Posts tagged tour

I am heartbroken to announce that the remaining shows of the Play.Live.Breathe:MUSIC Fall Tour 2012 have been cancelled. Read on for details… 

As you may have been able to tell from my posts on my social media networks, there has been a very tough decision I have had to make in the last 48 hours.  It hasn’t been easy to have this much responsibility on something so huge in scale like this tour, and it has caused me a lot of emotional stress and discouragement.

This decision has been discussed thoroughly with my team and my fellow band mates, and of course the artists on the tour. I have analyzed and assessed all sides of the current situation at hand, and now we are here at the crossroads.

To be real with you guys, especially my fans, being an independent artist must be one of the most difficult jobs in our industry. Yes, you get a lot of creative control and freedom. And yes, your income isn’t controlled by a label looking to own all your songs until you die. But there are so many things independent artists must do to keep up with the fast-changing environment of the music scene. One of them is to tour and to play live shows. Having a label behind you helping you tour has got to be an amazing perk about being signed. To tour like the mainstream artists do costs the same price as the record labels pay for tour. The money being put into this Play Live Breathe tour has been graciously fronted by a company who believed enough in my music and following, whom in the end must get their money back. They are a business, and businesses work that way. It’s simple, right?

Well, yes and no. You sell x amount of tickets, and you get x amount back so that you can use it to pay off the flights, hotels, accommodations, artist fees, etc etc. Yeah, it sounds pretty straight forward. And with a following that can be properly dissected through Facebook insights and YouTube stats, it seems easier than it really is. BUT— To properly promote a tour, you need proper marketing— and TIME. Time wasn’t on our side for this tour. It was last minute, and ambitious— if you will. If I could, I would go to each city and stay for a week to promote and do meet and greets and hand out flyers and all that. But with only weeks to properly announce it and less than a week before the tour starting to put the ticket links up, it was difficult to properly market and promote these shows.

To be even more real with you all, DC and NJ attendance combined was 293 people. These venues both had over 1,000 seats to fill. And don’t get me wrong here, they were great shows. I truly appreciate every single person who came out to the shows, and I know you guys came because you believed in the music. And I love you all— like for real. If you know me, you know how much I care for every single one of you… To listen to my music is one thing, but to believe in it is another thing entirely. On a business standpoint, having not even 10% of the venue filled with people, this is considered a financial blow. Straight up, we’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars in the last week alone. To continue the tour,  would be to lose even more than we lost last week— even if we sold half of the available tickets. As of now, we have 7,200 unsold tickets.

This is something that has been bothering me for the last two days especially. I have had to come to terms with reality, and realize that if we were to continue with just our passion of music without any critical thinking of the business side of things— it will have set me and my team back tremendously. Something we can’t afford to do right now.

The mission of this tour was to bring my friends together, friends that I know love music as much as I do, to inspire people all around the country with the power of music. Talking to a good friend last night, he described it was a huge scale passion project. A project to spread our positive message, and to show people how powerful music can be. This tour wasn’t meant to make huge amounts of money. Honestly, I wanted to break even at the very least and also show that things like this can be done on an independent level.

Which brings me to my next struggle. Because of you, the fans, we can continue to live our dreams. We share our art, and you support us by buying our Cd’s, going to our shows, getting some merch, and just having our backs. It keeps us creating, and it keeps us working. Lately, the independent scene has been re-infected by the power of mainstream media. If you notice that even on YouTube, channels like VEVO have taken over and given less exposure to the indie musicians and indie creators who have been on the web since even the beginning—which has taken over one of the only platforms we have as creators to share our art with the world. I remember when YouTube and MySpace evened the playing field in the music scene, so that even a person on their webcam could garner as many views as someone with a major label support system. Mainstream and record labels have found a way to control it once again, and ruin that balance that we fought so hard to keep. So what I’m trying to say is— please continue to support the independent music scene. Your support has kept all of us, especially in our small community of artists, reaching for our dreams. And with that support, we hope to continue to inspire you to reach yours— whatever you dreams and goals may be.

I apologize for any inconvenience this tour cancellation has brought to you all. On behalf of the artists on this tour, we are sorry we didn’t get to play our hearts out for you all in your city. To NJ and DC, and Boston, we hope you enjoyed the show we have created for you guys. We couldn’t have asked for a more loyal, and appreciative audience.

To the guest artists who I picked to be on this tour based on your love for your art, I truly apologize again, especially to those who have not shared the stage with me already for the first (and last) 3 shows. These times truly show me how much support I have from you as friends first, and musicians second. You all have taken the news so graciously, and I truly appreciate it. Alyssa, Jeff, Jeremy, Aaron, Cameron, and Krissy & Ericka— know that I support you guys 200% and that I hope we can all make these shows happen again. I believe it will come in due time. Gabe, Jenny, TJ, Vince, Mitchell Grey, Vickie, and of course “Us”— the shows have been so much fun and these memories will last me a lifetime.

To LunaCo and Plan C, I know there was a lot of belief in us continuing the tour and there were a lot of ups and downs in the decision making… But I know that there is a reason for everything, and that there are many things we can all learn from through this experience.

To my family and friends, thank you for your support and prayers!!! I couldn’t have been strong about this decision without you guys.

Just to clarify, the Boston show will be our last show for the tour. Dallas, Houston, SD, Irvine, LA, and SF will all be cancelled. We hope we can bring this show to you again in the near future, with it coming back twice as awesome. Refund details will be announced in detail very soon, and we hope you continue to support all of us at our future shows.

Yours in music,


AJ Rafael and the Play.Live.Breathe Team


AJ RAFAEL x US (all dates)

9/6 Washington DC
George Washington - Lisner Auditorium
ft. Mitchell Grey & Jenny Suk, Vince Lacsamana
direct ticket link

9/8 New Brunswick, NJ 
Rutgers Univ - Nicolas Music Center
ft. Mitchell Grey & Jenny Suk
direct ticket link

9/13 Boston, MA
Berklee - Red Room at Café 939
ft. Gabe Bondoc & TJ Brown
direct ticket link

9/14 Dallas, Texas 
Granada Theatre
ft. Alyssa Bernal & Jeff Bernat, Aaron Kaufman
direct ticket link

9/16 Houston, Texas 
University of Houston (Cullen Hall)
ft. Alyssa Bernal & Jeff Bernat, Aaron Kaufman
direct ticket link

9/25 San Diego, CA
UCSD Mandeville Auditorium
ft. Cameron Mitchell & Jeremy Passion
direct ticket link

9/30 Los Angeles, CA
The Roxy
ft. Cameron Mitchell
direct ticket link

10/4 Anaheim, CA
UCI (Barclay Theater)
ft. Cameron Mitchell & Jeremy Passion
direct ticket link

10/7 San Francisco, CA
Slims
ft. Cameron Mitchell & Jeremy Passion
direct ticket link


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