MySpace Leaves Cyberspace for the Concert Stage

By Alfred Branch, Jr.

The social networking juggernaut is launching its first music tour this fall with 30 dates from mid-October through Thanksgiving. Say Anything and Hellogoodbye are headlining the tour, which is also sponsored by Extreme Style by VO5 and will kick October 16 at the Showbox in Seattle.

While the website was founded, in part, on bringing people closer to the music they love, and it has its own record label, launching a branded tour could prove to be a considerably more risky – and ultimately more rewarding – venture given the current state of the concert industry.

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With more than 198 million users, MySpace has undeniable reach within the cyber community, particularly with fans under the age of 35. Yet, the concert industry has hit a bit of a rocky patch while it sorts out issues relating to pricing, saturation and cost, among others. . . .
“We were looking for artists that appealed most to our audiences,” Kelley Electa, executive director of promotion and events for Myspace, told Billboard. “Our brand is well-known for music and this is a unique opportunity to bring bands with strong following on our site directly to their fans.”

MySpace plans another tour in the spring, and upcoming tours will vary in what types of musical acts will appear on the bill. More than 8 million bands currently use MySpace to promote themselves, and the site has been credited with helping to create buzz for a slew of artists, including Gnarls Barkley, Panic! At the Disco, Lily Allen and Fall Out Boy.

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