Saturday, July 28, 2007

Where Have All The Claymates Gone?

Clay Aiken is performing in 23 shows this summer, most of which are scheduled by date and location in groups of 3-4. The majority of these shows are part of summer concert series, either for the venue or the symphony for which Clay is a guest artist, and subscriptions are commonly purchased for these concerts.

Tonight’s performance is at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ and is only 30 minutes’ drive from NYC. Considering the proximity to NYC, this small venue is embarrassingly undersold. As of this morning, only 1,571 seats have been sold, and sales have not changed very much for over 7 weeks, only showing that the vast majority who wants to see Clay (= The Claymates) have bought their tickets long ago.

NJPAC, Newark, NJ, 07/28, 8:00 PM, Capacity: 2,750

Ticket sales tracking by the Claymates:

06/06 11PM – 1,419 seats sold (52%)

Orchestra ($93) - Singles Only - 9 Seats Available
Grand Tier ($83) - 5 Seats Available
First Tier ($83) - 159 Seats Available
Second Tier ($73) - 283 Seats Available
Third Tier ($73) - 327 Seats Available
Fourth Tier A-F ($43) - 269 Seats Available
Fourth Tier G-M ($38) - 279 Seats Available”

Over 7 weeks later, and as of this morning, only 152 more seats (5%) have been sold.

07/28 7 AM – 1,571 seats sold (57%)

Orchestra ($93) - Singles Only - 6 Seats Available
Grand Tier ($83) - Singles Only - 3 Seats Available
First Tier ($83) - 102 Seats Available
Second Tier ($73) - 216 Seats Available
Third Tier ($73) - 327 Seats Available
Fourth Tier ($43, $38) - 525 Seats Available

Most other venues have experienced disappointing sales, especially since there appears to be a lot of promotion for Clay’s shows. For example:

Mann Center (capacity: Philadelphia, PA:

“There wasn't a good turnout (sad because this show was promoted more than any other local show I can remember), but it was a diverse crowd."

Claymate estimates for attendance at the Mann Center in Philly were 2,600, or 18% of capacity.

Meadowbrook, Gilford, NH:

Two days before this show a Claymate posted:

“I'm going to Meadowbrook this time and I'm just nervous because they are only a little over a half sold. I sure am hoping, :pray since it's a resort area, that maybe people will buy tickets last minute. It's on Wednesday night, and right now there are so many empty seats it scares me. Any of you that want another concert, make arrangements quick for Meadowbrook. Hey, what's another plane ticket, or long drive.”

This Claymate has cause to be concerned. Clay’s audiences at this venue have shrunk substantially since he started touring.

"Today the venue consists of 3,097 reserved seats underneath the pavilion roof, 540 reserved lawn seats, and 2,850 general admission lawn seats."

This would mean a maximum capacity of 6,487.

Clay will have played this venue 3 times (including this year). His attendance figures are:

Clay sold well for the Solo Tour (capacity includes lawn):

Location......Date......Gross.....Att…....Cap....% Att…...AvgTix

Gilford NH..05-Aug-04..$166,892..4,795..5,000..95.9%..$34.81

Sales were down quite a bit for the Jukebox Tour (capacity includes lawn):


Gilford NH..27-Aug-05..$159,651..2,775..5,835..47.6%..$57.53

Clay’s show this year did not sold well. Lawn tickets were not sold for this event. Meadowbrook probably realized from the JBT that Clay’s appeal has waned, so decided to only sell reserved seating (3,801) for this show.

The latest attendance prediction was on 6/30:

Gilford NH WED 7/25 8PM, On sale 4/02, 3,689
06/30 10AM 3w 4d
-Counting 3,801 total seats.
-Tickets selling slowly.
-Counting 1,720 seats available.
-Projected ticket sales 2,000-2,300, 53%-61% of capacity*.”

As of 7/14, ticket sales for the show were quite a bit lower than the JBT:

“07/14 7PM
Rows 1-20 (1,455, $59) - 99 (newly released)
Rows 21-43 (1,666, $59) - 1,252 Seats Available
Rows 44-45 (140, $74) - 105 Seats Available
Rows 46-51 (540, $35) - 308 Seats Available”

A total of 1,764 available seats out of 3,801, or 2,037 (54%) sold. The Claymate who reported that the show was slightly more than half sold, which would fit with this.

Just how big would the crowds be if Claymates only went to 1 show? At one point, the number of Claymates who went to multiple concerts was only a relatively small number, but more and more Claymates are going to more and more concerts, especially since the schedule of this tour has been intentionally designed to encourage multiple concertgoing.

Now, the repeat Claymates probably makes up a pretty large proportion of the audience at every show, and Clay needs to rely on this behavior for even poorly attended shows.