The reason most farewell tours are doomed to renege on their promise of finality is usually because of the turnout. When a band announces they’re calling it quits, fans come out in full force and forget their hang-ups about recent material or ill-advised haircuts to focus on what that artist has always meant to them. The band then goes on a tour that is a) financially lucrative, and b) is full of good vibes and reminders of why they started playing music in the first place. When it comes time to say goodbye, they suddenly wonder if they shouldn’t keep things going.
More so, for big traveling franchises like Warped Tour, being able to make the tour happen isn't always a sure thing. Big ventures like these might announce a tour that they’re sure is going to be their last because sponsors and financial backers are no longer interested -- only to have those backers change their minds when the tour makes bank. This happens to film, TV, and comic book franchises all the time, who are told they’re cancelled only to get renewed due to public outcry. It’s easy to blame a tour's creators for this back-and-forth, because they’re the most recognizable figures behind these properties, but often it’s out of their control.
That said, there are plenty of times where the last big goodbye seems like a blatant way to fill seats, and it doesn’t help that the musicians involved are often quick to backtrack on their promise of One Final Show. Accusations of doing it for the money are famously dodged with some obvious verbal loopholes, including chestnuts such as:
- “We said we’d never tour again, not that we wouldn’t ever play shows again.”
- “We meant a farewell to this specific lineup.”
- “We’re breaking up as a band, but reuniting minus our [inconsequential member] for a series of shows dubbed the [Band Name] Experience.”
Or, most frustrating of all:
- “Come on, you knew that farewell tour wasn’t really goodbye.”
Again, as a fan it’s easy to feel stung by this, especially if you had a personal moment at that final show where you had flashbacks from your adolescence and wept openly (hey, we’ve all been there). These excuses also put devotees in the tough position of no longer being able to trust their favorites artists. Do they come out next time a big farewell tour is announced and risk feeling had later on, or do they get cynical about it and perhaps miss their last chance to see their favorite band live?