Wednesday, June 13, 2001

Summer concerts
follow the economy

Some of the biggest names in pop music are on tour this summer, but Honolulu is only on one major concert schedule thus far, reflecting both the expense of coming here and the flat notes of Japan's economy.

Only one major tour is scheduled here this summer -- the inaugural "TRL Tour," sponsored by the MTV show Total Request Live, and starring R&B trio Destiny's Child. It winds up in Honolulu for two dates, Sept. 21 and Sept. 23.

"Nobody's coming here, it's driving me nuts -- it's very frustrating," said Honolulu concert promoter Tom Moffatt of Tom Moffatt Productions.

Frustrating because he's been working his connections trying to convince artists' management to bring their business to the islands.

Artists touring this summer include Aerosmith, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Eric Clapton and three big "boy bands" -- Backstreet Boys, N'Sync and OTown.

Moffatt said he contacted Clapton's agent and suggested the veteran artist wrap up his schedule in Hawaii, "and the guy laughed."

Moffatt said the time artists would stop in Hawaii between West Coast U.S. and Far East tour dates, appears to be over, a victim of the economics of travel and globalization.

"Japan's economy is off so they're not going to Japan," Moffatt said.

Musicians, he said, "can run buses into San Bernardino -- and walk away with more money because of the expense of getting here."

Prospects for broadcast media cross-promotional partnerships seem largely sewn up due to the players involved in the dates with Destiny's Child.

The gargantuan SFX Entertainment, which is promoting the TRL concert tour, is a subsidiary of Texas-based Clear Channel Communications Inc. Clear Channel owns seven radio stations in Honolulu including 93.9 KIKI FM and KSSK FM/AM (92.3/590), as well as about 1,500 others across the country.

MTV is owned by Viacom, which is not a shrinking corporate violet either. The company's other assets include CBS, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Showtime, TV Land, King World, Comedy Central, CMT, BET, UPN, Blockbuster, Simon & Schuster and Infinity Broadcasting.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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