Mid-Year 2013
Special Features

World Records

The global concert industry is on a pace that could shatter gross sales records despite pockets of lingering economic weakness.

The Top 50 Worldwide Tours sold nearly $1.85 billion in tickets, a figure that is 23% greater than the same period one year ago (See Also: Ticket Sales Charts Archive).

The total tickets sold also jumped 10.5% to 21 million despite an enormous $9.09 or 11.5% increase in the average ticket price to $88.03. Pollstar has expanded its Mid-Year Worldwide Tours chart to 100 positions in 2013 but, for year-over-year comparisons, we still use the Top 50.

The Top 100 Worldwide Tours grossed a total of $2.35 billion on sales of 29.6 million tickets at an average of $79.45.

Bon Jovi is by far the biggest box office attraction in the world for the first six months of 2013. Despite the absence of Richie Sambora, the band sold nearly 1.5 million tickets for a gross of $142 million. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band was No. 2 at about $104 million with 970,000 tickets sold. All of the Springsteen numbers and two-thirds of Bon Jovi’s were generated outside North America.

Photo: John Davisson

Mid-Year Business Analysis PDF

Top 100 North American Tours

Top 100 Worldwide Tours

Top 100 Concert Grosses



The Pollstar Top 100 charts are unique because they include our exclusive estimates for unreported dates played on an artist’s tour schedule. In many cases we have all, or nearly all, of the individual show reports and only small part of the data has to be projected. The Pollstar database includes hard data on about 85 percent of the shows played by the Top 100 Tours.

Our Mid-Year reporting period is for the first six months of calendar 2013. Other publications use a November to May time frame and include only data reported to them so a direct comparison is not possible.

Scalpers Get Stoned

The Rolling Stones sold $87.7 million to top the chart in North America, which is not unusual in any year that the Stones tour. What makes this year’s outing noteworthy is the eye-popping $346.09 average ticket price that dwarfs anything that has come before.

It appears that AEG Live and the band crafted a strategy designed to capture for themselves most of the usual spread between the primary ticket price and those on the secondary market. By intentionally shooting for the stars with high initial ticket prices, the shows did not sell out immediately and for most dates face value tickets were available up until show day.

The promoter quietly repriced unsold sections to meet demand levels and fill the arenas, which effectively undermined ticket brokers.

It’s not a strategy for the faint-hearted or any artist concerned about what it does to their image. But this could well be the last time and the Stones obviously didn’t care about career moves as the strategy worked beautifully to top off their retirement coffers.

North America

The Top 100 Tours sold a record $1.24 billion in the first half of the year. That is up 10.4% over last year. The average gross per show jumped 32% to about $477,000 and the average tickets sold per show climbed 13.2% to 6,737.

The total tickets sold, however, declined by 5.9% to 17.5 million.

The record revenue figures are explained by an enormous $10.03 or 14.1% increase in average ticket prices, which hit $70.91 as compared with $60.68 a year ago. It also appears that the Top 100 Tours worked nearly 300 fewer total shows than in 2012. The Stones were not the only act to push the pricing envelope.

There were 15 acts with an average of more than $100 per ticket compared with 11 last year. Led by Taylor Swift at No. 2 and newcomer Luke Bryan at No. 20, country music artists continue a strong showing grabbing 12 of the top 40 positions compared with 10 last year.

Global Ticket Sales

The Pollstar Worldwide Ticket Sales charts are based strictly on data reported to Pollstar and provide a variety of comparisons of ticket-selling success by artist, promoter, and venue type.

Live Nation sold nearly 9.9 million tickets around the world and continues to top the Promoter chart. The company is off to a very good start in 2013 and Wall Street seems to be responding to Michael Rapino’s push to get the company on a track to profitability.

LYV was trading at $9.31 a share when Irving Azoff departed as chairman December 31, 2012. It closed over $16 on July 11.

AEG Live, despite the departure of Tim Leiweke and the distraction of the Michael Jackson lawsuit, still finished a strong second with nearly 6.6 million tickets sold. The overall sales numbers seem to be up on all the charts with the industry showing strength from small clubs to large arenas. It’s a good start as the business heads into the heart of the northern hemisphere’s summer touring season.

Worldwide Ticket Sales

Top 100 Tours

Top 100 Promoters

Top 100 Arenas

Top 100 Theatres

Top 100 Clubs

Top 50 Outdoor Sites

Top 50 Amphitheatres

See Also: Ticket Sales Charts Archive