It’s Raining Tours! Why U2, Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, Rod Stewart and Others Released New Dates Today

Jack White
Scott Legato/RockStarPro Photography
– Jack White
Scottish Rite Theatre, Detroit, Mich.

Do you know what U2, Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, New Found Glory, and MGMT have in common?  Theirs were just a few of the tour announcements crossing our desks today, making us dig a little deeper into why Jan. 16 might be so doggone special.

Today’s onslaught of new tour information may be more about the month than the actual day. Two weeks into the beginning of 2018 and managers and booking agents are considering several factors for announcing their artists’ touring plans.

Among the plethora of routings is Jack White’s tour in support of his new album, Boarding House Reach, scheduled for a March 23 release.  The April through August itinerary begins in White’s Detroit hometown and concludes in Las Vegas.  Festival action includes Atlanta’s Shaky Knees, New York’s Governors Ball and Beantown’s Boston Calling.

“We have a record coming out in March, we’re starting to release songs, we’re starting to release videos, we’re starting to offer things to the Jack White fan club,” Robby Fraser, the WME responsible agent for White, told Pollstar. “The setup for the record and the setup for the tour just happens to be now.  There’s no significance to this date other than the fact that this is the amount of time that we are setting up the tour and the record based on when he made it and is releasing it.”

Festivals are one of several factors taken into consideration.  White and Eminem are appearing on several festival schedules, giving indications as to where and when those artists will be on the road.

“Festivals have pushed the announcements so early now, festivals are driving touring so much. … As soon as one announces, they all must announce,” Fraser told Pollstar.  “If there’s going to be chatter about your artist, [fans] want to know what else is there … and you want to get them that information as soon as possible.”

Another reason for announcing tours early in the year is to let the public in on the plans.  Fans’ pockets aren’t bottomless, and they may have to budget and plan to obtain the tickets they desire.

But this week might not be the best week to judge the volume and scope of new tour announcements while trying to parse any significant meaning to choosing the third Tuesday in 2018 for spreading the word.  Yesterday’s Martin Luther King national holiday could very well mean that we received two days’ worth of announcements – today’s as well as what would have been released yesterday if not for the holiday.

However, a true indication of the number of new tour announcements blasted across the land just might be the sounds emanating from Pollstar’s Route Book department tasked with managing data for all upcoming concerts.  Right now it’s a quiet roar of keystrokes, paper shuffling and mouse clicking that’s only going get louder as the week progresses.