Posted: Mon., Nov. 10, 2008, 3:15pm PT

AEG brings TV hits to a venue near you

Favorite shows head to the stage

AEG Live has tapped TV audiences for its live
'Dancing With the Stars' and 'American Idol' tours.

By Phil Gallo
Variiety
Give 'em credit for doing the unlikely: AEG Live is turning couch potatoes into a new breed of concertgoers by translating TV shows into stage productions. It started with "American Idol," hit lows with a ticket snafu and hit highs in attendance with Miley Cyrus/"Hannah Montana"come Dec. 17, AEG Live waltzes 'Dancing With The Stars" across the country.

It's the new style of family entertainment, spanning a significant demographic as it focuses on parents and kids who have graduated from the circus and Ice Capades. It's an opportunity, too, especially in the case of "American Idol," to introduce young audiences to the thrill of a concert performance and to potentially develop a new generation of concertgoers. No need to worry if the act goes out of favor, breaks up or leaves their label -- this is all about selling a brand.

AEG's newest model is based on ownership. The content suppliers handle the creative; AEG then manages, produces, markets and promotes the touring editions.
AEG HAS handled all seven "American Idol" tours, the last one hitting 45 markets and averaging 15,000 attendees per show. The last "Dancing With the Stars" tour played close to 50 markets and grossed more than $20 million; its fourth edition, with Lance Bass, Toni Braxton, Marlee Matlin and nine of the show's professional dancers, will play 37 cities beginning Dec. 17 in San Diego.

The company has also been behind the tours of "High School Musical," the Cheetah Girls, and "So You Think You Can Dance." In Las Vegas, they staged an edition of "America's Got Talent" with Jerry Springer as host and 10 of the show's amateur contestants. It drew a crowd of 8,000, and its future as a touring edition is being discussed.
On the other hand, there is often a sense that the marketplace is too crowded and that there's no room for anything new. "Then something blows up and there's room for that one," he says. "We might have said stop after 'Idol.' But then 'Hannah' performed really well.

"TV is so much more powerful than radio. It's amazing how fast a brand can take hold."
AEG brings TV hits to a venue near you - Entertainment News, Phil Gallo, Media - Variety