New Brunswick

Promoter drops Bruce Springsteen ticket sales goal

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will likely draw 30,000 spectators to their Aug. 26 concert in Moncton, according to the concert's promoter.

Donald Tarlton says 25,000 to 30,000 fans are expected in Moncton

Donald Tarlton said he expects 25,000 to 30,000 people will show up for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's Aug. 26 concert in Moncton. (Jocelyn Michel)

The promoter for the upcoming Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert is lowering expectations for the size of crowd predicted in Moncton on Aug. 26.

Donald Tarlton said Friday that attracting fans to a Sunday night show at the end of August has proven to be challenging.

Moncton's mayor, George LeBlanc, made the concert announcement back in April during an interview with Q host Jian Ghomeshi.

"It's always a big announcement about the next big music act that's coming to Moncton. Well what I can tell you, Jian, is that you should come back to Moncton...on Aug. 26 to see Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band," LeBlanc said.

At the time, Moncton city manager Jacques Dube dismissed concerns that the show is on a Sunday night and predicted 50-70,000 fans would buy tickets.

In July, Halifax music industry analyst Waye Mason said he didn't think Springsteen would attract the 70,000 fans that attended concerts by U2 and the Rolling Stones. 

He said future shows will probably draw closer to 20,000 or 30,000 people, noting that 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.

Now Tarlton says the City of Moncton was overzealous in its predictions.

"Whether or not we break attendance records is secondary to having a good time. We're going to have well over 25, 30,000 people...when you get that many you can't count," he said.

"We are not going to do the record-breaking numbers that we did for U2," Tarlton added.

"But we have a big quorum of people coming and ticket sales are really brisk this week, so we are feeling very buoyant that we are going to have ourselves a night to remember."

U2 drew an estimated 75,000 fans to Moncton last year.

Bruce Springsteen, left, and Stevie Van Zandt perform at Fenway Park in Boston on Aug. 14. (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Concertgoers will see Tom Cochrane and Red Rider as well as The Trews open up for Springsteen.

Moncton has held a number of mega concerts since 2005, when the Rolling Stones performed at the outdoor concert venue.

Since that concert, Moncton has welcomed performers, such as Bon Jovi, AC/DC and the Eagles to the site.

Tarlton said he realizes this concert is running up against a number of factors that could limit the size of the crowd, including holding the event on a Sunday evening.

"It’s a challenge because it is not the most perfect night to run a concert especially when people sometimes have to travel up to four to six hours coming from all areas of Atlantic Canada," he said.

The concert promoter is opting to look on the bright side of the concert ticket sales.

"If there is maybe a few less people than the city is projecting just think of how great that is for the fan cause they're going to be closer to the stage and more excited by what's happening," he said.

For the first time ever, folding chairs are being allowed at the Magnetic Hill concert site.