Monday morning, I was bombarded with the “buy one get one free” ticket to the Eminem show (see what I did there?) promotion which meant that the Cape Town leg of his Rapture Tour tickets weren’t selling like hot gatsbies.
Honestly, I didn’t care at all that Slim Shady was coming to South Africa. I haven’t connected with his music since my teen-ages. Nevertheless, I acknowledge the fact that he has managed to stay relevant for such a long time and for reasons I don’t understand hip hop fans still find his music great – to say the least.
For the best selling hip hop artist of all time (with over 80 million albums sold worldwide) who was crowned king of hip hop by Rolling Stone in 2011 to fail to sell out a venue in Cape Town – the hip hop hub of South Africa (at least culture-wise) – something has to be seriously wrong.
Was the gig well-promoted? I’m not a marketing expert but from what I understand, the main aim of marketing is to “get the word out”. And in this case, word is indeed out. The infamous image of Eminem making what knowers of things refer to as devil horns (sigh) is all over street light posts in the CBD. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen it on my Facebook newsfeed and my Twitter timeline. And this gig has been talked about since December.
So what is the problem? I’m really tempted to think that people don’t care about Eminem anymore. That is a possibility. It doesn’t really make sense to me but it is a possibility nonetheless. Or are the low ticket sales owed to his not-so-great sequel to his classic Marshal Mathers LP. With a star-studded and hit-infested discography that holds a lot of childhood memories for many of us, it’s highly unlikey.
Or is it that the concert occurs mid-week? Once again, highly unlikely. Especially when Rihanna and Bieber concerts were held during the week too and they were sold out (or at least very well-attended).
Two weeks after paying to see the – um – King of New York, Kendrick Lamar (who also couldn’t sellout any of his three venues), another reason could be that people are broke. I blamed my cynicism and my ignorance on event management and marketing for thinking hosting Slim Shady two weeks after Kendrick would take its toll on people’s pockets. But it seems I wasn’t far off.
Or maybe these promoters just assume that American superstars are what the people want – which is not inaccurate – but hey, better luck next time. South Africans have just proven themselves as insufferable patrons of anything American that promoters don’t even give that much thought before hosting events.
Anyway, if this helps: Eminem’s first stop of his Rapture Tour will take place at the Cape Town stadium on the 26th of February. The next one is at the Ellis Park Stadium in Jo’burg on the 1st of March.
Tickets can be purchased here: http://online.computicket.com/web/event/eminem_rapture_2014/784498547/