Q3 YTD Business

Pollstar’s third quarter year-to-date worldwide ticket sales charts are meant to be a quick snapshot of the business as we head toward the close of the year. No one will contest that overall the concert business is down; the question is by how much.


Worldwide Ticket Sales

Top 100 Tours

Top 100 Promoters

Top 100 Arenas

Top 100 Theatres

Top 100 Clubs

Top 100 Outdoor Sites

Top 100 Amphitheatres


See Also:

Mid-Year 2010

Q1 2010

Ticket Sales Chart Archive


The total tickets sold by the Top 100 venues in each chart category are down from the same time a year ago.

Sales at the Theatre level remained surprisingly strong, dropping only about 1 percent to a little more than 10 million tickets.

The Club-level business also held up reasonably well at 5.4 million tickets, which was down 6 percent.

The numbers for the worldwide Arena-level business were also down about six percent to 20.5 million tickets.

Normally the 3Q charts offer the first good analytical look at the summer concert season with the Amphitheatre and Outdoor Stadium & Festival Sites charts, but not this year. Those two charts are heavily impacted by shows promoted by Live Nation, which dominates the shed business and produces several high-volume stadium tours.

In mid-June Live Nation suddenly stopped the routine reporting of box office results out of its Beverly Hills office. At first it was said to be temporary as the company weighed how to handle its reporting of the huge number of discounted and free tickets being given away at its venues.

The U.S. Department Of Justice on June 21 dismissed all of the objections filed by independent concert promoters and 16 states against the merger consent decree and cleared the last significant legal hurdle for the combination of Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

Live Nation hosted its disastrous investors meeting at Irving Plaza July 15. The company issued a downward revision of its financial projections and then watched more than $300 million in stock value evaporate.

In mid-August, Live Nation Executive Chairman Irving Azoff told Pollstar that the company had decided to stop all external reporting of data. The primary reason given was that Wall Street analysts did not understand how to interpret the data provided by Pollstar and it was adversely affecting the company. Azoff said the company would now report show results only when requested by an artist.

Numbers for several major tours were subsequently reported by Live Nation as a result of artists wanting the recognition. Quite a few venues also directly reported Live Nation-promoted shows, so the lack of centralized reporting from the company was not glaringly obvious.

But Live Nation dominates the shed business and their lack of reported information resulted in a drop of nearly 30 percent, or 3.4 million tickets, for that market segment. It has been a very difficult year for the amphitheatre business but, given the amount of missing data, it is impossible to draw any solid conclusions.

The same is true for the Outdoor Stadium & Festival Sites chart, which was down about 25 percent. Dates on the U2 tour have yet to be reported, and those numbers alone would have made a major impact on the chart.

The total tickets sold by the Top 100 Promoters was 60.8 million, down 15 percent or 11 million tickets from a year ago. This drop is almost entirely attributable to Live Nation, which reported 11.7 million fewer tickets sold so far this year. The company has acknowledged the difficult concert market in 2010 but only it knows how much of a decline it is experiencing.

The total tickets sold by the Top 100 Tours worldwide was down about 20 percent, or 8.6 million, but that number has to be viewed in the context of the world’s largest concert promoter no longer sharing information with the rest of the industry.

Live Nation aside, the concert industry seems to be holding up reasonably well in a difficult economic environment.

Those artists and venues with ticket sales numbers that are under-reported for 3Q YTD still have time to report the missing data so they can be properly represented on our cumulative Year End Charts.