The concert-business woes in the San Diego market have been chronicled here in some detail, even though the closest member of the Idolator writing staff is a few hundred miles away. So it’s not all that surprising that the San Diego Reader is hearing rumors about the impending closure of its home city’s House of Blues outpost, which, despite gaining notoriety when Britney Spears played there on her aborted “comeback” tour in spring ’07, sells the fewest tickets of all House of Blues nationwide, according to Pollstar. For its part, owner/operator Live Nation is denying the claims–while acknowledging that times have been tough.
Two well-connected music-biz professionals say they have been told that the local House of Blues may be in trouble.
“I heard that if they don’t have a rapid turnaround [in business] by March they might be closing,” says one of them.
Another insider says he did not hear specifically about a March turnaround deadline for the local HoB club, “…but I did hear that three of their clubs were in trouble: Cleveland, San Diego, and Atlantic City. And they already gave up [control of] the one in Atlantic City.”
Obviously, the economic downturn has hit San Diego harder than other cities, so we should file this under the developing-story mantle. (Also, I haven’t managed to find any confirmation of who the Atlantic City House of Blues’ operations were turned over to.) But would returning control of the club to perhaps a local production company cut overhead and allow Live Nation to at least focus on one aspect of a business, the larger venues in the area that it owns, that can definitely be described as being “in transition”?