North America Booming
The North American concert business is off to a terrific start in what is shaping up to be a record year for the industry.
The Rolling Stones grossed $80.7 million in the first half of 2015.
The Top 100 Tours generated a combined gross of $1.43 billion, which is up $402 million or 39% over 2014.
The first half of last year may have been an aberration but the numbers for 2015 are up more than 15% over the previous industry high point in mid-2013. A record 18.8 million tickets were sold by the Top 100. That is up 3.5 million or nearly 23% over last year. It also eclipses the previous industry record of 18.6 million in 2012.
The average ticket price also hit an all-time high at $76.20. That is up $8.62 or nearly 13% over mid-2014. It is also much higher than the previous industry high of $70.91 in 2013. The quick interpretation of current market dynamics is that savvy artists and promoters are successfully capturing more of the revenue that used to leak into the secondary ticket market.
Forum, Inglewood, Calif.
May 26, 2015
The Top 50 Global Tours did a combined $1.73 billion, which is up nearly 5% over 2014 but still short of the 2013 record of $1.85 billion. The total tickets sold was 19.9 million, which was well up on last year’s 18 million but still short of the 2013 record of 21 million. The average ticket price of $87.13 declined by $4.58 or 5% from last year’s record $91.71. Top Tours The two biggest tours of North America grossed nearly the same amount of money but used wildly different approaches to touring.
The Rolling Stones did the top tour of North America in the first half of 2015 by grossing $80.7 million from just 10 stadium shows. The tour also had by far the highest average primary ticket price at $178.44 as AEG helped the band quietly adjust ticket prices after the initial on-sales in order to maximize revenue as each date sold out.
Garth Brooks’ return to the road came in second in terms of dollars with an estimated $79.9 million, and first in terms of total tickets sold with more than 1.2 million, but nowhere near that in terms of national fan impact. Garth’s self-promoted tour was like a ghostly elephant slowly dribbling out dates one at a time, as he played 74 shows in just 13 cities, most of them secondary markets.
Legacy Arena At The BJCC, Birmingham, Ala.
June 12, 2015
Business was nearly sold out everywhere but the venues were ordered not to share details. Yes, it was a very big deal locally when Garth decided to play six shows in Buffalo, Omaha or Sacramento but that strategy (much like his GhostTunes digital store is keeping him off of iTunes) did little to generate any national excitement.
He should be lauded for his very reasonable average ticket price of $66.23 and he is the only major musical artist who will do two shows (21 so far this year) in one day.
Pollstar had to estimate nearly all of Garth’s tour numbers and the truth is that he may well have grossed substantially more than we calculated, especially if he was able to sell a significant number of his fat-cat VIP packages at $3,500 each.
One Direction was once again the top touring act on a worldwide basis grossing $107.7 million and still has a major U.S. run of stadiums in the second half of the year.
Fleetwood Mac may be having its biggest year ever with $65.9 million in North America and a total of $92 million globally.
The U2 arena tour is just getting started but has already grossed $40.3 million in the early weeks of its outing that extends well into the fall.
Taylor Swift has already got $46.5 million in the bank and is just starting a huge stadium and arena tour on July 10 that will keep her on the road for the rest of the year.
Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
May 30, 2015
The Pollstar database recorded detailed global box office reports of $3.4 billion and nearly 57 million tickets sold in the first half of 2015. That is up 5.8% over the previous year and is yet another indication that the concert industry is off to a record start.