BoxOffice Insider: Looking At The 2017 Worldwide Top Tours

The new year is here and Pollstar has shared its final Year End charts for 2017. While the figures will give us plenty of numbers to chew on for months to come, this week’s BoxOffice Insider briefly looks at the Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart, which includes Eric Church, Future, and Sting.

Depeche Mode
Owen Sweeney
– Depeche Mode
Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode has a sold-out crowd in attendance at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., Sept. 7.

This chart is numbered, very simply, by total reported gross. Research from our BoxOffice department was used to estimate data on any dates not reported by the submission deadline. The chart also tracks tickets sold, average ticket prices, numbers of cities and shows, and agency.

In this article we will slice up the Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart to compare the highest grossing acts in terms of ticket sales and number of shows, but don’t confuse this chart with the Worldwide Ticket Sales Charts, which also has a Top 100 Tours.

On the whole, the Top 100 Worldwide Tours reported a record $5.65 billion in total gross, a 15.8 percent increase over 2016. The Top 100 global acts also reported 66,793,240 tickets sold, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

As previously shared, U2 occupied the top slot with its “Joshua Tree” tour grossing a reported total $316 million, followed by Guns N’ Roses with $292.5 million and Coldplay with $238 million.

There are no early surprises when you look at these 100 from tickets sold, as the Top 6 almost completely mirror the results for gross, except Depeche Mode and Metallica swap positions, being at the number 5 and 6 spots, respectively.

The first real outlier in tickets sold is Green Day, which charted at No. 22 in terms of gross, with $64 million reported, but was actually ninth in terms of tickets sold, with 1,121,233 tickets reported. The Dookie artists held prices at an average of $57, which apparently kept their fans happy and coming in droves.

A general trend of country artists maintaining prices on the low-end of the spectrum seems apparent. Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Eric Church all did well in terms of ticket sales, all landing in the top 20 percent on this chart in that category, but they all fell out of the Top 30 in terms of gross, keeping prices down for the fans. Chris Stapleton was No. 20 on this chart in ticket sales (with 822,417) but No. 53 overall in terms of gross, because of his $46.57 average ticket price, which is actually relatively low considering the landmark year he had. Zac Brown Band similarly kept costs down, with $47 average ticket prices, but 777,988 tickets moved.

The lowest average ticket price on the chart was Future, at $35, though he still charted at No. 75 thanks to his 805,944 tickets reported solid in 2017. He played 60 shows in 59 cities, grossing a total of $28.2 million.

Compared to 2016, average ticket price climbed by $3.97, or nearly five percent. When you look at average ticket price, the highest by a mile is Springsteen On Broadway, with a whopping $496.16 per ticket. Bruce’s Broadway show grossed a total of $25,810,435 and came in at the 81st position on the chart despite having sold 52,020 tickets, the lowest number in that category because of venue size. Springsteen also charted with the E Street Band thanks to an overseas run in Australia earlier in the year, coming in at the No. 54 position with more than $38.1 million.

The fewest number of shows on the chart was George Strait, with 10 shows in five cities, which makes sense as he is officially retired from touring. The performances he did do were big business though, earning the country star a reported $20,180,679 on 158,627 tickets moved. He entered the chart at the No. 96 position.

The various Cirque du Soleil productions blow out every other act in terms of number of shows, the only exception being “Harry Potter In Concert,” which had 207 shows versus 169 for Cirque’s “Toruk – The First Flight.” After those, Bruno Mars was probably the biggest touring force of 2017, playing an astonishing 121 shows on the year, grossing $200.1 million and getting him to the No. 4 position on the chart. Behind him in terms of number of shows was Sting with 115 performances (who charted at No. 21), followed by Ed Sheeran (No. 8) with 111.

“Harry Potter In Concert” took the distinction of having performed in the most cities of the Top 100 tours at 126, followed by Sting with 101.