Often referred to as the “Grand Alignment,” and not to be confused with the Diana Ross & The Supremes tour, is the May 5th event starring six planets, including our Earth and moon, lining up on one side of the sun. While most concert astronomers have pooh-poohed the notion that the resulting tidal forces will have a direct relationship to the underlying scheduling structure of ZZ Top and the , others are voicing opinions that next week’s natural phenomena will usher in total chaos and mayhem for the live event industry.

“The Grand Alignment will cause the shifting of the polar caps, resulting in massive routing changes for Joe Satriani and Dogstar,” claims Major Tom (retired) of the Creative Astronomy Agency, a reactionary organization with a history of projecting fear and loathing within the industry. “We will see eruptions of bands throughout the Cascades, causing a domino effect and resulting in west coast shows for Andre Rieu and Sting.”

While definitely a minority opinion, Major Tom’s predictions have not fallen on deaf ears within concert astronomy circles. “This isn’t like Haymon’s Comet,” stated Dr. Z.G. Stardust of the Famous Astrological Agency, in reference to the cosmological phenomena that follows an irratic course that’s influenced more by early ticket sales than it is by celestial mechanics. “What people should be concerned about is the effect the alignment will have on the inner-ear equilibrium of booking agents and promoters, especially with the upcoming summer amphitheatre season, and scheduled tours for Bob Dylan, Steve Miller Band and Roger Waters. The balance of such forces is crucial to our existence.”

Will the concert industry survive May 5th? Or will the planetary alignment bring untold destruction and disastrous box office results? For most of the industry, next week will be business as usual. “Can the moon entering the seventh house while Jupiter aligns with Mars cause panic in Detroit?” asks David Robert Jones, chief tour astronomer at New York’s SFX Observatory. “I think not, but worrying about things you cannot control is like fretting about routing changes for Vance Gilbert or Lou Bega. Or for that matter, pondering whether there are spiders on Mars.”