It looks like Hannah Montana is taking a toll on more than just entertainment writers. The popular, profitable and news-grabbing show can be just as exhausting to parents, to the point that venues are providing them a little "me" time.
Office Max has been sponsoring a "quiet room" along the tour. If arena officials can provide a room, the office supply franchise will provide the WiFi, laptops and peace of mind to parents who’ve had just about all the squealing they can handle.
Some venues have passed on the offer, but when Miley Cyrus and her alter ego visited Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., December 12th, venue officials opened up a room they jokingly called the "timeout room."
There was a steady exodus of moms who certainly love their daughters but needed to get the hell away from them.
"There are two kind of louds," Rupp Arena GM Carl Hall told Pollstar. "Loud ‘one’ is Third Day which, to me, is the loudest rock music act out there, more than Bon Jovi, Van Halen or KISS. Loud ‘two’ is Hannah Montana. You couldn’t hear a note for the first three minutes. You couldn’t hear a word she said. You just heard squeal."
The crowd was raucous but well-behaved, Hall said. It was the highest-grossing show, with the highest one-night attendance (19,500) of the tour so far. But that didn’t mean Rupp Arena staff didn’t long for a break themselves.
"I don’t know who controls what, but it was difficult to get accurate information ahead of time. It would come out in bits and pieces," Hall said. The initial tech rider was updated piecemeal, and the staff had a hard time figuring out what the final capacity would be. In the end, 1,500 more seats were added day-of-show.
"They show up the day of and we find out they’ve shrank the stage again – taking out some of the camera locations and significantly modified the mix location, which opened even more seats on the day of the event," Hall said. "They knew six weeks prior, so I don’t know why they didn’t just update everybody at the same time – especially with such an uproar about ticket scalping."
Then there was educating the public. One dad called up to ask where he could drop off his two 7-year-old twins, who would be taking care of them and where he should pick them up.
"We just politely said, ‘Sir, you can drop them off wherever you choose but you’ll probably pick them up at the police department. And you’ll probably want to bring a guardian with you to drive them home.’"
The dad didn’t quite understand, so Hall had to further explain that he would likely be arrested for child abandonment if he dropped two 7-year-olds off in front of a building of 19,500 people.
"It was a great night to experience," he said. "Everybody had a smile on their face, they were as happy as they can be. [Cyrus] was truly in character but she’s very high energy, very polished for being 15 years old and the audience was really absorbed into her."
The tour recently extended its run through January and Cyrus has an appearance at RodeoHouston in March.