I’d hoped to have been able to provide better news for the North American fans after confirming the ‘Cruise to the Edge’ slot and opening negotiations for a tour over there in February after the ship docked in Florida.
Larry Webman my agent has been working hard at bringing dates together in recent weeks and sent me through the offers at the weekend.I am deeply disappointed to tell you I have had to pass.
The guarantees provided were pretty close to the 2008 tour when I played 15 shows including the ‘Nearfest’ show which was one of the key dates. I dug out the tour accounts from then and had a phone call with Yatta who had set up that tour to discuss logistics.
On the 2008 tour I lost £15k on the shows with the merchandise sales saving me and providing an overall profit of £2k on the tour. Although exchange rates are in my favour just now the costs over 10 years since my last visit have risen considerably.
Even with the flights out crossed against the cruise, the cost of visas, freight for the equipment we would need on the road, buses, hotels and wages have all risen and the gig offers are nearly the same.
I grossed $115k on the 15 shows last time and lost $31k. The offers this time are around $120k for 13 shows. I didn’t break any guarantees in 2008 despite all the support provided and also got hit by a fluctuation in exchange rates. It was $1.7 to the pound when we went out back then and sits at $1.4 just now. I have to take that into account and can’t gamble on the current beneficial rates staying as they are.
As the country is so vast I have to use some smaller markets to give me stepping stones for the bus journeys and most of them are not even covering daily costs. We looked at shortening the tour and just playing bigger markets but the costs of visas and freight etc that have to be spread over the tour and bus costs and hotels on days off/ travel between cities didn’t add up either.
I’m not giving up hope and Larry and I have decided to re evaluate early next year once the new album is in place and the new digital downloads and streaming services are available to see if we can set up something in the Autumn of 2019. That in all probability will be my farewell tour of North America and ironically it just might gather enough interest to get the fees up to a more manageable level.
As I said I am deeply disappointed that I couldn’t make this happen as I thought I genuinely had a chance to bring it together. I cannot afford to take a huge gamble at this stage in my life and risk losing the kind of numbers I lost back in 2008.
I hope you understand my predicament and my decision and lets hope that circumstances change in the coming year. I’m sorry to let you down.
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