Bon Jovi drops concert fee for crisis-hit Spain

By CIARAN GILES Updated at 2013-05-30 16:56:11 +0000

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MADRID (AP) — U.S. rock star Jon Bon Jovi and his band are waiving their performance fee for a concert in Madrid as a gesture to their Spanish fans hit hard by the country's severe economic crisis.

El Mundo newspaper and other media outlets said Thursday that tickets for the band's concert cost between 18 euros ($23) and 39 euros, roughly half normal prices for such concerts.

The paper's website quoted the singer as saying they initially planned not to play Spain as part of their tour to promote their latest album "What About Now", fearing poor demand from cash-strapped fans.

But he told El Mundo, "I didn't want to let fans down."

"We did a study and we saw that due to the economic situation Spain wasn't going to be on the roadmap. But I didn't want to leave out fans from a country I love that has treated me well for 30 years," he added.

So the band decided to drop their performance fee, meaning the ticket money will only cover the other costs of staging the concert.

The country's Bon Jovi fans could certainly do with some cut-price distraction. Spain has been trapped in a recession for most of the past four years since its property market crashed. Thousands of homes have been repossessed and companies have closed down, causing Spain's unemployment rate to soar to nearly 27 percent — and almost twice that for those aged under 25.

To compound matters, Spain's conservative government has embarked on a harsh program of spending cuts and tax rises, which has further hit the economy and increased the numbers of those out of work.

Tickets for the concert, to be held in a Madrid soccer stadium on Jun. 27, have all sold out.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.