Bleak Conditions Outdoor amphitheaters like the Gorge have been less than full this summer.

I’ll be honest: When I picked up the latest issue of Rolling Stone I only wanted to see if the whole Katy Perry/Russell Brand relationship was legit, but before I reached the Features Well I saw the Gorge.

Like any Live Nation and Ticketmaster junkie, my heart thumps in time with infectious drum beats every summer—not to be confused with the heartache I feel after I receive my credit card bill with its itemized list of overpriced concert tickets.

Yes, we’ve all skipped a few meals to scrape together cash for Lady Gaga tickets (Tacoma on Saturday!). However, seems some people are putting their foot down, perhaps opting out of $100 tickets in favor of free concerts.

The article by Steve Knopper focuses on the deteriorating relationship between amphitheaters and concertgoers, paying attention to the paltry attendance at Lilith Fair at the Gorge last month—only 9,000 for a venue that holds 25,000. It also notes the dozens of canceled concerts (Rihanna bailed on a local show) and a 10 percent decrease in overall ticket sales for amphitheater tours this year.

Why the drop? Knopper talks of basic economics: Live Nation controls 40 amphitheaters across the country, including the Gorge, and gets stuck in bidding wars with competitors like AEG Live. Plus, there’s backlash to $10 cans of Coors Light. Time to moderate. (Read more at

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