Lorde Says Touring Today Comes with an ‘Unprecedented Level of Difficulty’


Lorde performing live.

Lorde – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Ken Settle

Alternative pop singer Lorde says touring is a “demented struggle” in today’s musical climate

Lorde says touring in 2022 is more difficult than ever for artists. In her latest newsletter, Lorde gives a “five minute explainer” on the “demented struggle” of touring musicians today.

In the Newsletter, via Stereogum, she states, “for artists, promoters and crews, things are at an almost unprecedented level of difficulty. It’s a storm of factors. Let’s start with three years’ worth of shows happening in one. Add global economic downturn, and then add the totally understandable wariness for concertgoers around health risks.”

She added that there are major problems with “the logistical side,” with “immense crew shortages… overbooked trucks and tour buses and venues, inflated flight and accommodation costs, ongoing general COVID costs, and truly mindboggling freight costs. To freight a stage set across the world can cost up to three times the pre-pandemic price right now.” In addition, Lorde says, “Ticket prices would have to increase to start accommodating even a little of this, but absolutely no one wants to charge their harried and extremely-compassionate-and-flexible audience any more f***ing money.”

Lorde added, “Profits being down across the board is fine for an artist like me. I’m lucky. But for pretty much every artist selling less tickets than I am, touring has become a demented struggle to break even or face debt. For some, touring is completely out of the question, even if they were to sell the whole thing out! The math doesn’t make sense. Understandably, all of this takes a toll — on crews, on promoters, and on artists.”

She does on to say that a lot of artists are pulling out of shows “citing mental health concerns in the past year, and I really think the stress of this stuff is a factor — we’re a collection of the world’s most sensitive flowers who also spent the last two years inside, and maybe the task of creating a space where people’s pain and grief and jubilation can be held night after night with a razor thin profit margin and dozens of people to pay is feeling like a teeny bit much.”

She closed out the newsletter with a thank you for fans for coming to her concerts, adding, “I wanted to put all of this in your minds to illustrate that nothing’s simple when it comes to touring at the moment, and if your faves are confusing you with their erratic moves, some of this could be playing a part.”

Anne Erickson
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