R.E.M. Stalls At Cardiff

R.E.M. is touring Europe in support of its Accelerate album but the U.S. rock act’s ticket sales have stalled in Cardiff, where the show has been downgraded from the 35,000-capacity Millennium Stadium to the 7,500-capacity International Arena.

Switching the August 25 show has involved promoter Live Nation and Ticketmaster in a major logistics exercise as the stadium show sold 18,500 tickets, more than double the arena’s capacity. Agent Bob Gold said the poor ticket sales are an isolated incident.

Gold said he complained to the venue after the Western Mail quoted an unnamed spokeswoman as saying Cardiff isn’t the only tour stop dealing with low sales.

“Tickets have not been selling well for the current R.E.M. tour right across Europe and we are not the first city to downsize the venue the band will be playing at,” she reportedly told the paper.

Gold, who is head of London-based Gold Artists, said sales are healthy at all the other venues and only Cardiff has been “a bit soft.”

As all 18,500 who reportedly bought tickets for the Millennium can’t fit in the CIA, those who were first to purchase tickets for the original stadium show are given priority. Ticketmaster and the venue box office are sifting though the sales and it is unsure how resold tickets will be handled.

Other ticket holders are being offered the same price (£45) ticket for the show at London Twickenham Park August 30, with the added sweetener of getting an extra ticket for free.

This is the second European leg of the world tour and was due to open with festival appearances at Austria’s Frequency and Hungary’s Sziget August 14-16, followed by Prague Slavia Stadium August 17.