Garth, Shania And The Nashville TBA
By Joe Reinartz
August 22, 2017
Shania Twain manager Scott Rodger says he’s still waiting for a resolution of an apparent impediment with Garth Brooks’ camp regarding Twain’s Aug. 25 onsale.
Rodger has been vocal about his frustration that the sale on Twain’s website will list all of the venues of the 2018 tour except one: the Nashville date that should list Bridgestone Arena. Instead, the July 21 show has the curious listing of “TBA.”
“On Friday, every other show on the tour will go on sale,” Rodger told Pollstar. “From a fan perspective, it would be, ‘Why are you not putting your Nashville show on sale?’ ‘Oh, we’re not allowed to because Garth Brooks won’t allow it.’”
odger claims that Brooks has holds for five nights at the venue in November (“He’s 100 percent, categorically playing Bridgestone. That’s why we’re not playing. There’s no one else in the world who would be able to do that”), although Brooks has not announced the shows yet.
“Garth Brooks contracts his shows really far in advance and as a part of his deal with certain buildings, wherever he can, he can prevent any other country show from going on sale in a window around his show,” Rodger said. “He is preventing all country shows from now going onsale through Dec. 1.”
Brooks manager Bob Doyle was unavailable for comment as was his promoter, Ben Farrell of Varnell Enterprises, who told Billboard’s Hannah Karp that Brooks had no Nashville dates confirmed and keeps his business dealings with venues private.
Although a “radius” clause can be and often is inserted into a contract preventing, for instance, a festival performer from playing in the area before or after the event, Rodger takes special exception to the alleged situation with Garth because he says Twain isn’t a country show.
“Obviously country radio doesn’t play her. Look at all the country radio charts. I did a pitch to the building saying, ‘Go read Billboard. Go to Spotify. Here’s all our social data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.’ We gave them all this data. Her core audience is on the East Coast and West Coast; not Nashville,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean Nashville isn’t an important city for her but it’s not her core audience. Her song is No. 18, I think, on the Adult Contemporary chart this week, which is more pop-leaning.”
David Kells, senior VP of booking at Bridgestone, provided Pollstar with a statement: “We don’t comment on shows that haven’t been announced at Bridgestone Arena or our deals with each individual artist or event, but we’re totally proud of our 20-year history of serving the music community in Nashville and all the fans who like coming here to see shows.”
As for TBA, Rodger didn’t rule out other options.
“We have been exploring doing something outdoors because I don’t want to play in a building that has policies like this in place,” he said. “The building actually came and offered us money. They offered to pay us over and above our sellout. They offered to pay 10 percent on top. They were doing everything for me to not go public on this. I said, ‘Keep your money. Just let her go on sale.’”
“We have never offered somebody to not report a story,” Kells told Pollstar.