Below is a news summary by Emma Rosenow, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.
(from Billboard Magazine, April 28, 2012) According to the increased traffic the coach companies are seeing this time of year, the music touring business is ready for a busy summer and fall. The industry has seen somewhat of a drop over the past couple years, but began to pick back up late in 2010 and early 2011. Touring is still considered the highest and most consistent area of revenue for artists, and tour buses will be out in full force this summer and fall. Vice President of Leasing for Senators Coach, John Aiken, says, “Touring is what it’s all about now.” Aiken claims that the summer coach reservations were filled incredibly fast and the fall schedule is also filling up at the same rate.
The Hemphill Brothers Coach has also seen an upswing in business for 2011 and 2012. President and CEO, Trent Hemphill says, “I don’t know if it’s the overall industry or where we are in the marketplace, but we’ve definitely seen an uptick. And the summer is really, really busy.” Nitetrain Coach and Pioneer Coach are companies that have experienced increased business and reservations for this touring season as well.
It is reported that, like many other businesses in these tough economic times, the entertainment coach business remains high competitive in terms of pricing. Since pricing barely changes among companies in this entertainment sector, service has become the factor that sets companies apart from the competition. Many artists are trying to cut touring costs during these tough times, so the extra perks and customer service become the main selling points. The coach companies are putting extra work into their older models so artists can save money while still having the luxuries and comforts of a brand new touring bus.
Aiken feels that the touring business has a bright future: “We’re doing business like we’ve never done, big tour after big tour. It’s never felt this strong.”