New Zealand pop star Lorde caved to pressure from anti-Israel activists to cancel her June concert in Tel Aviv. Did that decision cause slumping ticket sales on her tour?
While Lorde had been riding on high on the success of hits such as “Royals” and “Team,” ticket sales for her current world tour are falling far short of expectations. According to a leading American critic, Roger Friedman, huge numbers of tickets remain unsold, with entire rows and blocks of up to 24 seats remaining unclaimed.
According to Friedman, Lorde’s lackluster ticket sales are the result of her decision in December to boycott Israel, a decision Lorde made following pressure from anti-Israel fans in New Zealand.
Friedman wrote in a column on the Showbiz411 site, “[Lorde’s] position on Israel killed her tour.”
“She decided not to play Tel Aviv on the advice of Roger Waters … Lorde’s decision was a direct factor in her not being invited to sing solo on the Grammy Awards. She was the only nominee for Album of the Year who was snubbed. She tried to turn it into an anti-woman thing, which was ridiculous,” claimed Friedman.
Friedman continued, “Tonight she’s playing the Gila River Arena in Arizona. There are huge chunks of seats empty. You can buy whole rows almost anywhere in the building.”
“Things get worse as you go through her tour schedule, particularly in the New York area. You don’t have to go to StubHub, either. Just check Ticketmaster,” noted Friedman in his Showbiz411 piece. “For the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 4th, I was able to locate blocks of 24 seats together in almost every section. For other dates, it was possible to buy 8 seats together in dozens of locations.”
Lorde joins other international artists that have been bullied into cancelling gigs in Israel or skipping the Jewish state on world tours. Former Pink Floyd frontman and infamous Israel basher Roger Waters is frequently responsible for putting the crunch on musicians to stigmatize Israel.
While some artists, such as Lorde, do cave to the pressure, others either ignore Waters or, like the band Radiohead, confront him head on for his anti-Israel bias.