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Live revenues up, ticket sales down in H1 2024

Concert ticket sales revenue has topped $3 billion (€2.8bn) at the mid-year point for the first time, according to Pollstar data for H1 2024.

The record $3.07bn haul represented an 8.3% uptick on the $2.83bn garnered at the same point in 2023.

The gross was boosted by a 16% increase in the volume of shows during the period, as well as the average ticket price, which rose to $127.38 – up 9.4% year-on-year.

Nevertheless, worldwide ticket sales dipped slightly (0.7%) to 24,108,321, compared with 2023’s Q2 ticket total of 24,271,825. The rankings do not include estimates for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour.

The average number of tickets sold per show was 10,767, down 14.9% on 2023’s record average of 12,655.

“For the first time in two-and-a-half years, the live industry has returned to earth,” notes the Pollstar article. “The stratospheric post-pandemic concert exuberance that swept markets across the globe starting in the US in the later half of 2021 and saw the concert business explode with continuous record-setting revenues, attendances and ticket prices is returning to a more traditional pattern of measured growth.”

The sales figures are still up on the last pre-pandemic year of 2019. Of the 2024 worldwide tours to report their data, Madonna’s Celebration Tour grossed $178.8 million in the period to lead the way, followed by Bad Bunny ($175m), Luis Miguel ($169.5m), U2’s Las Vegas Sphere residency ($134.7m) and Karol G ($111.2m), Bruno Mars ($102.2m) and Coldplay ($100.5m).

The top 10 was completed by Seventeen ($74.6m), the Eagles ($69.4m) and Nicki Minaj ($66.2m).

“The year’s lower mid-year indices reflect more of a correction than a catastrophic decline,” adds the Pollstar report. “And 2023’s box-office success story followed a 2022 still in recovery with box-office results well under pre-Covid norms. Box-office totals for this year are still higher than all the mid-year figures in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic and a year that saw a continuation of steady, multiple-year growth in the live industry.”

 


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Official: Taylor Swift’s Eras is first $1bn tour

Taylor Swift’s planet-conquering Eras Tour has officially become the first tour in history to surpass $1 billion in revenue.

The American superstar has come out on top in an unprecedented year for the concert industry, with business up double-digit percentages in virtually every metric, according to Pollstar’s 2023 Year-End charts.

Total grosses for the Top 100 Worldwide Tours were up 46% to a $9.17bn (2022’s total was $6.28bn) and attendance was up 18.38% in total tickets sold to 70.1 million (2022’s total was 59.2m).

Swift took in an estimated ticket gross of $1.04bn, with 4.35m tickets sold from 60 shows, with the run calculated to have generated an additional $200m in merchandise sales, while Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert movie exceeded $250m in worldwide ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing concert movie of all time.

Pollstar projects that Eras Tour ticket sales will again hit $1bn in the next box office year, taking its overall total to more than $2bn.

“The live entertainment industry remains in the midst of a record-breaking Golden Era”

The rest of the Top 10 rankings on 2023’s Worldwide Tours are occupied by Beyoncé (No. 2), Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (No. 3), Coldplay (No. 4), Harry Styles (No. 5), Morgan Wallen (No. 6), Ed Sheeran (No. 7), P!nk (No. 8), The Weeknd (No. 9), and Drake (No. 10).

“This has been the Year of the Blockbuster, none earning that title more than Taylor Swift’s cultural takeover in Eras, Pollstar‘s first-ever billion-dollar tour,” says Ray Waddell, president of Oak View Group’s media & conferences division, which oversees Pollstar and sister publication VenuesNow. “The live entertainment industry remains in the midst of a record-breaking Golden Era, marked by innovation and creativity, artist development, and a paradigm shift in fan experience, as defined by the Sphere in Las Vegas and U2’s amazing run.”

The annual Pollstar ranking of the concert industry’s top performing artists covers shows held between 17 November 2022 and 15 November 2023.

Swift has led a touring boom in 2023, with more tours than ever grossing above $300m (three), $200m (seven) and $100m (17).

“This is precisely why FanFair Alliance is now pushing for the UK to adopt more consumer-friendly legislation that closes these kinds of loopholes”

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that secondary ticketing platforms are circumventing Australian regulations banning for-profit resale of tickets for the tour. The New South Wales and Victorian governments moved to crack down on scalping earlier this year after prices in excess of $3,000 were listed for the singer’s 2024 dates in Sydney and Melbourne.

The restrictions made it illegal to resell tickets for more than 10% over face value, with those that fail to comply facing large fines. However, the Times reports that Viagogo appears to have contravened the legislation by geoblocking resale tickets for the Australian shows and enabling fans from outside Australia to buy them. Viagogo has not commented on the report.

A spokesperson for UK campaign group FanFair Alliance tells IQ: “This is precisely why [we are] now pushing for the UK to adopt more consumer-friendly legislation that closes these kinds of loopholes, provides audiences with better services and outlaws the resale of tickets for profit.”

 


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Bad Bunny tops 2022 mid-year tour rankings

Bad Bunny’s El Último Tour del Mundo is the biggest tour of 2022 so far according to Pollstar‘s mid-year rankings.

The Puerto Rican rapper sold 663,868 tickets in North America alone for a gross of $120.1 million (€118.1m), leaving Genesis’ The Last Domino trek, which generated $72m (€70.8m), a distant second ahead of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road on $70m (€68.8m).

K-pop juggernauts BTS are fourth on the list, bringing in $69.3m, followed by Morgan Wallen in fifth with $58.3m. The top ten is completed by Eric Church, Eagles, John Mayer, Coldplay and Garth Brooks.

The figures cover the period from 18 November 2021 to 18 May 2022.

Revenue and ticket sales among the top 100 tours both dipped compared to 2019 levels

The report notes that revenue and ticket sales among the top 100 worldwide tours dipped 2.2% and 14.4%, respectively, compared to 2019 levels, although it is not a like-for-like comparison as not all venues were open to full capacity.

Worldwide gross was $3.5 billion (€3.4bn) from 46.8m ticket sales for 20,684 shows, down from 2019’s $5.1bn (€5bn) from 76.6m tickets for 35,903 shows.

Harry Styles led the way last year as 2021’s top worldwide ticket seller, while the Rolling Stones claimed the highest-grossing tour.

 


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