2016 Year End Special Features

The Top 100 Tours of North America grossed a record $3.34 billion which was up 7% over last year’s $3.12 billion. The top 100 acts sold a record 43.63 million tickets. 

– Photo – 2016 Year End

Live Money 

The best metric for determining an artist’s true popularity is their ability to sell tickets for a live performance.

There was a time when radio airplay and recorded music sales were the best measure of who is hot, but today’s world of fragmented music consumption also includes on-demand audio or video streams, commercials, video games, and fashion shows.

Artists’ ability to pay their mortgages now relies predominately on touring revenues generated from ticket and merchandise sales. While recorded music revenues have been in steady decline, live music dollars continue to grow despite sharp increases in ticket prices.

Record Year

The Top 100 Tours of North America grossed a record $3.34 billion which was up 7% over last year’s $3.12 billion. The top 100 acts sold a record 43.63 million tickets. That is over 1.5 million more tickets or 4% higher than the previous year.

The average ticket price also hit record levels at $76.55 which is up 3% or $2.30 over 2015. The Top 100 Worldwide Tours generated $4.88 billion in sales which was up about 4% over the previous year but a bit short of the record $5 billion set in 2013.

The total tickets sold was 60.49 million, up from last year’s 59.78 million but still below the record 63.34 million sold in 2013. The Worldwide and North American Tour charts include estimates for any unreported concert dates.

The Pollstar database includes a record $9 billion in detailed 2016 concert grosses. In most cases projections are only a small part of the total data set. Only 16% of the Top 100 worldwide tour dates required estimates.

In North America only 8% of the dates played needed estimates. Pollstar estimates that North American ticket sales hit a record $7.3 billion in 2016. The concert industry has shown tremendous income growth especially if one considers that 20 years ago our estimate for North American ticket sales was barely over $1 billion.

Top 200 North American Tours
Year End Business Analysis
Top 100 Worldwide Tours
Top 200 Concert Grosses
Top 100 International Boxoffice
Top 20 Worldwide Festival Grosses

Worldwide Ticket Sales

Top 100 Tours
Top 100 Promoters
Top 200 Arenas
Top 200 Theatres
Top 200 Clubs
Top 100 Outdoor Sites
Top 100 Amphitheatres 

See Also: 

Ticket Sales Charts Archive 

Top Tours

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band did the year’s biggest tour with a career best $268.3 million in sales on 2.4 million tickets. 

Beyoncé finished second at $256.2 million worldwide and 2.2 million tickets sold but was No. 1 in North America with a gross of $169.4 million. Coldplay came in third at $241 million but sold an industry leading 2.7 million tickets.

Ticket prices continue to increase as the $100+ average ticket price becomes less of a rarity with 20 acts hitting that level. In today’s world it takes a $200+ average price to get attention. Barbra Streisand was no surprise at $260.20 a ticket but Madonna at $216.01 and Jennifer Lopez at $206.69 definitely stretched the consumer’s wallet.

Big Grosses

Desert Trip set a new world single-event record with a staggering gross of $160.1 million from the twin weekend bill of The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, The Who, and Neil Young.

$399 to $1,599 for an event that clearly catered to an older, more affluent crowd. Add in all the ancillary revenue streams and the real event gross could be north of $200 million.

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
– The Rolling Stones
“Desert Trip,” Empire Polo Club, Indio, Calif.

The Springsteen stadium juggernaut produced the largest single-act concert gross of the year with $18.2 million from a three-show run in August at

On a global basis, top honors went to Coldplay’s massive $29.7 million gross from four shows in June at

Global Promoters