If my social feeds were any indication, the two shows Ulver performed in New York City in March — their first ever in the States — were nothing short of spectacular. Not only that, but both were sold out.
Unfortunately it seems the band’s planned West Coast tour in June will not meet those lofty expectations. It won’t meet any expectation at all, in fact, because it’s not happening: the band just announced they’re pulling the plug on the whole five-date run.
What’s more, in a rare display of brutal honesty that’s refreshing to see in place of the usual “unforeseen circumstances” culprit, the Norwegian black metal turned experimental/ambient collective cited poor ticket sales as the reason for the cancelation before speculating aloud why tickets were so slow to move. I’m baffled too, frankly.
Here’s the band’s full announcement, via Facebook, titled “The Swallowing of Pride:”
“We come bearing difficult news: after many frustrating phone calls and deliberations over this last week, we have decided to pull the plug on our upcoming US West Coast run. Modern media protocol suggests we trump up a reason, other than the depressing reality: pre-sales are too modest up against the rather big risk, given the size of the production and the venues.
“We feel we just have to be honest about all this. We can not justify going through with all the things we need (flights, nightliner, backline, TM, tech, lasers, lights, and so on) in light of the poor prospects. It has left our promoters, booking agents, management, and now us, a bit baffled. Especially considering two full houses in NYC in March.
“Despite our problems getting laser permits for those gigs, we think the trip turned out to be a success, and we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who came to the Big Apple. Hopefully it will not be our last visit in the US.
“Did we announce too soon after NYC? Should we have announced sooner? Maybe we waited altogether too many years, before finally making it across the pond? One can speculate, of course, but it doesn’t do much good at this point.
“We feel it would be irresponsible to ignore the warnings and go over knowing that promoters (and us) will loose thousand upon thousands of dollars. Money is an absolute drag (except when you have it), but also a stone cold reality when it comes down to organizing these things. We have to take it into account, unfortunately.
“We would like to apologize to all those who have already purchased tickets and who were looking forward to Ulver America pt. 2. Needless to say, your tickets will be refunded. Please know that this hurts us all. Visas have been obtained, paid and approved for everyone, some flights and other things have already been booked, pre-prod has been done and countless hours have gone into organization. It hurts even more since it is the second time in the US (third in our career) that we feel we have no other option than to cancel.
“Finally, and most importantly, because we know many out there will be sorely disappointed: this decision was not made with a light heart.
“We are very, very sorry.
“Ulver, Oslo, May 8, 2019”
A more heartfelt and honest tour cancelation has never graced this earth; bless Ulver for being so forthright! We certainly hope they aren’t deterred forever, so Ulver and their West Coast fans can unite to experience the same kind of magic that took place in NYC.
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