The concert and fair business is threatened by poor attendance in parts of the nation if the drought does not break soon, a music industry publication reports.

A Utah promoter and other music industry officials reported no problems with the drought so far, but other industry officials are already seeing an effect, Billboard magazine reported."So far, so good," said Marilyn Toone, executive vice president of Alan Osmond Productions Inc. in Provo. The firm promotes country, pop and rock concerts throughout the nation and has yet to experience a cancellation. The effect of the drought depends on what happens in the next six weeks, she said.

But Harry Peebles, owner of Harry Peebles Agency in Kansas City, Kan., told Billboard he is seeing the effects of the drought.

"It's cutting (concert) attendance by up to 50 percent" in the hard-hit Midwest, he said. "I'm hesitant to go out myself because of the extreme weather."

Reaction to the drought in the concert industry ranges from fear of major consequences to expectations of no effect at all, the magazine said.

But most industry figures contacted by Billboard said if the drought isn't broken by rainfall within a few weeks, the impact could be critical.

And in the long-term, music retailers fear possible slower sales in rural areas as the drought dries up disposable income in farming regions, Billboard said.

Peebles, who books mainly country and country-rock acts in 20 states, says the concert problem is not confined to outdoor concerts and fairs.

He told Billboard that heat-induced hazards include problems experienced by sound and lighting crews when setting up shows and difficulties musicians face in trying to keep instruments in tune.