Every musical artist relies on touring to generate income. Most of the time, especially if an artist has a hit on the charts, it's easy to fill a venue with fans wanting to see their favorite songs in person. Then again, sometimes things go the other way. Whether poor ticket sales, scalpers or a general lack of interest in the artist is too blame, some musicians who once packed arenas got a dose of reality when they performed to almost nobody.
Sure, some musicians get their start playing in clubs to tiny crowds, but showing up to a venue and having to perform in front of a small audience can be an embarrassing experience for an artist who might otherwise have no trouble pulling in a crowd.
Let's take a look at some of the most embarrassingly empty shows ever performed.
Brandy In South Africa (2013)
In 2013, R&B singer Brandy was set to be a surprise performer at a 90,000-capacity stadium in South Africa, where an all-day event took place with a number of popular artists performed. But when concertgoers learned that there would be a surprise artist in attendance, they decided not to stick around and find out who it was.
By the time Brandy went on stage, there were just 40 people left in attendance - an astonishingly low turnout at the gigantic stadium. Even a South African news crew that was broadcasting the event decided to pack up and leave before the surprise was revealed.
"Brandy performed to an empty stadium. With the stadium lights on. She sulked after two songs and walked off," South African singer Kabomo tweeted after the performance.
Lady Gaga In Peru (2012)
In 2012, Lady Gaga performed in Peru in front of a crowd that she claimed was made up of 50,000 fans. In reality, however, there were much less people there than the singer led the Internet to believe.
Gaga tweeted prior to her show that she was getting excited to play for 50,000 people, despite the fact that the venue - which did hold that number - actually had between 10 and 20,000 people in it by the time the show was underway. Despite 20,000 people still being a lot of concertgoers, it was still less than half of the venue's capacity and certainly a lot less than Gaga herself claimed.
Kanye West In Missouri (2013)
In 2013, Kanye West played at the 19,000-seat Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, but fans didn't come through. A review of the show revealed that just 4,500 people showed up for the show.
"The most shocking aspect of Kanye West’s spectacular concert Tuesday night at the Sprint Center wasn’t another suspect remark from the brash rapper," reviewer Bill Brownlee wrote at the time. "The meager attendance of less than 4,500 seemed inconceivably small for one of the most vital artists in popular music. West almost certainly could have filled the Sprint Center five years ago."
Sisqo In Uganda (2013)
Sisqo, who hasn't quite been relevant since his massive hit "Thong Song" in the early 2000s, took the stage at an outdoor venue in Uganda in 2013 and reportedly played to fewer than 400 people total. Less than 40 people were in the VIP section and the others were in the cheap seats. The low attendance was blamed on inexperienced promoters.