Sunday, October 25, 2009


Concert tours manage to stay strong in a weak economy

The touring business weathered a bad economy for the second straight summer, as concert grosses held steady and attendance rose slightly.

Concerts grossed $1 billion from May 1 to Sept. 1, roughly equal to the same period in 2008. Attendance rose for the season's 4,200-plus live music shows to 19.2 million, up 3% from 18.7 million a year ago.

Plenty of people willing to pay premium prices for enhanced concert experiences. "You had Mick Fleetwood doing meet-and-greets all across the country this summer, and that's something you may not have seen in years past."

The data are from Boxscore reports published by Billboard and analyzed by USA TODAY.

TOP 10: See which acts were big at the box office

The Hottest Tours of Summer
10. Fleetwood Mac

What they did
The legendary band kicked off its Unleashed tour in March and kept it going strong well into the summer. It was the first tour in five years for Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

Why it worked
"These songs are part of music fans' DNA, and they still want to come out and hear them performed live."

Total gross (in millions): $21.1
Shows reporting: 22
Attendance: 232,000
Seats filled: 82%

Source: USA TODAY analysis of Billboard Boxscore data for May 1-Sept. 1 concerts

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