Friday, July 22, 2011

Tours are hot again (Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks Make Top 10)

Big acts mean bigger numbers

Ticket sales for concerts are up even though prices are higher With acts like U2, Kenny Chesney, Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga leading the way, the concert touring business is enjoying a healthy comeback this year after struggling in 2010.

In the first six months of 2011, total grosses for the top 100 North American tours was $ 1.12 billion. That’s up $ 157 million or 16.2% over the same period last year, according to Pollstar, which tracks the live music industry. The total number of tickets sold was 16.7 million, a 5.3% increase, but surprisingly, the average ticket price was up 10.2%, or $ 6.25, to a record $ 67.02.

Through the end of June, U2’ s 360 tour was the runaway top moneymaker, raking in $ 85.8 million and selling 979,000 tickets to 14 North American stadium shows with an average gross of $ 7.8 million.

Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni says artists and promoters have helped the upturn by taking a more conservative approach in terms of venue size, frequency of return to certain markets and number of markets played. He says the higher prices weren’t expected coming off a year with lower grosses and ticket sales. But many of this year’s shows offer audiences good value for their dollars.

" What’s happening is that some artists are combining with a stronger support act, almost a co-bill situation,” Bongiovanni says, pointing to package tours such as Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks, New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys, and George Strait, Reba McEntire and Lee Ann Womack.

Source: USA Today

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