The music is over

With clouds over Europe darkening, managers like Mr. Burnstein are increasingly turning their long-term focus to places with stronger currencies, like South America, Southeast Asia and Australia. When Metallica ended their “World Magnetic” tour in Australia a year ago, they played not just Sydney and Melbourne but also harder-to-get-to Perth.

“We’re a U.S. export the same way Coca-Cola is,” he said. “We look for the best markets to go to.”

“Right now Indonesia is on my watch list,” he smiled.

And get this:

Eight months before Metallica takes the stage in Germany, Mr. Burnstein decides whether the band should be paid in dollars, euros or a combination of the two. If exchange rates swing in a way that hurts Metallica’s earnings, he buys derivative financial instruments to lock in a preferred rate. Sometimes ticket prices are hiked to compensate for possible currency-related losses, though Mr. Burnstein shuns this strategy.

“Nobody is looking to make a foreign-exchange trade to make money, but you don’t want to be a loser,” the scraggly bearded manager said.

Here is one conclusion:

“A weak dollar is the best thing for American rock ‘n’ roll,” said Bill Zysblat, partner at RZO Productions, which has handled tours for the Rolling Stones and the Police.

The article is here, interesting throughout and for the pointer I thank Kanishka Kacker.


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