Does Clear Channel keep its formula for success hidden deep underground in a vault protected by armed guards, killer attack dogs and flesh-eating groupies? Did Concerts West insist that its executives shred, burn and than eat the remaining ashes that once were the documents outlining the Justin Timberlake / Christina Aguilera tour? Does your local promoter speak fluent Klingonese?

It’s no secret that secrets drive the concert industry. And that factoid of reality wasn’t lost on our founder, Festus Pollstar, when he started the mighty Web site that bears his family crest over 70 years ago. Yes, Festus understood that promoters, booking agents, venue owners and artist managers were a secretive bunch, constantly looking over their collective shoulders and preferring to shoot first and ask questions later. That’s why Ol’ Festus used whatever was at his disposal to cajole, persuade, beat and threaten the major players of that bygone era into parting with their tour plans for Al Jolson and Bing Crosby.

But times have changed. Jolson made way for David Bowie, Crosby met up with Stills and Nash, and most states have since passed laws barring the kidnapping of tour accountants and the hobbling of road managers as legitimate methods to schedule a date for acts such as Gov’t Mule and Guster. Nowadays a date for Mariah Carey might be negotiated by a nudge and a wink, a show for Eric Clapton by a secret hand signal and a one-night-stand for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band in San Francisco booked by merely a nod of the head backed up by lawyers packing serious heat.

How secretive is the concert industry? One might as well ask how secretive is the CIA, the FBI, the NEST and LES. For the concert industry is so secretive that, not only does it go to extreme lengths to keep its competitors from knowing what its doing, it doesn’t even let its own members know what’s going on. So, instead of asking about the secrecy employed by the concert industry, one might be better off asking if anyone in the concert industry knows what he or she is doing.

Let us know if you get an answer. Okay?