Are Farewell Tours A Scam? (Opinion)

We’ve all dabbled in video games at some point in our lives. There are special tricks in games that, when discovered, provide a significant advantage. In the environment I grew up in, we called this ‘finding the game’s bug.’ I guess the rock and metal world has found the game’s bug in the last decade because they constantly find ways to push ticket sales by playing above expectations with farewell tours…

Bands that do farewell tours bank on the expectations of fans who think they’ll have one last chance to see them perform. This often pays off because who wouldn’t want to see their favorite band live one last time? Recently, however, a new debate has emerged: are they really performing for the last time? There’s often no guarantee they won’t return, and this has started to pose an ethical problem.

The announcement of Slayer performing live again for two concerts caused a split among fans. We’ve seen Slayer members assert they would not return to the stage multiple times, yet the group has decided to perform again this year. Of course, we’re not against it; the longer Slayer stays on stage, the happier we metal fans are. However, it seems someone needs to scrutinize the ethical issues behind this.

KISS announcing they will continue with avatar concerts under a ‘new era’ immediately after their farewell tour ends. Scorpions conducting a farewell tour, then finding another reason to return to the stage. Last year, Mötley Crüe was on their farewell tour, and then they announced they had started recording a new album. Ozzy Osbourne made a similar comeback… We could list many more examples. It seems rock and metal fans can no longer stomach these actions.

At this point, I believe bands need to be more sensitive to this issue because, as it stands, farewell tours are beginning to look like a scam. Of course, there are bands that keep their word and do not return to the stage, but the actions of the groups mentioned above betray their promises, tarnishing the significance of the ‘farewell tour’ concept and relegating it to a cheap title.