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Dixie Chicks Step Up To Headliner Status

The 70-city tour is considered an important test of the live country music market.
by Rob Evans
LiveDaily Senior Writer

The Dixie Chicks have announced the details of a long-planned, 70-city North American arena tour that will keep the band on the road from June through October. According to their publicist, the Dixie Chicks have played over 250 dates on major tours, but the band hasn't previously been a tour headliner.

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"We wanted to continue to build our fan base by performing in front of three diverse audiences like the Tim McGraw, George Strait and Lilith Fair tours," the band's Natalie Maines said in a statement.

Tickets for the tour's stops in Spokane, Wash., Anaheim, Calif., San Diego, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Nampa, Idaho are scheduled to go on sale April 22, with other on-sales to follow.

The music industry will be closely watching the Dixie Chicks' tour. Live country music's fortunes at the box office have been on the wane in recent years--according to Amusement Business, gross country-concert dollars were down 16% in 1999 from 1998--and the Dixie Chicks are the only new country act likely to attempt the jump to arena headliner status in 2000.

In hopes of increasing the tour's chances for success, a high-profile advertising campaign is planned. The light-hearted television commercials and print ads will play on the band's "rookie" status as tour headliners. For instance, in one television spot, the band is seen practicing banjo-smashing, trashing hotel rooms and mistaking a bidet in a fancy hotel bathroom for a water fountain.

The Dixie Chicks hired set designer Luc Lafortune (Cirque de Soleil) to work on the production, but the band is keeping mum about its specifics. The band does advise concert-goers to be in their seats 30 minutes before the show starts for "surprises," including the opportunity to win seat upgrades.

Opening acts will vary by city, but country-rocker Patty Griffin will appear on shows scheduled for June 1-25, July 20-Aug. 13, Sept. 7-10 and Sept. 28-Oct. 10. Bluegrass star Ricky Skaggs will appear June 29-July 16, September 14-17 and Oct. 22. Willie Nelson will appear Oct. 12-14 and Oct. 27-29. Other openers are to be announced.

"We want to expose our fans to different kinds of music and we wanted our tour to represent us and what we like," Maines said. "The live element is so important to us and our support acts are all ones we would want to be entertained by each night."

One dollar from the sale of each ticket will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund, an organization that works to protect endangered species and habitats.

The band has also lined up at least two sponsorship deals. Title sponsor will feature behind-the-scenes looks at the traveling production and other features on its website. Media sponsor Country Music Television will run a national sweepstakes for a chance to meet the Dixie Chicks at a concert and will send a 53-foot promotional vehicle to each tour stop.

    [Note: The following tour itinerary has been provided by artist and/or tour sources, who verify its accuracy as of 13-Apr-2000. Changes may occur before tickets go on sale. Check with official artist web sites, ticketing sources and venues for late updates.]

    1 - Winnipeg, MB - Winnipeg Arena (on sale 5/6)
    2 - Saskatoon, SK - Saskatchewan Place (on sale 5/6)
    3 - Edmonton, AB -SkyReach Centre (on sale 5/6)
    4 - Calgary, AB - Canadian Air Saddledome (on sale 5/6)
    8 - Vancouver, BC - General Motors Place (on sale 4/29)
    9 - Spokane, WA - Spokane Arena (on sale 4/22)
    10 - Tacoma, WA -Tacoma Dome (on sale 4/29)
    11 - Portland, OR - Rose Garden (on sale 4/29)
    15 - Sacramento, CA - Arco Arena (on sale 4/29)
    16 - San Jose, CA - San Jose Arena (on sale 4/30)
    17 - Anaheim, CA - Arrowhead Pond (on sale 4/22)
    18 - Phoenix, AZ - America West Arena
    22 - San Diego, CA - Cox Arena (on sale 4/22)
    23 - Las Vegas, NV - Thomas & Mack Center (on sale 4/22)
    24 - Salt Lake City UT - Delta Center (on sale 4/22)
    25 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center (on sale 4/22)
    29 - Little Rock AR - Alltel Arena
    30 - Lafayette, LA - Cajundome
    1 - Biloxi, MS - Mississippi Coast Coliseum
    13 - Chicago, IL - United Center
    14 - Milwaukee, WI - Bradley Center
    15 - Minneapolis, MN -Target Center
    16 - Fargo, ND - Fargodome
    20 - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall
    21 - Albany, NY - Pepsi Arena
    22 - Worcester, MA - Centrum
    23 - Buffalo, NY - Marine Midland Arena
    3 - Denver CO - Pepsi Center
    4 - Kansas City, MO - Kemper Arena
    5 - Oklahoma City,OK - The Myriad
    6 - Lubbock, TX - United Spirit Arena
    11 - Dallas, TX - Reunion Arena
    12 - Austin, TX - Frank Irwin Center
    13 - Houston, TX - Compaq Center
    17 - Louisville, KY - Freedom Hall
    18 - Detroit, MI - Palace at Auburn Hills
    19 - Toronto, ON - Air Canada Centre
    20 - Grand Rapids, MI - Van Andel Arena
    24 - Philadelphia, PA - First Union Center
    25 - Washington, DC - MCI Center
    26 - Winston Salem, NC - Lawrence Joel Coliseum
    27 - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
    7 - Hampton, VA - Hampton Coliseum
    8 - Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Coliseum
    9 - Greenville, SC - Bi-Lo Center
    10 - Birmingham, AL - Jefferson County Civic Center
    14 - Richmond, VA - Richmond Civic Center
    15 - Raleigh, NC - Sports & Entertainment Arena
    16 - Roanoke, VA - Roanoke Civic Center
    17 - Nashville, TN - Gaylord Entertainment Center
    28 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - National Car Rental Center
    29 - Tampa, FL - Ice Palace
    30 - Orlando, FL - Orlando Arena
    1 - Jacksonville, FL - Veterans Memorial Coliseum
    6 - Moline, IL - Mark of the Quad
    7 - Ames, IA - Hilton Coliseum
    8 - Lincoln, NE - Bob Devaney Center
    10 - Wichita, KS - Kansas Coliseum
    12 - Columbus, OH - Value City Arena (Schottenstein)
    13 - State College, PA - Bryce Jordan Center
    14 - Cleveland, OH - Gund Arena
    15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mellon Arena
    19 - Cincinnati, OH - Firstar Center
    20 - Knoxville, TN - Thompson Boling Arena
    21 - Charleston, WV - Civic Coliseum
    22 - Indianapolis, IN - Conseco Field House
    26 - Evansville, IN - Roberts Stadium
    27 - St. Louis, MO - Kiel Center
    28 - Memphis, TN - The Pyramid
    29 - New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
Related artist profiles:
Dixie Chicks
Patty Griffin
Ricky Skaggs
Willie Nelson

published: 13-Apr-2000

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