The 60th-anniversary tour will mark the band's return to BST Hyde Park, as well as the home of Liverpool FC, Anfield
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The Concerts West boss reflects on the band's recently-completed 60th anniversary European stadium run in a new interview with IQ
By James Hanley on 03 Oct 2022
Promoting heavyweight John Meglen has given IQ the inside track on the Rolling Stones’ 60th anniversary tour.
Running from 1 June to 3 August, the 14-date AEG/Concerts West-promoted Sixty European stadium tour was a complete sell-out, generating US$121,326,763 from total ticket sales of 712,641.
With the exception of a scheduled stop in Switzerland at Bern’s 45,000-cap Wankdorf Stadium being cancelled due to Mick Jagger testing positive for Covid, Meglen considers the tour to have been a roaring triumph in the face of well-documented challenges.
“I won’t say it was the easiest show we ever did, it was tough out there, but I would call it a total team effort,” says the Concerts West boss. “We had very well planned out Covid protocols that everyone stuck to. We had one hiccup, but considering that we were running from country to country to country with different policies, regulations and procedures that you have to stay constantly updated on, you’ve got to give credit to every single person on the tour for sticking to those plans. That’s what really helped us out.”
He continues: “We’ve all seen recently, post Covid, where you [sell] the show out in the last few days because people want to make sure it’s going to happen and that it’s not going to get rescheduled or cancelled. Unfortunately, we’ve had much more of that than we’ve had in the past. But the business was amazing.”
“They absolutely are the greatest in the world, there’s no question about it”
AEG/Concerts West worked with a host of local promoters on the tour, including Doctor Music/Live Nation Spain (Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid); FKP Scorpio (Olympic Stadium, Munich/Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen/Waldbühne, Berlin); Di and Gi/Live Nation Italy (San Siro, Milan); Mojo Concerts (Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam); Greenhouse Talent (Kingbaudoin Stadium, Brussels); Barracuda Music (Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna); Live Nation France (Hippodrome de Longchamps, Paris) and Live Nation Sweden (Friends Arena, Stockholm).
Meglen paid tribute to the wider Stones’ team, which is headed by manager Joyce Smyth.
“They’re all wonderful,” he says. “Joyce Smyth is absolutely amazing and has a tremendous team around her. Our Concerts West team has now worked with them for years and years; there’s a sense of family when we’re out on the road and we take care of each other. That goes all the way from Mick, Keith [Richards], Ronnie [Wood], all the way down through everybody else on the tour.
“It’s a blessing of working with these guys. They absolutely are the greatest in the world, there’s no question about it.”
UK dates comprised a 36,917-cap concert at Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium and two 65,000-cap nights at London’s BST Hyde Park. Each show began with a video tribute to the Stones’ legendary drummer Charlie Watts, who died last year aged 80.
“I haven’t heard anybody say anything’s stopping, so we’re always there and ready”
“I get chills and teary-eyed virtually every time I watch it,” says Meglen. “I can only speak for myself personally, but I miss that man tremendously. He was such a gent, such a talent and an incredible guy.”
He adds: “[Replacement drummer] Steve Jordan is amazing. He just came in and didn’t miss a step. He provides a different energy, but I think he very much respects how Charlie played and tries to represent that.”
The band’s previous No Filter tour was comfortably the highest-grossing of 2021, garnering $115,498,182 – almost $30m clear of their nearest contender, Harry Styles. And despite reaching their diamond anniversary, there has been no suggestion that Sixty marked the end of the Stones’ touring years.
“I haven’t heard anybody say anything’s stopping, so we’re always there and ready,” says Meglen. “It’s for Joyce and the guys to figure that out and, if and when, it’d be a blessing again.
“A lot of what makes it work is when you have guys like Opie [longtime Stones production manager Dale Skjerseth], a tremendous, amazing band and then the guys playing better and better. It’s crazy how good they are and how they just bring it every single time.”
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