Moncton's mega-concert days may be numbered

A music industry analyst says Moncton may no longer be able to attract mega-concerts to its outdoor concert site.

Music industry analyst says few bands can draw 70,000 fans

A music industry analyst says Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band may only draw 30,000 people to the Aug. 26 concert in Moncton. (AP Photo)

Moncton’s mega-concert success may begin to fizzle out as the number big name bands that can draw large crowds dwindles, according to a Halifax-based business industry analyst.

Moncton has attracted some of the largest concerts in the Maritimes in recent years, earning it the reputation as the region's concert capital.

The Magnetic Hill outdoor concert site has played host to major international bands, such as U2, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Bon Jovi.

Canadian rockers Nickelback drew about 25,000 to their recent Moncton concert and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are scheduled to play there on Aug. 26.

The outdoor concerts have seen as many as 70,000 fans flock to the Magnetic Hill site.

But Waye Mason said he doesn’t think even the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert will attract the 70,000 concertgoers enjoyed by U2 and the Rolling Stones.

Mason said future shows will probably draw closer to 20,000 or 30,000 people.

He said Springsteen’s last concerts in Montreal and Toronto only drew about 20,000 spectators.

"So when you're going to a market that has six million people within a two-hour drive and you are only playing a venue of 20,000 people, that's a really good indicator of what the expected draw might be here," he said.

Mason said 20,000 to 30,000 fans is still a success. And he expects at least 30,000 to show up at Magnetic Hill for Springsteen.

"It's OK for us to only do as well as Detroit, a city of a million people, or Buffalo, or any of those cities," he said.

Mason said there are not many bands that can draw more than 50,000 fans.

"The inventory of bands that are super huge and [that] people will stand in the rain [for] and they don't mind if there aren't seats for them if they didn't get in the bleachers, and all that stuff is actually very small. It's around half a dozen," he said.

He said all of those bands, except Coldplay, have already come to Magnetic Hill.

However, he said concert promoters can still make money with a crowd of 20,000.