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McCartney concert cancellations leave promoters penniless

46 Comments

The Japanese slang word for a last minute cancellation, "dotakyan," came into common use to refer to weddings where either the bride or groom got cold feet at the last minute.

The word has been getting lots of play in the media this week, as former Beatle Paul McCartney was forced to cancel all his concerts in Japan due to was reported to be a virus infection.

As Nikkan Gendai (May 22) reports, the 71-year-old McCartney was due to appear on May 17 and 18 at the National Stadium and then on May 21 at the Nihon Budokan, and finally on May 24 at Yanmar Stadium in Osaka -- and assuming ticket sellouts for these venues, they would have brought a gate of 170,000 people. Tickets at the Budokan, for 100,000 yen each, were completely sold out; at the 54,000-seat National Stadium, the promoters had laid out 41 million yen for each performance.

"To secure the venues alone came to just under 300 million yen," an unnamed organizer is quoted as saying. "Then there were personnel costs, including the security guards, and money paid out for rights to the video images, which came to another 300 million yen. Add the estimated 1.8 billion yen for ticket sales, and we're talking about losses here in excess of 4 billion yen."

Promotion company Kyodo Tokyo, which posted an apology on its website (in Japanese) stating "We apologize deeply for disappointing everyone." The company is now saddled with the task of refunding the money to ticket holders. It told the media it was "not able to come up with a monetary figure for losses caused by the cancellation."

Nikkan Gendai notes that promoters are able to reduce their risks to some degree by taking out insurance against cancellation of events; but even then it is rare for the insurers to cover all the losses.

"Probably, the 13 companies including Kyodo Tokyo that were involved in the concert will have to split the losses," said the aforementioned organizer. "If they come to 2 billion yen, for example, that might mean average losses of around 150 million per company. These kinds of losses might not mean a huge blow to networks like TV Asahi, but for outfits such as radio stations, which don't have deep pockets, it could even precipitate a fiscal crisis."

One place where the losses will apparently not fall is on Mr McCartney himself, who appears to be covered by his own insurance.

In a series of concerts last year -- the first after a hiatus of 11 years -- McCartney performed before 260,000 fans. Unfortunately his attempt to pull off another profitable tour so soon was destined to fail.

Tokyo Sports (May 22), meanwhile, speculated that the "real" ailment that caused the cancellation was not a "viral infection" that caused him to lose his voice, but something else. The ubiquitous "kankeisha" (unnamed source) tells the newspaper, "It was an exaggeration to say he'd lost his voice. What happened appeared to be a stomach ailment that caused constant diarrhea. It may have been due to something he ate. He's also in a poor mental state."

McCartney reportedly failed to show at a scheduled rehearsal on May 16.

A veteran music critic was said to have posted on twitter that the ex-Beatle, a vegetarian, was in a despondent mood due to his wife Nancy's delayed arrival. It suggested he engaged in drinking until late into the night, after which he complained of discomforts.

McCartney owes it to its fans, says Tokyo Sports, to explain what really ails him and what caused it to happen.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

46 Comments
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leave promoters penniless

All together now.......aaaaahhhhhhhh

They make enough money elsewhere to cover this problem....

....... McCartney himself, who appears to be covered by his own insurance.

Lesson for today kids..

McCartney owes it to its fans, says Tokyo Sports, to explain what really ails him and what caused it to happen.

Huh? He's sick, whats to know?

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Paul, they loved you when you were 64. Not so much now.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Tickets at the Budokan, for 100,000 yen each...

Maybe he thought he'd do them a favor and protect those poor fools from being fleeced to space by unscrupulous J-"promoters"? Seriously, who in their right mind would pay that much for a concert ticket?

18 ( +24 / -7 )

Seriously, who in their right mind would pay that much for a concert ticket?

go check out e-bay or other auction sites to see what people are paying for things that roll your eyes.. paying lots to see a live performance by Paul seems million times healthier ;) if you can afford it, then why not!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Uhhh.... the guy is 74. Who in their right mind would seriously bank on ANY 74 year old to be able to pull off the schedule McCartney said he was going to do?

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

He is 71.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Why did the promoters not have insurance? This article is ridiculous.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Paul McCartney's 71 years old (not 74), for Pete's sake. He's been doing this for more than half a century, and doing it well, to the delight of millions of fans worldwide. Sometimes people get sick. It happens. So-called "fans" need to get off his back.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

He's a fragile old senior not a robot...

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What a nonsense article. The guy is in hospital and has real insurance but Japanese companies do not. Wish him a speedy recovery not conspiracy theories

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Japan is a rich country -it can bear the losses....

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

tajMay. 23, 2014 - 08:37AM JST Why did the promoters not have insurance? This article is ridiculous.

Spot on. This is shades of TEPCO. Badly managed Japanese businesses trying to pass the buck.

If McCartney had died just before the performance (not entirely unlikely given his age) they'd be in the same mess. The fans should be angry with the promoters, not McCartney.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

If he's sick he's sick...This is a concept that the Japanese fail to understand about the human condition on a regular basis. The only ones to blame are the concert promoters who are so greedy that they don't bother paying for insurance because it will cut into their profit margins.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

71 year old man doing 2.5 hour concerts in multiple countries, yeah... he might get sick. I feel sorry for all the people who planned, saved, and took time off of their jobs but it happens. To the promoters, someone(s) need to be fired. You didn't insure the biggest name in pop music in case of sickness, injury, or death.....

12 ( +14 / -2 )

ah, leave it to kuchikomi to spread wild rumors. he also cancelled his concerts in korea so this article is rubbish. and i doubt if all the tix at budokan were 100,000 each. seems like only a few select seats would be priced at that.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

If he changed his mind to perform in Japan, then be furious.He's old, he became ill.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The fans will get their money back, no doubt. If he had diarrhea, a virus a bad back....so what?, it doesn't matter. Sick is Sick. 71 is an amazing age for anyone to perform the way he does. The promoters have only themselves to blame. A lesson well learnt.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

He had insurance. The promoters will sue, and the insurance company will pay. The fans will get their money back. I doubt many fans are angry. Most are just disappointed. These things happen.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

McCartney hedged, Kyodo Tokyo didn't, brokers would have taken a position, that is the world's most expensive belly ache.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I walked past the Buddokan entrance the evening of one of his cancelled concerts. Most ticket holders had heard the news and stayed away. A couple were being interviewed by the media and while disappointed, were sympathetic and worried about Sir Paul's health.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Boo hoo a big company lost money.... Japan needs better insurance coverage, it's pathetic what it covers and doesn't

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If he's sick he's sick...This is a concept that the Japanese fail to understand about the human condition on a regular basis.

Never a truer observation made about Japan... the out and out suspicion that Japanese have when someone takes a day off even with a doctors certificate... regardless of how sick you are, you have to 'gumbaru' before anything else...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@boweevilMay

If he's sick he's sick...This is a concept that the Japanese fail to understand about the human condition on a regular basis.

Very true !

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There's many kinds of insurance, if some didn't factor in that he's 71, and bought some cheaper insurance, we'll them it's their loss. I always pay for 100% coverage when I rent a car.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would be better to cancel the concert than perform while sick. I have seen sick performers before and it didn't go well. Mariah Carey sounded like Janis Joplin and left after 3 songs. Lauryn Hill lost her voice and the back-up singers finished the concert.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He ain't no Mick Jagger, who can still pirouette around the stage.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Promoters have insurance as the article says. It will not cover everything, which the article also says. My experience tells me that generally the companies that make merchandise will get hit big time (t-shirts, etc..). Especially considering that the Japanese love merchandise. I saw the last round and Tokyo Dome was packed every night so they (including Paul) made out like bandits (It was a great show by the way). It is called the music 'business' and sometimes you make serious money and sometimes you don't, just like any other business. Paul got sick, it happens, that's why there is insurance. Those who hedge there bets, do OK in the end. The promoters pay for the insurance for every concert and never use it, that is how insurance works. There is really no reason to be angry with Paul or the Promoters. Things like this happen.

Regarding Mick Jagger, I saw The Stones earlier this year as well and I have to say, although The Stones did a great job, Paul knocked me out. Granted, Mick is the definitive rock star though.

Personally I was very disappointed about the cancelation simply because I had plans to take my ten year old daughter. I wanted her to be able to say that she saw one of the Beatles perform.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He ain't no Mick Jagger, who can still pirouette around the stage.

No, but he at least can write better music, but that is just my subjective opinion.

Never a truer observation made about Japan... the out and out suspicion that Japanese have when someone takes a day off even with a doctors certificate... regardless of how sick you are, you have to 'gumbaru' before anything else...

Exactly, the Japanese need to know, humans are fallible to sickness and disease and sometimes, they need to rest up, get well and preserve their strength, McCartney has the absolute right to care for his body. I have NO sympathy for the promoters, if they didn't have proper insurance, Oh, well. They will recovery and the prices that they are asking for the tickets is ridiculous to begin with anyway.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

McCartney owes it to its fans, says Tokyo Sports, to explain what really ails him and what caused it to happen.

What a completely insensitive and self-centered comment! The man is sick. That is what caused it to happen. If there are any fans that do not understand this, they are fair-weather fans indeed.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

They paid a 100,000 per ticket!! Bwahaha

This is Land of Rising Scandals and Japanese citizens are just a bit too gullible. That's why artists are getting in on the act.

Whitney Houston is just another example of these "collection plate" artists.

Anyway...good luck getting a refund. I wish anyone who bought tickets luck but I can't say I feel sympathy for them.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Didn't these promoters have insurance? Mugs. McCartney, is ill and he's in hospital, what do people want him to do? As for the cause of his illness, it's no ones business but his own.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

100,000 yen tickets?! Forget it!

Anyway, I'd rather see a different performer/band in an intimate basement venue in Shimokitazawa for 3,000 yen---plus you get a drink!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

this article is misleading...

Tickets at the Budokan, for 100,000 yen each

National Stadium S-seat 17,500yen A-seat 15,500yen B-seat 13,500yen

Budokan S-seat 80,000yen / A-seat 60,000yen / B-seat 40,000yen / Arena seat 100,000yen

still expensive, but not every ticket costs thousand bucks each.

But the "value" of the ticket is different to each person - if you love paul and you can afford to buy the best seat, why not. I don't know why some of the posters here are laughing and making it sound like it's stupid to pay that much for the ticket.

anyways, hope Paul gets better soon!!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Even if he was just "not in the mood", that was still better to cancel than to have do a terrible performance. I'm sure the promoters of the last concerts with Amy Whinehouse really lost money as the audience asked money back after, and they got cancellations for the next events... They had to cancel Japan + Korea to save the US tour.

Nikkan Gendai notes that promoters are able to reduce their risks to some degree by taking out insurance against cancellation of events; but even then it is rare for the insurers to cover all the losses.

It's even rarer than that don't cover the losses. they'd go out of business. There would no longer be one promoter in activity on the planet. That's not "losses" the article is presenting, that's costs. They do thousands of concerts a year, some nights they are "in red" and sometimes, they make indecently huge benefits, but they can't have the jackpots without the others. That's how business works. They calculate losses/gains on the average. My ex-boss was in that industry too, and the "average" benefit for bringing Western stars to tour in Japan made 80% of his fortune (for 20% of his effort), even if he got all the diva cancellations you can imagine.

good luck getting a refund.

Unless you have bought fake tickets on internet or in some dark back alley, there should be no problem. That said, they will refund only tickets, not the hotel/train for the fans that traveled for the event on their own. For those that had a travel agency package, that depends on the deal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The guy is 71, and actually no matter the age of the performer there are always health risks. How many times in the last 50 years has Paul McCartney cancelled.... he cancelled S. Korea too. Give him a break! Did they sue Michael Jackson when he died?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When you are a promoter you get insurance to cover possible damages. I recommend Lloyds of London. They have a good reputation. Any losses the promoters took is their own fault not Paul's. What a weenie, cry baby attitude.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Did they sue Michael Jackson when he died?

Yes, they did.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

danalawton1@yahoo.com - I think Michael Jackson's estate failed in their £1bn+ legal fight against concert promoters AEG Live LLC in 2013 for cancellations of O2 gigs.

AEG Live attorney took no prisoners:

"AEG would have never agreed to finance this tour if they knew Mr. Jackson was playing Russian roulette in his bedroom every night,".........ouch!

Little surprise when Robert Plant scorns 'vested interests' on any attempt to reunite Led Zeppelin, and tour.

I tease Paul Mac, it's a respectful tug not personal or mean spirited, with the sheer scale and complex numbers involved, all the risks well known, this could deter future tours of Global Rock 'n' Pop Aristocracy. Legends will have to return to there roots strumming between rehab at their 'local's on a Friday night.

The shareholders, that ultimately will be splitting considerable losses, are going to be wanting a few heads 'rolling around in the sawdust'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand the posters who are bothered so much by what another person spends his/her money on if they deem the purchase worthy ! Lighten up, folks !

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Amazing.... they did sue Michael Jackson... must have been one heck of a contract! I doubt the promoters in Japan were as smart... with Japan not being a country where people / corporations sue each other so readily.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

. with Japan not being a country where people / corporations sue each other so readily.

That's a myth many Japanese people love telling to tourists. Japan is the country where everybody can be like Michael Jackson. After your suicide, the train company, the hotel, or whoever think your dead dirtied their property will send you the cleaning bill and if you don't pay, they will sue you (as your dead, that will be any relative still alive). But no worries for Paul, he's eaten a bad sushi but now he's OK..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kyodo Tokyo 'n' co, are going to struggle to wriggle out of prior notice, nothing can take away Sir Paul Mac achievements as a popular music icon, questions are being asked as how Paul Mac brokered a insurance deal when quote 'Paul has cancelled on the country of Japan 51 percent of the time'. Businesses and livelihoods are at stake here.

Paul McCartney cancels Japan tour due to illness, netizens realize just how often it happens

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/05/22/paul-mccartney-cancels-japan-tour-due-to-illness-netizens-realize-just-how-often-this-happens/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the fans is more than disappointed if it is 51% in cancellation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"They had to cancel Japan + Korea to save the US tour."

Exactly this is the essence!!! The big name musicians are covered and don't lose anything. While the promoters like in this case although having insurance will have to bare heavy loses. Well I guess that's normal, ha...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would have bought an insurance package that would have covered the loses for something as such happening or even bring a suit against him unless it was stated in the contract that the events could be stopped on account of illness.

Many things can go wrong before, during or after that a good insurance policy can come in handy to recoup losses from such as this happening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kyodo Tokyo is a massive company, they can't be pennyless, it is a complete lie to make people feel sorry for them. They are the 2nd biggest event promotor in Japan. One failed tour doesn't sent a company bankrupt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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