Don’t Stop Believin’: Journey / Def Leppard Co-Bill by The Numbers

After a wildly successful 2006 co-headline tour, Def Leppard and Journey are teaming up again for 58 dates – including stadiums – as fully resurgent arena-rock mainstays that were already both doing incredible touring business. 

“It was amazingly successful and we all knew that one day these two bands would create the magic again,” Dennis Arfa, CEO and founder of Artist Group International which represents Def Leppard, told Pollstar of the 2006 run. He says the bands are “about to embark on the hottest rock and roll tour of the year.”

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– Journey
Journey’s Arnel Pineda and Neal Schon at the Classic West festival at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles July 16, 2017.

This May to October, the extensive co-bill includes 10 stadiums, clearly demonstrating what happens when two major headliners combine forces.

Those venues include Boston’s Fenway Park, St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, and San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Promoted by Live Nation, the tour has Journey closing half of the shows and Def Leppard closing out the other half.

Journey had a big year in 2017, and charted at No. 64 on Pollstar’s Year-End Top 100 WorldWide Tours with $32.8 million grossed. The band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in April, where original singer Steve Perry – although he didn’t perform – joined the band onstage and thanked new singer Arnel Pineda for keeping the music alive.

Pineda, a musician from the Philippines, joined Journey as lead singer in 2007 after being discovered by Journey founder and guitarist Neal Schon on YouTube. While maybe unconventional, anyone who saw the videos saw it was clear he had the chops to step in for the legendary Perry. “Turns out, the songs won,” Journey manager John Baruck said at a recent Pollstar Live! panel discussion about the band’s enduring success.

“Journey’s got what we call the dirty dozen. They’ve got 12 songs on the greatest hits record which sold over 15 million copies, and people come to hear those songs. We go out there, we do our hits, and it always works.” Journey was particularly busy in 2011, with 83 shows grossing just under $46 million, putting them at No. 24 on the Year End Top Tours chart.

Def Leppard also had a huge 2017, with 38 shows and more than $31 million grossed worldwide for the band, led by lead singer Joe Elliott and famous for hits including “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “Photograph” and “Armageddon It” still commonplace on rock radio.

Def Leppard
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– Def Leppard
Def Leppard at the Palladium in Cologne, Germany, May 28, 2015.

That kind of big business is mostly par for the course, but 2015 was notably big with 96 shows and a total gross of more than $54 million, and 2016 was not far behind with $32 million grossed from 58 shows as reported to Pollstar.

Over the past 10 years (2008 to 2017) both bands grossed around the quarter-billion-dollar mark when accounting for inflation, with Journey at $260 million over the period (448 shows) and Def Leppard just behind at $227.4 million (432 shows).

Pollstar has enjoyed very consistent Boxoffice reporting from both artists’ camps, ensuring that their touring business is properly represented in Pollstar’s charts and features.

With the combined hits and fresh touring chops, the co-bill is a safe bet to be one of the biggest tours of the year. General onsales begin Feb. 3.