One Tree Tour

On this year’s season finale of the WB Network’s “One Tree Hill,” Bethany Joy Lenz’s character, Haley, a young woman struggling to make it in the music biz, leaves her husband to go on tour with real-life musicians who’ve guest-appeared on the show.

Here comes the blurring of the line between fantasy and reality: Lenz, along with musician Tyler Hilton (who plays the character Chris Keller on the show), Gavin DeGraw, and The Wreckers – aka Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp – will actually be touring 23 North American cities as an extension of the TV show.

“One Tree Hill” creator Mark Schwahn, series co-producer Joe Davola and Maverick Records marketing director David Grant have quite possibly created a blending of television and the music biz that’s never been attempted before.

“Television has become the new radio,” Davola, who spent a decade creating original programming for MTV, told the Los Angeles Times. “I know how tight MTV’s playlist was. Nobody is taking a chance on new music.”

Like other TV shows, “One Tree Hill” has released a youth-targeted soundtrack that features each artist on the tour, along with the likes of The Get Up Kids, Jimmy Eat World, Story Of The Year, Keane and more.

The series uses DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be” as its theme song. The singer will join the tour on seven dates.

So how did this idea come about?

“Everyone in the room had this idea: ‘Well, what if we had this tour be an extension of the script for the show?'” Grant told Pollstar. “We were in a meeting and it just sort of evolved from the artist to the soundtrack to the tour.”

Although the show is skewed heavily toward a young female audience, Grant believes the tour’s fanbase will be diverse. William Morris Agency‘s Keith Sarkisian chose all-ages venues where younger fans would feel comfortable.

“It was more important to put the show into rooms that would be successful rather than try and overshoot,” Sarkisian told Pollstar. “As it started developing, we had the feeling it would be very successful, but I’d rather err on the side of slam-dunking a larger club than trying to go in a small theatre.”

To promote the tour, Grant said they’ve done “a ton of radio promotions and advertising,” along with print ads, promotions with WB affiliates and tapping online fans to spread the word.

“The reaction has been phenomenal,” Sarkisian added. “The show is going up and selling out in under an hour and, in some places, 15 to 20 minutes. It’s pretty amazing.”

The tour kicks off February 28th in Vancouver, B.C.’s Vogue Theatre and ends March 31st at The Quest in Minneapolis.