Over the last few years, Pollstar subscribers have probably noticed that we have been gradually reducing the amount of space devoted to Route Book tour itineraries in our weekly magazine. The utility of such volatile information in print has been greatly overshadowed by the huge advantages of accessing our real time database on the Internet. For that reason, starting with our March 12, 2007, issue, Pollstar is no longer publishing this data in print.
That’s not to say that we think that artist touring schedules are unimportant. Quite the contrary, we are actually increasing our data collection staff as part of a major expansion in our ongoing job of maintaining the world’s largest database of tour information.
Although this is not the most active time period for touring, Pollstar is now tracking nearly 7,000 different attractions that are scheduled to play more than 55,000 shows around the world. Before the year is out, these numbers will grow dramatically as we bring new systems online and expand the type and breadth of information being tracked.
Even when we were devoting 30 or more pages to our weekly Route Book tour schedules feature, it still only represented a fraction of the data being managed.
Which brings us back to the Rufus mentioned in the headline. On January 18, 1999, publisher Rufus "Pete" Clay sent out a letter announcing that Performance magazine was ceasing publication.
In the course of his farewell diatribe, Clay predicted that, with Performance gone, Pollstar would stop publishing tour itineraries. According to his letter, Pollstar was controlled by the major promoter members of the North American Concert Promoters Association and it would not be in their best interests to have such information widely available to smaller talent buyers.
We got a great laugh from that erroneous prediction, especially because we were headed in the exact opposite direction and had already been putting tour information up on the Internet since 1994.
Rufus was wrong then and he is still wrong today. Pollstar’s commitment to maintaining the best tour information database in the world has never been stronger – it’s now just in a form where users can access it when, where, and how they want it.