Touring Strong: CMA Winners Garth, Stapleton, Lambert, Pardi

The 51st annual CMA Awards took place Nov. 8 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, with major awards going out to Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, and Jon Pardi. Pollstar breaks down the winners’ touring data, giving a snapshot of how big country music’s biggest stars are to the touring business. 
Garth Brooks
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
– Garth Brooks
Garth Brooks performs during the CMA Awards in Nashville Nov. 8.
Garth, winner of Entertainer of the Year, has been doing mini-residencies in American arenas nearly nonstop since the end of 2014. Before that, he was on a major Las Vegas residency at the Encore Theatre at the Wynn in Las Vegas. 
Some of those recent arena stays reported to Pollstar include five shows at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati Jan. 21-29, which moved just a hair short of 80,000 tickets (79,995) and grossed $5.17 million. Other big showings include KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, which hosted four shows in April 2016, moving 74,386 and grossed $5.74 million.  He also did four shows at Richmond Coliseum in Virginia (Nov. 2016, 45,746 tickets, $3.05 million) and Save Mart Center in Fresno (Sept. 2016, 51,743 tickets, $3.4 million). 
Up next for Garth is eight dates at Spokane Arena in Washington, and Bridgestone Arena Dec. 16. The dates include wife Trisha Yearwood. He’s also booked for Stagecoach in April. 
Chris Stapleton, male vocalist of the year, jumped to arenas almost immediately after dropping his acclaimed Traveller LP in 2015.  
Pollstar estimates that Stapleton may have sold more than 850,000 tickets so far in 2017, with highlights including Oct. 13-14 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, which sold 31,862 tickets and grossed $1.7 million. Another double was two shows at Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, N.H., which sold 14,847 tickets and grossed $707,146. He moved 18,547 tickets at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Misourri, grossing $565,922. 
Miranda Lambert, who in 2015 was No. 81 on Pollstar’s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours based on ticket sales with 266,136 tickets sold, was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the CMAs.  She has a big tour coming up in 2018, kicking off Jan. 18 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in South Carolina. Other markets include Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, the Forum in Inglewood, Rupp Arena in Kentucky, Sprint Center in Kansas City and ends March 24 at the Lawrence Joel Vet. Mem. Coliseum in North Carolina.    

Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP)

Carrie Underwood performs “Softly and Tenderly” during an In Memoriam tribute at the 51st annual CMA Awards Nov. 8
Lambert reports submitted to Pollstar include March 11 at BOK Center (10,064 tickets, $416,914 gross,) March 10 at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita (6,993, $346,073) and March 19 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., which sold 9,381 tickets and grossed $484,915. 
Keith Urban, who won Single of the Year for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” is also a heavy touring entity and in 2016 was No. 33 on Pollstar’s year end worldwide ticket sales chart with 630,960 sold.  He’s done mostly festivals in 2017, but headline appearances reported to Pollstar include Aug. 26 at the WinStar Global Event Center in Oklahoma, which sold out 9,510 tickets and grossed $789,820, Aug. 13 at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, which sold 5,640 tickets and grossed $382,601, and the Bell Centre in Montreal which sold 6,905 tickets Aug. 12 and grossed $474,390. Also reported was the Aug. 30 Great Allentown Fair, headlined by urban, which sold 8,114 tickets and grossed $641,836. 
Jon Pardi, who won New Artist of the Year, spoke to Pollstar before the win, along with his agent, Kylen Sharpe of CAA. Pardi mentioned one couple that drove 30 hours to see his show. “I’m so grateful to have fans like that.”  
Headline reports submitted to Pollstar include sellouts at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Fort Myers, Fla., (1,550 tickets, $31,000) March 25, The Moon in Tallahassee March 24, which sold 1,400 tickets and grossed $30,720, and Billy Bob’s Texas Oct. 20, which sold 2,200 tickets and grossed $55,088. 
Other CMA winners included Little Big Town (Vocal Group), Brothers Osborne (Vocal Duo), and Taylor Swift (songwriting credit for Little Big Town’s “Better Man”). 

CMA Troy Gentry Tribute
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
– CMA Troy Gentry Tribute
Joe Don Rooney, Dierks Bentley, Eddie Montgomery, Gary LeVox, and Jay DeMarcus perform “My Town”during a tribute to Troy Gentry at the CMA Awards Nov. 8. Gentry died in a helipcopter crash on the way to a show in September.
The show, broadcast on ABC, was chock full of performances, with Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Keith Urban joining for two songs, as well as other performances by Thomas Rhett, Luke Bryan, Tim and Faith, Chris Stapleton, and Carrie Underwood, who gave an emotional performance in memoriam of those lost in the Route 91 Harvest Festival Oct. 1.  
There were also some crossover appearances, with performances by Pink (to make country music’s biggest night even bigger, according to co-host Brad Paisley) and former One Direction member Niall Horan, who joined Maren Morris for a their “Seeing Blind” duet.  She is also joining Horan for much of his 2018 tour.