The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Total gross revealed for Elton John farewell tour

Six million people attended the epic 330-show run, which generated $939.1m to become the highest-grossing concert tour ever

By James Hanley on 19 Jul 2023

Elton John

image © Ben Gibson Photo

Elton John’s record-shattering Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour ended with a total gross of US$939.1 million (€837m), according to Billboard Boxscore.

Six million people attended the epic 330-show run, which began at the PPL Center in Allentown Pennsylvania way back in September 2018 and took in five continents before wrapping up in Stockholm with the second of two nights at Tele2 Arena on 8 July this year.

While the trek stopped short of becoming the first $1 billion tour, it comfortably surpassed Ed Sheeran’s 2017-19 ÷ (Divide) Tour – which grossed $776.2m from 255 dates – to be crowned as the highest-grossing concert tour ever.

“To every person who has worked on this tour and my extraordinary crew, the backbone of every show, I cannot begin to express my thanks,” writes Elton on Instagram. “From the lighting wizards to the talented sound and design engineers and costume magicians, tireless drivers and incredible caterers, talented photographer, our brilliant partners at AEG, Marshall Arts and Chugg Entertainment and of course my first-class band, each one of you brings this show to life.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making every performance an unforgettable experience and filling the last five years of the farewell tour with memories I will never forget.”

A special report on the tour appears in the current issue of IQ Magazine, which can be read by subscribers here.

“We knew we would do well, but we didn’t set out to be the highest-grossing tour in history”

“We started having this conversation [about the farewell tour] in 2016/17,” says Rocket Music Entertainment Group’s Keith Bradley, who has been working with Elton for more than 40 years and is the artist’s de facto agent outside of North America, as well as tour director on Farewell Yellow Brick Road.

“David [Furnish, Elton’s manager husband] and I flew to LA to meet with Jay Marciano at AEG, and I gave them an idea of what we were thinking in terms of the number of shows and the amount of money,” adds Bradley. “And everyone thought I’d lost my mind. In my head, it was going to be closer to 400 shows.”

Bradley confirms that, pre-pandemic, the tour was originally set to conclude two years earlier, in 2021, at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, US.

“The tour has outperformed all of our expectations,” adds Rocket Entertainment Group CEO Furnish, speaking to IQ. “We knew we would do well, but we didn’t set out to be the highest-grossing tour in history.

“It’s just been a total team effort. Everybody rose to the occasion because I think they felt that they were part of something very special. Elton sets a very high bar; he goes on stage and thinks every show has to be as good as or better than the last one. He’s really focused and dedicated, and I think everybody feels inspired by that.”

Other new entries in Billboard‘s all-time top 10 are Harry Styles’ ongoing Love on Tour, which checks in at No.4 with $590.3m from 4.7 million ticket sales, while Coldplay’s current Music of the Spheres Tour is at No.6, having grossed $561.2m from 5.8m attendees.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.