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Andre Rieu lights up the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam Jan. 6. The violinist held six high-grossing shows at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, helping propel the venue to No. 1 for on the 1Q Ticket Sales Chart for Theatres.
April has arrived, meaning the first of Pollstar’s Quarterly Worldwide Ticket Sales charts are in full bloom.
These charts are always the least indicative of business for the year, both because the months covered tend to not be very busy and because acts often don’t immediately report the data for 1Q shows.
With that in mind, there are still plenty of numbers to jump into.
The biggest change from last year’s chart is the Top 50 Worldwide Promoters chart, where AEG Presents appears at the No. 3 position, below Mexico’s OCESA / CIE. The Mexican promoter has certainly been busy, with high-grossing events like “Vive Latino” and Electric Daisy Carnival (Mexico), along with tours from the likes of Luis Miguel, Phil Collins and Bruno Mars.
The company’s ticket sales (1,143,689) largely mirror those of last year (1,211,573), and AEG Presents’ move down the chart is likely because the promoting giant has been slow to report, with only 953,879 reported in the first quarter.
One unique aspect to this year’s charts is that they now include a broader array of acts, including non-traditional sports like “Monster Jam” truck shows and “PBR: Monster Energy Cowboy Festival” in the U.S. and “Premier League Darts,” “Britain’s Strongest Man,” “Matchroom Boxing” and “Power Maxed Arenacross” abroad. While those shows don’t chart in the top tours, their ticket sales count toward the respective venues’ totals.
The No. 1 tour for the first quarter of 2018 is “Disney On Ice,” with 493,780 ticket sales reported, the lowest number to turn in at No. 1 since 2009, when Tina Turner reported 428,604 for the No. 1 spot. The ice-skating show grossed more than $14.6 million in the first three months of the year. Disney On Ice and
Part of the low figures this year can likely be attributed to non-reporting, but it may also relate to the increasingly important festival market in North America and Europe that sees many major acts planning their routing around big shindigs like Coachella, Glastonbury, or the various Lollapaloozas in the Q2 and Q3.
The highest-charting solo act was Bruno Mars with 344,173 tickets reported, largely from his runs through Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as a stint in Las Vegas. He has the highest gross of the reporting acts, with more than $35.5 million.
The top of the chart is mostly filled out by arena acts, with the exception of Mars and Depeche Mode (No. 6), who did stadiums. Jeff Dunham does a comedy show configured for arenas and he came in at No. 5, with 216,764 tickets from 28 reports, grossing an impressive $10.6 million.
One significant milestone: this is the first time a hip-hop act has made the Top 5 of the 1Q charts in recent memory.
Kendrick Lamar’s run through Europe moved 251,353 tickets and grossed $22.3 million, putting him at No. 4. Drake came close to this accomplishment in 2017, when he was at No. 6 with 369,217 tickets reported.
In terms of arenas, Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, at No. 1, came in way ahead of its competitors with 369,512 tickets moved in the 31 reports it submitted before the deadline, the most for arenas in the quarter. Tempodrom in Berlin was also excellent about reporting, with 30 reports submitted, good enough to get it to No. 26 on the chart. On the 2017 Year End Ticket Sales chart, Lanxess came in at No. 6 with 931,394 tickets and Tempodrom was No. 65 with 324,260.
The No. 2 arena in ticket sales for the first quarter was actually the highest-grossing, Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, with $26.5 million earned off 251,442 tickets in 12 reports. Again, a number of AEG venues from the U.K. are absent from the chart, as they haven’t yet submitted reports.
International arenas were generally excellent about reporting, and the first North American venue to make an appearance in the chart is Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., at No. 8 with 170,531 tickets reported for a $7.5 million gross.
In terms of theatres, North America did much better, with Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional coming at No. 1 with 348,892 tickets, a repeat from its same position on the chart last year. The chart-topper hosted six nights of
Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images – Disney On Ice
“Disney On Ice” characters skate around Toronto’s Rogers Centre in this file photo from 2016. “Disney On Ice” was No. 1 for the 1Q Ticket Sales Chart Top 100 Tours chart, and has been a regular entry at the top of the chart over the last several years.
Fox Theatre in Atlanta took No. 2 with 221,987 tickets and $15.2 million grossed.
The best reporting theatre by far was No. 9 McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, Calif., which submitted reports for 50 events in the first three months, good enough for 85,626 tickets moved and a gross of nearly $6.6 million.
The highest-grossing theatre show would have to be Springsteen On Broadway, which regularly tops the Concert Pulse chart with its high ticket prices and huge grosses. Since the show stages in the 948-capacity Walter Kerr Theatre it has only reported 39,816 tickets on the year, landing the show at No. 80 on the Top Tours chart and the venue at No. 43 on the Top 50 Theatres chart, despite the more than $20 million grossed. Springsteen’s average ticket price on the Global Concert Pulse for the week ending April 9 was hovering around $508.
While the opening months of 2018 might have been quiet in arenas and stadiums, North American clubs gave great insights into their business. House Of Blues Boston came in at No. 1 on the Top 50 Clubs chart, with 91,013 tickets moved in 45 reports for more than $3 million grossed.
Seth Hurwitz must be smiling, as both of his Washington, D.C., club venues, The Anthem and 9:30 Club, came in at No. 2 and 3 respectively. The former, larger room opened last year and had substantially fewer reports, with 15, but outgrossed its sister venue by nearly $2 million, and outsold it by 6,000.
The first non-North America venue on the clubs chart is O2 Academy Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland, at No. 13 with 25,968 tickets moved in 13 reports for more than $901,000 grossed.
The only non-English speaking club in the 1Q Top 50 is MTELUS in Montreal, though we did get good reports from venues like Parque El Chamizal in Juarez, Mexico, and The Mixing Room in Shanghai, so look for those venues on the larger charts later in the year