Top Tours 2010

Presenting Pollstar’s exclusive charts ranking the Top 50 Concert Tours for the 2010 calendar year.

One chart is based on just North American dates while our Worldwide chart is a ranking that includes all global tour dates. In addition to detailed data reported directly to Pollstar, these comprehensive charts include estimates on the missing dates.

These two charts are an advance of the release of Pollstar’s concert industry analysis, more extensive Top 200 Tours chart, and a variety of global venue and promoter ticket sales charts which are due to be released in early January as part of our 2010 Year-End Special Edition.

Photo: AP Photo
38th Annual American Music Awards, Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Los Angeles, Calif.

Bon Jovi No. 1

The Energizer Bunny known as Bon Jovi, which played 51 shows on this continent and 80 overall, grossed $108 million here and $201 million total. The AEG-promoted tour knocked out all competition by a wide margin.

Roger Waters and AC/DC take up the No. 2 spots.

AC/DC, which has been on a rock ‘n’ roll train since 2008, put on 40 shows worldwide; its $177 million income became the second-highest grossing tour worldwide. Waters launched the phenomenal Wall tour in Toronto and spent 2010 Stateside, landing the No. 2 slot for North America. And even with a midyear start, that tour has grossed almost $90 million playing multiple nights in 35 cities. (Waters could be globetrotting through 2012, Live Nation tour promoter Ron Delsener told Pollstar.)

Photo: John Davisson
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Fla.

Rounding out the top 10 North American tours are Dave Matthews Band ($72.9 million), Paul McCartney ($61.8 million), Michael Bublé ($65.7 million), Eagles ($64.5 million), Lady Gaga ($51 million), James Taylor / Carole King ($50.7 million), The Black Eyed Peas ($50.5 million) and John Mayer ($49.9 million).

Photo: Jason Moore
North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.

Worldwide it’s Bon Jovi and AC/DC, then U2 ($160.9 million), Lady Gaga ($133.6 million), Metallica ($110.1 million), Michael Bublé ($104.2 million), “Walking With Dinosaurs” ($104.1 million), McCartney ($93 million), Eagles ($93.3 million) and Roger Waters, whose $89.5 million stateside still made The Wall Live one of the top-grossing tours worldwide.
In Comparison

Here is what we can glean from a comparison with the same charts in 2009:

The Top 50 Tours Worldwide grossed a combined $2.93 billion which was down about 12% from last year’s $3.34 billion. Total tickets sold was 38.3 million which was down about 15% or 7 million from 2009’s 45.3 million. Total show count was down about 8% to 2,650. The only number to increase was the average ticket price which went up $2.86 or about 4%.

Photo: Bobby Talamine /
United Center, Chicago, Ill.

The Top 50 Tours North America grossed a combined $1.69 billion which was down about 15% from last year’s $1.99 billion. Total tickets sold was 26.2 million which was down about 12% from 2009’s 29.9 million. Total show count was down about 3% to 2,114. Unlike the Worldwide chart, the average ticket price in North America dropped $1.55 or about 2%.

Photo: Kevin Ferguson
Bethel Woods Center For The Arts, Bethel, N.Y.

The above numbers are all in line with what we were seeing throughout the year. Artists worked fewer shows in a tough business climate and those that overreached suffered the consequences. In general, the international concert business was stronger than in North America where overbooked and overpriced shows at outdoor amphitheatre venues made it an especially difficult year for Live Nation.

Photo: Chris McKay /
Time-Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, N.C.

Click here for Pollstar’s Top 50 Tours Worldwide.

Click here for Pollstar’s Top 50 Tours North America.