The truth about Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz tour: Is it in trouble?

For the last few days, various outlets have been running pieces about the supposed scandal surrounding Miley Cyrus”  38-city Bangerz tour:  “Irate parents are demanding arenas cancel shows because the concert is too raunchy!” “Ticket are showing up on the secondary market like crazy!” “Arenas are threatening to cancel shows!”

OK, let”s calm down. We spent a few days trying to get some of the facts straight, especially about the ticket sales.  Here”s what we found out:

*The parents foaming-at-the-mouth story all seemed to start from an unsourced story that ran on an Australian website about following the opening night show in Vancouver, Feb. 14. There”s about  8,000 miles between the two countries so we can see how some facts may have gotten lost in translation According to MusicFix.com.au, parents were so upset about the show”s raunch factor, they demanding that the tour be canceled. It also claimed that “one parent contacted record bosses at Interscope, Miley”s label, and said they walked out of the show,” calling it “porn.”  Um.. One parent… ONE. And, by the way, Cyrus records for RCA, not Interscope.

*The article further claimed that arenas were “threatening to pull out of the show.” First off, that”s not really how it works. Arenas don”t just decide to cancel a show because some parents have complained. There would have to be a  lot more hullabaloo than a few angry parents for an arena to dump a show after it has gone on sale, and it would likely involve an issue of security. Tour promoter, Live Nation, issued a statement, assuring that no dates were being canceled. “There is no truth whatsoever to any stories or rumors of venues pulling out of the Bangerz Tour,” Live Nation said in a statement. “Miley has created a tour that’s big, spectacular, entertaining and everything you would expect from Miley Cyrus. Reviews have been amazing and most important, fans are loving the show and having a great time.” However, we’re sure that the Westboro Baptist Church will find some reason to picket Cyrus’ tour before it’s all over.

*A story in Forbes helped fuel the fire by commenting that tickets for the tour had “softened… resulting in lots of empty seats and dropping prices in the secondary market.” Forbes cited TiqIQ, which said the average secondary market price had dropped from $225 to $182 from two months ago, and cited Google data that searches for Cyrus had dropped since her controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance. We went to secondary sales site StubHub to find out if the drop off was significant and the answer is no. In fact, there hasn”t been a flood of tickets entering the market. As of Feb. 21, there were nearly 28% fewer listings for Cyrus tickets then there had been on Feb. 2, two weeks before the tour started, meaning people were buying more tickets than they were trying to unload.  As far as the drop in ticket price, StubHub uses a median instead of an average since it”s more representative (Forbes doesn’t specify if TiqIQ is using a median or average price). A spokesperson for StubHub said that for most shows, ticket prices are at their highest when a show first goes on sale and then they tend to drop as the show approaches and the seller gets more eager to unload the tickets. This was a normal pattern.  As far as the number of tickets listed on StubHub for Cyrus, a representative said that was pretty normal for an arena show. The Forbes piece compared Cyrus” tickets to One Direction tickets, which are selling for much higher secondary markets. While the 1D tour may be hotter than Cyrus” tour, that”s not a good comparison since the One Direction tour is still months away and it”s possible that ticket prices for those summer tour dates will drop as well is demand doesn”t meet supply.

*So is the tour in trouble? I”d say not. In addition to the secondary ticket brokers,  there are still tickets available via primary sellers like Ticketmaster, but most of them are in the upper reaches of the arena. Guess what? I found tickets available for One Direction on Ticketmaster as well (and much closer to the stage than for Cyrus.) All this means is that the tour didn”t go 100% clean and most tour don”t. It sounds like she has markets where she”s stronger than others, but overall, the tour seems healthy.

*Is Cyrus the big winner after all?
Yes. Look, we”re talking about her…AGAIN. And any parents who took their young children to see Cyrus and expected the G-rated Hannah Montana show she took into arenas seven years ago have clearly not been paying attention. Cyrus has been getting raunchy on stage, on Twitter, in magazines, on record, in public,  for at least four years now. As she herself tweeted on Twitter after the  faux controversy erupted:  “You can”t say I didn”t warn you!”

The Bangerz tour continues tonight with Show # 5 at Oakland”s Oracle Arena.