Like John Elway, Sarah McLachlan is determined to quit while she's ahead.| At a press conference held Tuesday (April 27) to announce the lineup and dates for Lilith Fair 1999, the Canadian ambassador of women in music seemed adamant in her plan to bring the phenomenally successful estrogen package tour to a close after its third year in a row.
"We always had a three-year plan right from the start, and this is going to be the last year in North America for a good long while," said McLachlan. "That could be three years, it could be ten years, it could be never. I'm not really sure at this point. It comes from realizing that we're all well into our thirties, and some of us want to have babies. It's sort of one or the other at this point. It's an awful lot of work, and even though its amazing and rewarding in so many ways, we decided to end it here."
The conference, held at New York's Irving Plaza, featured McLachlan as well as fellow Lilith '99 performers Monica, Mya, Me'Shell Ndegocello, Martina McBride, Kelly Willis, Deborah Cox, Bif Naked and two-out-of-three Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines and Martie Seidel. Sheryl Crow chimed in via telephone halfway through the question and answer period. (The complete press conference can bee seen via webcast at www.lilithfair.com.)
Artists thus far scheduled to appear at Lilith Fair 1999 are: Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Me'Shell Ndegocello, Luscious Jackson, Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls, the Pretenders, Monica, Mya, Shawn Colvin, Beth Orton, Deborah Cox, Cibo Matto, Kelly Willis, Martina McBride, Queen Latifah, Sara Evans, Bijou Phillips, Bif Naked, Kendall Payne, Splashdown, Jennifer Knapp, Trish Murphy, Sixpence None the Richer, Susan Tedeschi, Dido, Infamous Syndicate, Sinead Lohan, K's Choice, Cherokee, Aimee Mann, Cree Summers, Melky Sedeck and Lamb.
As in past years, only McLachlan will perform at all dates, though Crow -- who bowed out early last year -- will be at all but two. The complete list of dates and venues is as follows:
7/8, Vancouver, B.C., Thunderbird Stadium
7/9-7/10, George, Wash., The Gorge Amphitheater
7/11, Portland, Ore., Civic Stadium
7/13-14, San Francisco, Shoreline Amphitheater
7/16, Chula Vista, Calif., Coors Amphitheater
7/17, Los Angeles, TBD
7/18, Phoenix, Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
7/20, Austin, South Park Meadows
7/21, Dallas, Coca-Cola Starplex Arena
7/23-24, Atlanta, Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheater
7/25, Nashville, First American Music Center
7/27, Charlotte, N.C., Blockbuster Pavilion
7/28, Columbia, Md., Merriweather Post Pavilion
7/30, Camden, N.J., Blockbuster Sony Ent. Centre
7/31, Hershey, Penn., Hersheypark
8/1, Canandaigua, N.Y., Finger Lakes PAC
8/3, Mansfield, Mass., Tweeter Center
8/4, Hartford, Conn., Meadows Music Theater
8/6, Wantagh, N.Y., Jones Beach Amphitheater
8/7-8, Homdel, N.J., P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
8/10, Columbus, Polaris Amphitheater
8/11, Cincinatti, Riverbend Music Center
8/13, Burgettstown, Penn, Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
8/14-15, Auburn Hills, Mich., Pine Knob Music Theater
8/17, Cleveland, Blossom Music Center
8/18, Noblesville, Ind., Deer Creek Amphitheater
8/19, Tinley Park, Illis., New World Music Theater
8/21-22, Toronto, Molson Amphitheater
8/24, Milwaukee, Marcus Amphitheater
8/25, Shakopee, Minn., Canterbury Park
8/26, Bonner Springs, Kan., Sandstone Amphitheater
8/28-29, Englewood, Colo., Fiddler Green Amphitheater
8/31, Edmonton, Ala., Commonwealth Stadium
McLachlan addressed the possibility of a mini-tour in Australia in December, but did not offer any concrete details. Plans for a European version, she said, fell through. Ticket prices for the North American dates are expected to range from $21.50 to $70. "We're trying real hard to keep ticket prices down," McLachlan said, noticeably wincing when informed of the high-end figure. She hurried to add that each show features eleven acts spread out over seven hours. In keeping with tradition, a $1 from each ticket sold will be donated to a local or national charity in each town the tour stops in.
Lilith Fair marketing director Donna Westmoreland said that at least two of the Lilith dates will be webcast, with additional downloadable and streaming audio and video highlights from the tour also expected to be added to the official website. There will also be an MP3 talent search in which artists may submit songs for digital conversion. Visitors to the Lilith Fair area of the XOOM.com Media Sharehouse website (http://sharehouse.xoom.com/lilithfair) may then vote for their favorite MP3 files, with the winner given the opening slot on the first show in Vancouver.