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Pollstar’s Mid-Year Charts & Figures

02:01 PM Friday 7/13/12 |   |

Lower ticket prices, a drop in the number of tickets sold and Cirque du Soleil are all factors in Pollstar’s Mid-Year Analysis.

The top-grossing act during the first six months of 2012 wasn’t a band or an artist with a mega-selling album. Instead it’s Cirque du Soleil – “Michael Jackson: The Immortal,” which played 95 shows in 46 cities and sold 703,793 tickets for a total gross of $78.5 million.

  • Roger Waters

    Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill.
    June 8, 2012

    (Andy Argyrakis / ConcertLivewire.com)

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Other acts among the top five on Pollstar’s Top 100 N.A. Tours are Roger Waters with the former Pink Floydian selling 575,444 tickets for a final gross of$61.9 million; Van Halen’s 448,506 tickets sold resulting in a final gross of $44.9 million; the co-billed Kenny Chesney / Tim McGraw tour selling 386,969 tickets and grossing $33.9 million; and Lady Antebellum’s 708,715 tickets sold giving the group a $30.9 million gross for Jan.-June.

Crunching the numbers, the intrepid mathematical geniuses in Pollstar’s Boxoffice Department determined that the Top 100 Tours in North America generated a combined gross of $1,125.9 million, up 1.2 percent over last year.

But it wasn’t just a good six months for concerts. Fans got a break on ticket prices with the average dropping $6.34, or 9.4 percent, to $60.68, the lowest since 2007 when the average ticket price was $58.61.

How did the concert industry manage to make more money, yet sell lower-priced tickets than the first six months of last year? Pollstar president and editor-in-chief Gary Bongiovanni said more shows and lower prices certainly helped.

“The concert industry appears to have made some successful adjustments to better reflect today’s economic realities,” Bongiovanni wrote in Pollstar’s Mid Year Business Analysis.

“Simply put, ticket prices have been lowered and venues have been downsized. To make up the revenue, many artists are working more shows. The Top 100 Tours of North America played shows in a combined total of 2,822 cities. That represents a 17.4 percent jump in the number of markets or 420 additional played over what we saw in 2011.”

On a world-wide basis, Roger Waters has been the 1,000-pound gorilla, dominating Pollstar’s global chart by playing 63 shows in 40 cities and selling 1,431,852 tickets for a total gross of $158.1 million. By comparison, second-place Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band played 34 shows in 29 cities, selling 925,839 tickets for a total gross of $79.9 million.

The other three acts at the top of Pollstar’s Top 50 Worldwide Tours are Cirque du Soleil – “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” and its $78.5 million gross; Coldplay’s $73.9 total gross and Lady Gaga with a $67.2 million gross.

But don’t go thinking Roger Waters is a sure bet to dominate the chart come Dec. 31. Madonna, who launched her MDNA tour in Israel May 31, has yet to play the U.S. Once those ticket sales are counted, the Material Girl could find herself in our rankings’ higher altitudes, sharing space with Roger, Bruce, and Cirque du Soleil.

  • Madonna

    Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
    June 20, 2012

    (AP Photo)

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But we’re just giving you a brief rundown of our stats and figures for the first six months of 2012. What you really need to do is dive head first into the data pool and check out all the numbers for Jan.-June. Click here for Pollstar’s Top 100 North American Tours and here for our Top 50 Worldwide Tours.


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