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The decade in live: 2018

The start of a new year and, perhaps more significantly, a new decade is fast approaching – and while many may be thinking ahead to New Year’s Eve plans and well-meaning 2020 resolutions, IQ is casting its mind back to the most pivotal industry moments of the last ten years.

The penultimate edition of IQ’s recap of the past ten years in live music finds the business in rude health, with nearly 60m tickets sold and the top-ten tours alone bringing in more than US$2 billion dollars.

As detailed in our end-of-year 2018 wrap-up, it was also the year when Amazon Tickets threw in the towel, Ticketmaster got out of the secondary ticketing game and MSG announced its next-generation Sphere concept – and the business recovered from the horrors of 2017, when terror attacks in the UK, the US and Turkey, among other places, deliberately targeted music fans.

Elsewhere, new private equity-backed holding company Superstruct Entertainment burst on the scene, snapping up festivals across Europe; AEG and the Madison Square Garden Company called a truce in their tit-for-tat transatlantic dispute over block booking; and the business felt the loss of the likes of pioneering Italian promoter David Zard, APA’s Troy Blakely and artists including Aretha Franklin and Mark E. Smith.

 


2018 in numbers
The ten biggest touring artists of 2018 brought in a collective $2bn+, with all grossing more than US$100 million each, in a year packed with “remarkable box-office feats”, according to Pollstar’s traditional end-of-year ticket sales chart.

As at mid-year and in Q3, and on the back of a raft of near-instant sell-outs for the 12th leg of his unstoppable ÷ tour, Ed Sheeran was by far the biggest tour of the year, jumping from the eighth spot in 2017 to claim No 1 in 2018. With a gross of $432.4m from 94 shows, the Sheeran tour is the highest gross ever recorded for an artist in a single year, according to the top 100 worldwide tours chart.

According to Pollstar, the ÷ tour is the first to top $400m, and one of only two to gross more than $300m, in a single year  – after U2 in 2017.

Taylor Swift, whose Reputation stadium tour was the highest-grossing in US history, was second, taking $345.1m from fewer dates, but with a higher average ticket price and higher gross per show.

Rounding out the top ten, with tour grosses in US$, were Jay-Z and Beyoncé (On the Run II tour, 254.1m), Pink (Beautiful Trauma world tour, 169.2m), Bruno Mars (24K Magic world tour, 167.6m), Eagles (An Evening with the Eagles, 166m), Justin Timberlake (Man of the Woods tour, 151m), Roger Waters (US + Them tour, 131.3m), U2 (Experience + Innocence tour, 126.2m) and the Rolling Stones (No Filter tour, 116.6m).

In total, the top 100 worldwide tours grossed $5.6bn in 2018, with 59.8m tickets sold.

 


2018 in brief

January
Live Nation acquires many of the remaining assets of Songkick, settling out of court a costly legal dispute set to go to trial at the end of the month.

AEG Presents announces the opening of an office in Paris, confirming its expansion into what the company calls “one of Europe’s most important and vibrant markets for live music.”

February
CTS Eventim buys a 60% stake in Italian concert and festival promoter D’Alessandro e Galli (Di and Gi), in its third acquisition in Italy in the past five months.

IQ reveals London is to get a striking new large-scale music and entertainment venue, MSG Sphere, courtesy of New York’s Madison Square Garden Company.

March
CTS Eventim’s turnover exceeds €1bn for the first time, after the German live entertainment group reports revenue growth of 24.6% in 2017.

An independent inquiry rules that Manchester Arena operator SMG Europe and security provider Showsec went “above and beyond their roles to provide humanitarian assistance” to victims of the terror attack in May 2017.

The Kerslake report praised SMG and Showsec for their Manchester Arena bomb response
The Kerslake report praised SMG and Showsec for their Manchester Arena bombing response

April
Figures from across the British live music business tell IQ they are committed to ending the disparity in remuneration received by male and female employees, after all large UK companies publish figures showing their respective gender pay gaps.

FKP Scorpio sells its stake in its two Danish festivals, NorthSide and Tinderbox, for an undisclosed sum to Down the Drain Holding, which now owns 100% of both events.

May
Grassroots venues and festivals welcome the UK’s new PRS for Music popular music concerts (LP) tariff, after more than three years of negotiations.

Ticketfly is hit by a cyberattack which takes its systems and website offline and leaves 27m accounts compromised.

June
One hundred and fifty-year-old Scottish venue O2 ABC is left severely damaged after a fire at neighbouring Glasgow School of Art.

In Barcelona, US private-equity firm the Yucaipa Companies acquires a minority stake in Primavera Sound, as Providence Equity Partners’ Superstruct Entertainment acquires rival festival Sónar.

Fullsteam's record-breaking summer came to a close with two sold-out 60,000-cap. shows by Cheek
Fullsteam’s record summer closed with two sold-out 60,000-cap. Cheek shows (© Henri Juvonen)

July
Finland’s Fullsteam Agency reports its biggest summer to date, welcoming a combined 102,000 people to its Provinssi and Sideways festivals.

Promoters across Europe tell IQ they are owed tens of thousands of euros in deposits for a string of cancelled Phil Rudd dates, with some still waiting for refunds from shows called off as far back as June 2017.

August
Øya Festival, one of the biggest festivals in Norway, enters into an investment agreement with Superstruct Entertainment, adding a fourth festival brand to the James Barton-led outfit’s expanding roster of European events.

A growing number of unofficial Facebook Events pages are driving unsuspecting buyers towards resale sites, an IQ investigation reveals.

September
The ‘booking war’ between AEG and Madison Square Garden Company reaches its end, after AEG’s Jay Marciano confirms the company is no longer block-booking its LA Staples Center and London O2 venues.

AEG Presents acquires PromoWest Productions, formerly the largest independent concert business in the American mid-west.

NEC Group's holdings include Birmingham's Resorts World ArenaNEC Group’s holdings include Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena (© NEC Group)

October
The Blackstone Group, a US investment firm that manages around $440bn worth of assets, acquires the UK’s NEC Group in a deal reportedly worth more than £800m.

Insomniac, the US promoter behind dance music festival powerhouse Electric Daisy Carnival closes a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Dutch rival ALDA Events.

November
More than a million metal fans try to get tickets for Rammstein’s upcoming European stadium tour, says CTS Eventim, which for the first time sold more than 800,000 tickets in a single on-sale.

Japan’s House of Councillors gets to ready to vote on whether to approve a law criminalising nearly all ticket touting, just over two years after the #ResaleNO campaign first brought the issue to public prominence. The bill is later passed unanimously: 237–0.

December
Live Nation makes it acquisitions #15 and #16 of 2018, with Switzerland’s Mainland Music and Argentina’s DF Entertainment, respectively, in its most acquisition-heavy year to date.

Dutch investment firm Waterland Private Equity secures a deal to acquire leading Scandinavian promoters ICO (Denmark), Friction and Atomic Soul (Norway), and Maloney Concerts and Blixten and Co (Sweden).

 


David Zard
Promoter David Zard passed away in early 2018 (© Alessandro Dobici/Saludo Italia)

Who we lost

Compass Group chief executive Richard Cousins, Italian promoter David Zard, APA head of music Troy Blakely, EG Management’s John Gaydon, Tramlines festival director Sarah Nulty, veteran agents Richard Cowley, Harry Miller, Bill Monot and David Apps, Irish promoter John Reynolds, Aloompa’s Jaime Sarrantonio and Slayer manager Nick John, as well as artists Ray Thomas (Moody Blues), Danny Kirwan (Fleetwood Mac), Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane), Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks), Charles Aznavour, XXXTentacion, Aretha Franklin and Mark E. Smith (the Fall).

 


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Global live music ticket sales to top $25bn

The value of ticket sales for live music events will exceed US$25 billion for the first time in 2023 – with total industry revenues set to reach a record $31.5m the same year, reveal the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) figures.

The Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2019–2023, the just-released 2019 update to the consulting firm’s respected annual Outlook report, finds live music ticket sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.33% from 2018 to 2023, from $21.256bn (projected) in 2018 to $25.036bn in 2023.

Overall live music turnover (ticket sales + sponsorship), meanwhile, will grow 3.11% CAGR, reaching $31.493bn in four years’ time:PwC live music revenues 2019–2023

Reflecting on another strong showing in 2018, PwC’s commentary on the live sector reads: “The live music sector had another strong year, as leading artists toured the globe. The ten highest-grossing global tours in 2018 each had ticket sales that exceeded $100m. Ed Sheeran was top earner, with a four-continent tour before an aggregate audience of close to 5m people and his 90-plus performances in more than 50 cities pulled in US$432m. Taylor Swift’s 36-stop global trip amassed US$345m in tickets sales, while a combined Beyoncé and Jay-Z managed to rack up almost US$255m.

As in previous years, veteran acts pulled in huge audiences too. Eagles had a 2018 gross of US$166m, while Roger Waters, U2 and the Rolling Stones all performed well. Bruce Springsteen, Guns N’ Roses and Phil Collins also brought in large totals on their respective world tours.”

PwC’s analysts also highlighted success in the dance music sector, noting that “electronic dance music (EDM) events again drew large and lucrative crowds, and EDM DJs were paid accordingly. Calvin Harris was the best remunerated, with the artist earning around $50m, ahead of US duo The Chainsmokers ($45m) and Dutch DJ/producer Tiësto ($33m).”

“5G will ienable more streaming of high-quality video, including of live events like sports and music”

Wilson Chow, global technology, media and telecommunications leader and partner at PwC China, highlights the impending 5G roll-out as one trend to keep an eye on, saying the widespread availability of high-speed mobile internet could lead to increased take-up of concert livestreams and virtual-reality (VR) content.

“5G’s impact will be felt across the entire technology, media and telecommunications value chain for the next decade,” says Chow. “It will hasten existing trends towards personalisation, making it easier, more convenient and cheaper to access more media on phones and other mobile devices. Key impacts of 5G for E&M [entertainment and media] will include enabling more streaming of high-quality video – including of live events like sports and music – and better use of AI, together with massive opportunities for video games and VR in terms of speed and quality of images.”

While live music remains the largest single driver of industry revenue (as it has since the mid-to-late 2000s, when demand for physical product fell away), the rejuvenated recorded music sector is snapping at live’s heels, with global recorded music revenues reaching $26.7bn last year, according to PwC’s analysts, who note: “Digital music-streaming revenues, which grew 28.8% in 2018, were the largest contributor to growth.”

“All regions demonstrated rising consumer demand for subscription [music streaming] services in 2018, as well as ad-supported free tiers, and there is little sign that the market will run out of steam in the near future,” they add.

Also booming are podcasts, with the value of podcast advertising set to grow a remarkable 28.5%, to $3.2bn, in 2023, according to the Outlook 2019, and esports, which has a CAGR of 18.3%.

“Marketers need to allocate their time and attention to new types of content and platforms – influencers, live events, ads inside apps and more”

“The global esports market might still be emerging in most territories but is beginning to generate noteworthy revenue,” reads PwC’s commentary, “and those countries which are moving towards maturity show a clear path to further profitability. […] Esports is the fastest-growing sector of the video games market by some distance, and is expected to pass the US$1.8bn revenue in 2023.”

If the Outlook 2019 has one overarching theme, it’s that of personalisation: the need for entertainment businesses to recognise that consumers are “moving to the centre of their own world of media experiences”, in the words of Ennèl van Eeden, global entertainment and media leader and partner at PwC Netherlands, and pitching their content – be it an album, a videogame or a concert tour – “not at audiences of billions, but at billions of individuals”.

“The personalisation wave – fuelled by evolving customer behaviour – is set to be amplified by the forces of technology, scale and aggressive investing and competition,” says van Eeden. “The implications for organisations are profound. As the borders separating former media silos erode, companies need to think more broadly about the areas and segments in which they operate. At the same time, all E&M players must take the need to ‘know your customer’ more seriously, and marketers need to allocate their time and attention to new types of content and platforms – influencers, live events, ads inside apps and more.

“Finally, companies must focus intently on their core capabilities and geographical markets, while continually scanning the horizon for new developments and regulations, and being agile in responding to technological developments such as 5G. Put simply: it’s time to get personal with consumers, or be left out of the conversation.”

Individual 2019 and 2023 figures for all major live music markets are available in the International Ticketing Yearbook 2019, out now.

 


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Japanese live industry grows again in 2018

After reaching a record high in 2017, the Japanese live music market once again increased in value in 2018, according to new data from promoters’ association ACPC.

ACPC (All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters Conference)’s 2018 research report, covering 1 January–31 December, surveyed all 68 of its members, and found that while the number of shows declined slightly on 2017 – 192, or 0.6%, fewer – the Japanese market grew 3.7%, boosted by increased attendances for local acts and higher ticket prices.

Total revenues reached ¥344,823,220,000 (US$3.1bn), up ¥12bn ($108m) on 2017:

Total sales, 2018, Japan

According to the association, the decline in the number of events is largely a result of an “insufficiency of venues caused by the preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics”, as well as a growing concentration of shows at the weekend.

The number of arena or stadium performances by domestic artists and bands increased, however, growing 1.7% to nearly 4.9 million. The number of attendees grew 3.9%.

For international acts, the figures were -4.6% and -11.1%, respectively.

In addition to the growing demand for homegrown talent, the slight decline in international shows was offset by ticket price growth of 2%, to an average of ¥7,092 ($64).

ACPC, headquartered in Tokyo, represents 68 concert companies, along with 102 associate members.

 


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LN 2018 financials: Rapino on best-ever results, SMG-AEG merger

Live Nation recorded its eighth consecutive year of record results in 2018, according to the company’s just-released annual financial report, with revenue and income both growing significantly from an already record-breaking 2017.

Total group turnover increased 11%, to US$10.8 billion, while operating income grew to $272.5 million, up from $91.4m in 2017 (accounting for the $110m legal settlement with Songkick). Adjusted operating income (AOI) – which excludes several expenses, mostly related to acquisition costs, stock-based compensation, depreciation and amortisation – was  $829.1m, a 33% year-on-year increase.

Growth across all areas of the business revolves around Live Nation’s “concerts flywheel”, says Live Nation president and CEO Michael Rapino (who joked in yesterday’s earnings call that he should have patented the term, as he was using “flywheel long before any other business nailed that one”). “We have a big flywheel of concerts, and we’re going to wake up every year finding new adjacent businesses that we can monetise because of that flywheel,” he told investors. “And no one else in the world has 30,000 shows and 100 million people walking in the door.”

In addition to growing concert attendance 8%, to just shy of 100 million (93m), Live Nation also grew its ticketing volume 14%, with a rapidly digitising Ticketmaster selling $33bn worth of tickets in 2018 – earning it $1.53bn in revenue and $201.9m in AOI – and sponsorship and advertising revenue 13%, to $504m, bolstered by new sponsorship deals at its festivals, including with Heineken, Barclays and Frito-Lay.

Rapino also used the earnings call to address the impending merger of arena/convention centre operator SMG – a Ticketmaster customer – with AEG Facilities, a division of LN rival AEG, to form ASM Global.

“We’ve always looked at AEG Facilities and SMG as partners”

The union of SMG and AEG Facilities “has no impact on our day-to-day business”, Rapino told Goldman Sachs’s Drew Borst. “We’re not […] in the conference centre management business… That’s not what we do.

“But between the two of them, the buildings that they do have, we have an existing Ticketmaster contract with SMG. […]  And we received a call the minute that there was a public announcement from them to reassure us that filling their buildings and ticketing their businesses [remains] a huge strategic imperative of theirs.

“We’ve always looked at AEG Facilities and SMG as partners. They all need us to put on more shows and fill those venues that they’re managing.”

Rapino added that both companies have “probably experimented elsewhere and ended up realising Ticketmaster also happens to sell them the most tickets. They’re managing those buildings for someone else, generally. And that someone else doesn’t care about competition – they care about results.”

Looking to the year ahead, Live Nation says tickets sold for concerts in 2019 are already in the double digits ahead of last year, and Rapino is confident of a ninth year of growth.

“In 2019, I expect us to further extend our global concerts position”

“We continue to see the tremendous power of live events, with strong consumer demand and a robust supply of new and established artists hitting the road from clubs to stadiums,” he comments. “Live is truly a unique entertainment form – it cannot be duplicated and creates lifetime memories that fans are craving more than ever in this experience economy.

“We believe that the live business will continue to have strong growth for years to come as fans globally drive demand, artists are touring more, and on-site spending, sponsorship and ticketing all benefit from the concerts flywheel.

“In 2019, I expect us to further extend our global concerts position while enhancing our on-site hospitality business and capturing additional pricing opportunities. Our sponsorship business will continue driving double-digit growth as more brands look for that direct connection with music fans. And as Ticketmaster continues its transformation to a truly digital ecosystem, it will also benefit from continued growth in concert ticket sales and further expansion of our global footprint.

“We believe that the combination of macro trends and our demonstrated ability to execute are strong indicators of our capability to continue to grow the business for many years to come.”

Live Nation’s Q1 2019 results are expected in May.

 


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CTS Eventim revenue soars 20% after record Q4

European ticketing giant CTS Eventim ended the 2018 financial year with record turnover and earnings, growing group revenue 20.1% after a best-ever fourth quarter.

Total revenue, from ticketing and live entertainment, topped €1.2 billion (€1.242bn, up from a then record-breaking €1.034bn in 2017), while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) grew 12.9%, from €204.7 million to €231.1m.

Revenue from Bremen-based CTS’s ticketing activities grew 6.9% to €447.1m, with normalised EBITDA climbing 9.6% to €195.8m. This growth could have been even stronger, says the company, was it not for expenses related to the introduction of the general data protection regulation (GDPR).

Online ticket sales rose to 54.3m – the first time CTS Eventim sold more than 50m tickets via its own web shops – up from 48.9m in 2017, with a good 20m of that volume in the fourth quarter alone, when the ticketing division recorded its highest-ever quarterly revenue (€170.5 million) and normalised EBITDA (€93.7 million).

“Our financials show that we are able to further develop CTS Eventim from a position of strength”

Live entertainment turnover, meanwhile, increased 29.7%, to €812.5m (up from €626.7m), boosted by acquisitions in Italy and Spain, as well as “a number of especially well-attended and high-revenue tours” compared to 2017.

Normalised EBITDA from live shows rose 35.4%, to €35.3m.

“Our financials show that we are able to further develop CTS Eventim from a position of strength,” comments Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “In ticketing, we increased our growth momentum over the course of the year, and in live entertainment we consolidated our leading role in Europe with well-attended tours and further acquisitions.

“By winning the contract for collecting the passenger vehicle toll in Germany, we also demonstrated that we can successfully transfer our existing competencies into new business areas.”

The full financial results for 2018, as well as details on shareholder dividends and the outlook for 2019, will be published on 20 March.

 


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The O2 retains crown as world’s busiest venue in 2018

The O2 in London cemented its status as the world’s most successful concert venue in 2018, according to operator AEG Europe, reporting in excess of 800,000 more ticket sales than its closest rival.

More than two million tickets were sold for 209 music, comedy, live entertainment and sports events at the venue last year, with highlights including sell-out shows by Kendrick Lamar and Pearl Jam, the sixth edition of the Country to Country festival, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night 127, the ATP tennis finals and the Fifa eWorld Cup Final.

Elsewhere, Michael McIntyre marked 2018 by selling the most tickets in O2 history, reaching 409,238 with his 28th headline show at the arena, while K-pop stars BTS, who played in October, smashed a merchandise sales record previously held by the Rolling Stones.

The 2m figure compares to nearly 1.2m tickets sold for events at the O2’s nearest rival, New York’s Madison Square Garden Arena, and 1.1m apiece for the Forum in California and WiZink Center in Madrid – the latter falling short of the third spot by fewer than a thousand tickets – according to Pollstar’s recently released top 200 arena venues chart.

“We’ve seen a huge amount of activity at the O2 this year”

The O2 is ranked 13th in Pollstar’s chart, with 765,860 tickets sold – far fewer than the two-plus million claimed by AEG. However, AEG no longer provides Pollstar with box-office figures following the magazine’s acquisition by rival outfit Oak View Group in July 2017, and its own numbers tally more closely with 2017, when the O2’s ticket sales were over 1.4m, according to that year’s Pollstar chart.

Speaking just before Christmas, John Langford, newly appointed COO of AEG Europe, said: “We’ve seen a huge amount of activity at the O2 this year, with the opening of ICON Outlet, Oxygen Freejumping and not to mention the record-breaking content that’s kept over two million entertained.

“I’d like to thank each and every person at the O2 and I’m confident that Steve Sayer will oversee another incredible year when he takes over as VP and general manager in 2019.”

The O2, which opened in 2007, has been the world’s top arena for ticket sales since 2008.

 


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Amazon, Rammstein, New Bosses and the Sphere: 2018’s top stories

IQ is today shutting up shop until 2 January 2019.

While we’ll be sure to keep you abreast of any major industry goings-on over the festive period, there won’t be an IQ Index newsletter until we return, so don’t panic if your inbox looks decidedly devoid of concert business news for the remainder of 2018.

From everyone at IQ, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Now, read on for the IQ stories that reached the most people in the global concert industry this year…

 

#10

Edmania: Sheeran breaks records across Europe with new onsales

#9

Rob Hallett’s Robomagic joins Live Nation

#8

AEG ends ties with StubHub, launches AXS Marketplace

#7

800,000-selling Rammstein sets new Eventim record

#6

Hardee warns of biz burnout as report reveals huge stress levels

#5

Kerslake report: SMG, Showsec praised for “above and beyond” Manchester response

#4

Introducing… the New Bosses 2018

#3

‘Everyone will have the best seat in the house’: MSG takes wraps off Sphere London

#2

Get Me Out!: Ticketmaster shuts down European resale sites

#1

Amazon Tickets shuts shop

See you in 2019!

 


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Top 10 tours of 2018 all gross over $100m in record year

The ten biggest touring artists of 2018 brought in a collective US$2bn+, with all grossing more US$100 million each, in a year packed with “remarkable box-office feats”, according to Pollstar’s traditional end-of-year ticket sales chart.

As at mid-year and in Q3, and on the back of a raft of near-instant sell-outs for the 12th leg of his unstoppable ÷ tour, Ed Sheeran was by far the biggest tour of the year, jumping from the eighth spot in 2017 to claim No 1 in 2018. With a gross of $432.4m from 94 shows, the Sheeran tour is the highest gross ever recorded for an artist in a single year, according to the top 100 worldwide tours chart.

According to Pollstar, the ÷ tour is the first to top $400m, and one of only two to gross more than $300m, in a single year  – after U2 in 2017.

Taylor Swift, whose Reputation stadium tour recently became the highest-grossing in US history, is second, taking $345.1m from fewer dates, but with a higher average ticket price and higher gross per show.

Rounding out the top ten, with tour grosses in US$, are:

Live Nation was the top-selling promoter to the tune of nearly 40 million tickets – 49.6m compared to AEG Presents’ 11.6m – with AEG-owned Messina Touring Group third with 5.3m.

In total, the top 100 worldwide tours grossed $5.6bn, with 59.8m tickets sold.

According to PwC figures, the value of of the global live music business is set to continue growing through the rest of the decade and the start of the next, reaching $30bn by 2022.

 


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US, UK and Japanese fans most willing to travel for live events

Americans, Britons and Japanese are most likely to travel internationally to see live entertainment, with fans from those countries ranking highest among the nearly 200,000 StubHub customers who crossed borders to see a show or event in 2018, according to new data from the leading ticket marketplace.

StubHub’s fourth annual Year in Live Experiences report also highlights the best-selling events and most sought-after artists, festivals, shows and sports teams, in a year when “more people than ever crossed borders to experience a live event”.

“The power of live experiences transcends languages and borders,” comments Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, president of StubHub. “This year, StubHub saw fans from 144 countries cross borders to travel to live events, indicating that shared experiences pull people together, even during challenging times.

“Shared experiences pull people together, even during challenging times”

“With nearly 200,000 StubHub customers crossing borders to attend over 30,000 events in 2018, it’s clear that people continue to love being with fellow fans, seeing their favourite artists or teams live.”

Ed Sheeran, BTS and Elton John were first, second and third, respectively, in the best-selling acts of 2018 (non-US) chart, while Bruce Springsteen and Taylor Swift led Sir Elton in the best-selling artists in the US.

Full top-tens include:

Countries most likely to cross borders for a live event
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Japan
4. Canada
5. Mexico
6. Spain
7. Germany
8. Republic of Ireland
9. South Korea
10. France

Top 10 best-selling artists globally (non-US)

1. Ed Sheeran
2. BTS
3. Elton John
4. Foo Fighters
5. Paul McCartney
6. U2
7. Drake and Migos
8. Taylor Swift
9. The Rolling Stones
10. Eagles

Top 10 best-selling artists in the US
1. Bruce Springsteen
2. Taylor Swift
3. Elton John
4. Ed Sheeran
5. Justin Timberlake
6. Drake and Migos
7. Eagles
8. Bruno Mars
9. Pink
10. Billy Joel

Read the Year in Live Experiences 2018 in full here.

 


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BTS win Ticketmaster’s ticket of the year 2018

World-conquering Korean boy band BTS has been crowned ticket of the year 2018 by Ticketmaster, which polled fans globally from its database of 200m people to discover the most popular live events of 2018.

The K-pop phenomenon recently became the first Korean act to surpass a billion streams on Apple Music, while their Burn the Stage movie sold more than 1.4m tickets, toppling a record previously held by One Direction.

Ed Sheeran’s mammoth ÷ tour was second, with long-running Dutch festival Pinkpop taking third.

In the UK, Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges becomes the first comedian to take ticket of the year, for last month’s shows at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, with Pink’s Beautiful Trauma and the Spice Girls’ Spice World named the most anticipated UK tours of 2019.

Hamilton, meanwhile, is Britain’s favourite theatre show.

“It’s been a while since the result of a vote has made me happy”

Bridges comments: “Thank you to everybody who came out to see me live this year, and a very special thank you to those who went as far as voting for me as their favourite show of the year.

“It’s been a while since the result of a vote has made me happy. You have restored my faith in democracy. Thank you all and see you another time.”

“What an honour from my beautiful UK fans,” says Pink. “A huge thank you to everyone that voted for the Beautiful Trauma tour as the Ticketmaster most anticipated event 2019. It’s been nearly five years since I’ve toured the UK – I can’t wait to get back and party with all of you.”

The winners in full are:

UK ticket of the year 2018
1. Kevin Bridges – The SSE Hydro
2. Hamilton – Victoria Palace Theatre
3. Ed Sheeran – Wembley Stadium
4. Taylor Swift – Wembley Stadium
5. Ed Sheeran – Hampden Park National Stadium

UK most anticipated events 2019
1. Pink
2. Spice Girls
3. Muse
4. Fleetwood Mac
5. Take That

Global ticket of the year 2018
1. BTS
2. Ed Sheeran
3. Pinkpop

 


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