The Latin Experience: Diverse, Robust And Caliente!

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images / Live Nation
– Shakira
Truth Telling Hips: Shakira kicks off the North American Leg of her El Dorado World Tour at the United Center in Chicago Aug. 3.

Latin artists on the road in 2018 represent a wide spectrum of musical and cultural diversity, honoring both the traditional and the contemporary within the genre. Whether it’s Latin pop, trap, reggaetón, norteño, bachata, salsa, ranchera or good ole rock ’n’ roll, this year thousands of fans paid good money to see their favorite Latin musicians in regional Latin markets and around the world.

Of all the tours set to launch this year, one of the most anticipated was the return to the stage by Latin pop superstar Shakira – always a top draw in the genre. The native Colombian embarked on her first world tour in seven years this summer with shows booked in Europe, Asia and North America, followed by a fall trek through Latin American markets.

The tour supported her most recent album, El Dorado, which was released in May 2017. The original plan was for the tour to begin in November of last year, but it was postponed for seven months following issues with the singer’s vocal health. The opening leg was set in Europe and spanned just over five weeks beginning June 3 through July 11. It featured a string of concerts in 18 venues, primarily indoor arenas. Two of them hosted the tour for two nights. AccorHotels Arena in Paris, the first of the two, held concerts on June 13-14 and reported more than $2.2 million in box office sales from 29,067 tickets purchased. Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi also brought in the tour for concerts July 6-7. 

After the European run, Shakira made a festival appearance in Lebanon, her father’s ancestral homeland, headlining the opening night of the Cedars International Festival in Bsharri on July 13. Then on Aug. 3 she headed to North America for a stretch of shows booked through Sept. 7 in two Canadian and 18 American cities. Included was another double-show engagement Aug. 17-18 at Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena.

The final Latin leg began Oct. 11 with two nights in Mexico City and covered 11 cities in seven countries for more than three weeks. The tour’s last stop Nov. 3 was an outdoor event in Colombia at Bogotá’s Parque Simón Bolivar.

Complete box office results from the tour have not yet been reported to Pollstar, but based on sales counts already provided this year, the average gross from the tour comes to approximately $1.2 million per show in arenas with an average sold ticket count of 13,231. All of the events reported so far have been arena shows – nothing yet from the Latin American stadium dates – but estimates of potential box office earnings from all venues on the tour place the overall gross in the $75 million range with attendance near 800,000, based on sales averages from her past events.

The El Dorado tour, staged primarily in stadiums in Latin America and arenas elsewhere, was similar to the booking structure on her previous tour seven years earlier. That trek, titled “The Sun Comes Out,” stretched over a year and took her around the world with performances in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa from September 2010 through October of the following year.

Another artist in the Latin pop realm with an even longer outing on the road in 2018 is Luis Miguel, who has been touring since late February in support of his most recent studio album México Por Siempre!, released in November 2017. The jaunt marks his first full-scale tour since Déja Vu, a greatest hits trek that ran in 2014 and 2015.

Miguel, known as El Sol de México (“The Sun of Mexico”), launched the run on Feb. 21 with a five-night engagement at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, his first round of shows booked at the venue in 2018. He is set to play 35 performances there throughout the year, the last being a four-show stint in December. He will surpass his own personal record for the total number of shows performed in one year at the auditorium by five shows.

During the first two months of 2006, he completed a 30-show uninterrupted run at the venue during his México En La Piel tour. Grosses from that run hit $19.3 million from 267,528 total tickets. 

So far this year, 16 of his 35 scheduled shows in Mexico City have been reported as of press time. There is a slight drop in the number of tickets sold per show – about 6 percent – compared with the 2006 tour, but the average gross per show is 33 percent higher. Ticket prices may have something to do with that, as the top ticket in 2006 cost 1,700 pesos ($159), but this year’s prices top out at 4,990 pesos ($253). Historically, Miguel has headlined 257 shows at Auditorio Nacional during his career, spanning almost four decades.

Overall, 2018 box office stats reported for the México Por Siempre tour show a total of 489,204 tickets moved at 58 concerts, based on Pollstar reports. The combined gross from those performances total $53.9 million so far, with an itinerary that continues through mid-December.

Miguel’s tour began with a trek through North America from late February through early June. A swing through Europe followed in July leading into a series of shows stateside kicking off at the end of August. The Mexican artist has been performing in his home country since late September and will remain there through the tour’s Dec. 18 finale.

A quick snapshot of box office results for other Latin artists in 2018 include Latin trap and reggaetón artist Bad Bunny who has scored $16.7 million from 248,577 sold seats at 34 headlining concerts this year. Colombia’s Maluma, also in the urban fold, has drawn 203,236 fans to 25 performances, grossing $18.2 million. Carlos Vives completed a swing through a handful of U.S. cities in September, logging $2.8 million from 27,794 tickets at five reported shows, and eight of Chayanne’s 15 U.S. concerts this fall have drawn 47,895 fans, grossing $5.2 million. Chicago’s Cardenas Marketing Network promoted the North American runs of all four artists.