Box Office Insider: Roger Waters’ North American Run Grosses $92M
Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP – Roger Waters
Roger Waters performs during his “US + Them” tour at the Staples Center June 20 in Los Angeles.
Roger Waters has wrapped up his 2017 “Us + Them” routing, which saw the former Pink Floyd bassist and vocalist playing exclusively in North America with the entire tour reporting to Pollstar.
Ticket prices were similar to his last run on the continent in 2012, with most shows holding a low-end around $55 and topping out at $200-$250. The total gross reported on the year for Waters is $92,096,270, with 756,189 reported tickets sold. The arena tour averaged 16,439 attendees per market and consisted of 63 shows in 45 venues. Average reported attendance was 96 percent.
The trek opened in Kansas City, Mo.’s Sprint Center to a 100 percent sold-out room of 12,077. That show grossed $1,412,640 and set the tone for the coming month, which was full of reported sellouts. The routing touched most regions of the continental U.S. before a 14-show run in Canada to close things out. The final performance of the run was Oct. 29 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.
Throughout the tour, only one show grossed under $1 million, and the Canadian leg on its own earned more than $18 million, with an average of 23,737 attending in each market. That average attendance incorporates the fact that cities like Toronto and Montreal each got three nights of Roger Waters, whereas Vancouver; Edmonton, Alberta; and Quebec City got two nights apiece.
The tour is far from over, as Waters is booked to play three shows in New Zealand in January of next year, followed by six shows in Australia in February. After that the “Wish You Were Here” singer is scheduled to play Europe until Aug. 31 in Moscow.
The North American leg was promoted by Concerts West/AEG Presents. Concerts West co-CEO John Meglen recently told Pollstar that working on tours like Roger Waters’ is “The greatest thing in your career.” When speaking with Pollstar, the veteran promoter had just wrapped the Waters tour days apart from another high-profile project: The Rolling Stones’ latest journey.
Waters released his latest solo album, Is This The Life We Really Want, in June of this year. He made headlines at various times because of his strident political views, especially support for the BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanctions) against Israel. He made headlines in political exchanges with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and others for his encouraging artists not to perform in Israel.
He also faced criticism from Jewish and pro-Israel groups for the destruction during his shows of a pig with the Star of David alongside other logos on it. He faced similar criticism in 2013, and responded to it at that time with a note on Facebook reading:
“The inflatable pig that so offended young Alon has appeared at every Wall Show since September 2010, some 193 shows … The pig in question represents evil, and more specifically the evil of errant government. We make a gift of this symbol of repression to the audience at the end of every show and the people always do the right thing. They destroy it.”
On the Global Concert Pulse for the week of Nov. 20, Waters came in at the number 9 spot and he was in the 35th spot for Pollstar’s 3rd Quarter’s Top 100 Tours chart.