click here to read it if you haven't yet) on the Celtic Thunder website- "oh boy, here we go again!" It is a gamble pushing fans away regardless of how big and famous you are, and while Celtic Thunder sells lots of music and merchandise worldwide, and has #1 albums on the world music charts every year, the world music charts are not the pop charts, or radio airplay measures. Most people in most cities in the US, Canada and Australia still do not know who the heck Celtic Thunder is, and their particular brand of family folk music and pop covers seems still to appeal mostly to young and middle-aged women, not exactly a broad demographic. Their marketing plans seem to rely very heavily on the expectation that they will have hundreds of active fans in each area helping to drum up interest in Celtic Thunder (thus their experiment with Social Toaster), and so far it seems to work fairly well.
I know for sure that I am not the only Thunderhead to feel this way, nor is my reaction by any means the most extreme. I do understand, I think, where Sharon's coming from in reinstating the bus ban from the early years of Celtic Thunder, and I appreciate how challenging her job is. Sometimes there are no right answers where her job is concerned, and I'm sure she thinks she is choosing the best option, given what she knows. Perhaps the Celtic Thunder lads say a lot more about not wanting to meet us after the shows, once we are not around to hear it. But perhaps, too, Celtic Thunder has gotten too big to have personal connections with its fans, without lots of security, rules and dollar tags attached to everything. Maybe those of us who liked Celtic Thunder when it was small enough to not need those things will simply have to move on. What do you think?