usual and in top form, M will sell out every location and provide her fans with a once in a lifetime opportunity to see her live. The cherry on top will be when her tour is declared the highest earning tour of the year!!! This negativity cycle is propagated by the haters each time and yet each time, M shows them how it really is. Can’t wait to see this legend/icon in Toronto.

  4. John on April 23, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    I agree with some of the points in this article. This tour is definitely adding shows at a much slower rate then on past tours. I have been to every tour since reinvention and I remember how fast and how many shows they added in each market. Her rating on Ticketmaster is 3 out of 5 stars and 90% of the complaints are how she is late to the stage every night. This tardiness pisses people off because they have made plans to be there until a specific time weather that be public trasportation shutting down before the show is over, babysitting for parents or working the next day I can relate to everyone’s annoyance. The ticket says 8 you should be out at 9 not 10:30 or 11 it is just disrespectful to have to wait such a long time when you pay $400 for a ticket. She is worth the wait to some fans but she risks isolating casual fans. And yes there was no Superbowl to promot the tour. I also think that her setlists are a little disappointing in the fact that not only does she play way too many songs off the new album. I know the tour is ment to prompt it but sing like 5 new songs and play your back catalog, not nessisarly your greatest hits but fan favorites, and mix it up. If you played open your heart last time play papa don’t preach. With such an amazing number of hits she needs to make sure every era of her career is represented on the tour. It would be nice if she shortened the songs to 3 or 4 minutes and packed in the hits. This tour is going to be a turning point in how her shows go on from here. If ticket sales are slow to start blow everyone away opening night and it will be a sellout once people realize she is worth it.

    • jason on May 30, 2015 at 11:03 am

      Shes already said that she is most looking forward to performing S.E.X in tour.
      Thats almost enough for me to not go see it.
      Shes become pathetic.

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