2011 Year End Features
The world’s Top 50 touring attractions generated a combined $3.07 billion, which was up 3.7% over 2010’s $2.96 billion. Total revenues are still well below the $3.34 billion sold by the Top 50 in 2009.
Total tickets sold declined to 35.48 million, a drop of 3.41 million or 8.7%, from 2010’s 38.89 million. Somewhere along the way, nearly 10 million ticket buyers disappeared from the 45.3 million that turned out to see the Top 50 in 2009.
The worldwide average ticket price jumped to $86.53, an increase of $10.42 or 13.6% over 2010’s $76.11 average. That also represents a 17.2% price increase to fans over 2009’s average of $73.83.
2011 Year End Special Features
Year End Business Analysis (includes charts and graphics)
Top 100 International Boxoffice
Worldwide Ticket Sales Charts
Top 100 Outdoor Stadiums & Festival Sites
See Also: Ticket Sales Charts Archive
The concert business continues to add viable new markets around the world as today’s superstar attractions become increasingly global in popularity. It’s no longer just about how to fit the odd jaunt to Japan or Australia in between North American and Western European tours. South America can now represent the full leg of a tour. Major cities in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Russia, China, South Africa, and the U.A.E. are now competing for dates on the tour calendar.
This is the first year that Pollstar has doubled the rankings in our worldwide chart to include the Top 100 Tours. We expect this chart to provide our primary metrics for year-over-year comparisons in the future. Because of the increasing volume of international data, we have also expanded our Year End Ticket Sales chart rankings for Arena venues to a Top 200.
The Top 100 worldwide tours in 2011 sold 54.17 million tickets for a total gross of $4.24 billion at an average ticket price of $78.33. There were 18 tours on the chart that didn’t visit North America in 2011. Most notable was the reunion tour by
Back In North America
It was a year of retrenchment as the concert business adjusted to the reality check from 2010. Pollstar estimates that total ticket revenues for all major concerts in North America increased to $4.35 billion. That represents about a 2% increase over last year’s $4.25 billion, but is still well below the record $4.6 billion in 2009.
The Top 100 tours of North America did a combined gross of $2.34 billion, which is up 6.3% over last year’s $2.2 billion, but still 7.5% behind the $2.53 billion generated in 2009.
While gross revenues continue to trend upwards total tickets sold is headed in the other direction. The Top 100 tours moved a total of 34.74 million tickets, which was down about 2.6% from last year’s 35.67 million tickets. Make of it what you will, but the Top 100 tours lost over 14% of its concert-going audience in comparison to 2009’s total of 40.49 million.
Coming off a down year, it would seem counterintuitive to suggest the industry’s best strategy would be to substantially raise ticket prices, but that is exactly what happened. The average ticket price soared to $67.22, an increase of $5.48 or 8.8% over last year’s $61.74. The average price peaked in 2008 at $67.33 before falling to $62.57 in 2009.
The final year of the U2 tour juggernaut easily topped the charts with $156 million in North America and $232 million worldwide. That makes for a three-year grand total of $703.9 million, which is presumably more than enough to pay for the multiple versions of the Claw.
Country music artists accounted for 10 of the top 50 tours but only 14 of the top 100.
The techno world of DJs and turntables has thumped its way into the world of big ticket sellers.
Cirque du Soleil has been a major ticket seller for years with its multiple static shows in Las Vegas, but its touring shows are now becoming regular arena bookings. Three different Cirque shows finished in the top 20 and a fourth came in at No. 26.
The list of the 200 highest-grossing shows in North America was dominated by Taylor Swift with 22 cities and U2 with all 21 of its cities.
On the international side, the Take That reunion tour promoted by
There are plenty of reasons for optimism as we look forward to 2012. Although the recession is far from over, there does seem to be a growing sense of optimism by consumers. With a stellar array of talent set to hit the road, if 2012 is not a great year for the concert industry, it won’t be due to a lack of major attractions.