Rumor: Rolling Stones Ink Deal For 18-Show Tour

It looks like 2013 is shaping out to be a great year for checking out huge classic names in the world of rock. Paul McCartney for one just announced a few details on his upcoming world tour and now it looks as though eager fans can catch another of his famous contemporaries as well.

The Rolling Stones will be heading out on an 18-show arena tour in May and June with AEG Live helming the promoter duties, according to Pollstar who claimed to have heard from a reliable source soon after the deal was inked. Further details are still being confirmed but a formal announcement is expected in April.

It’s a little surprising that AEG will be taking the reins of original promoter from Virgin Live – a joint venture formed between Australia’s Paul dainty and Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson last fall to produce and promote the Stone’s 50th anniversary gigs – especially considering that the venture did successfully run the band’s brief November and December tour. But it appears plans – and likely financing – to mount a traditional tour fell short, which is where AEG come in (which also bid on the earlier tour).

It not yet known what kind of financial deal was struck between the Stones and AEG, but it was apparently struck quickly. One source told Pollstar the call from the band’s camp came early on March 19 and the actual agreement was made even before lunchtime.

If this all rings true, it makes a strong statement that its business as usual for AEG Live, less than a week after announcing that parent company Anschutz Entertainment Group is off the market and the resignation of president/CEO Tim Leiweke.

Although official dates are still being hammered out, sources note that Jagger and the gang made it clear that they want no more than an 18-show, two month outing happening in May and June. The number of cities isn’t confirmed, other than they will be major markets and the 18-show run will include multiple-night stands.

It should be said that this isn’t the first time the Stones have switched promoters between tours. Michael Cohl worked closely with the band for years after winning a promotion deal that the late Bill Graham expected to continue.

And though it’s not known if Cohl was in the running for the 50th anniversary shows, his departure from Live Nation in 2008 included a provision that would not allow the Canadian promoter and Broadway producer from making a bid.

AEG has yet to comment on the rumors but if true, it still isn’t clear where this leaves Virgin Live. They have also yet to comment on the news. 

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